This transformational power of cinema inspired the inception of Ajyal Youth Film Festival is back!

In Arabic, ‘Ajyal’ means generations, and we invite people of all ages to attend the festival and discover the magic of cinema.

Reconnecting Arts is pleased to announce we are a media partner of Ajyal Youth Film Festival!

The fifth Ajyal Youth Film Festival, presented by the Doha Film Institute, will present a compelling slate of 103 films from 43 countries that express the power of storytelling to transform minds and will inspire the youth and stimulate discussions about real and relevant issues.

The six-day event, to be held from November 29 to December 4 at Katara Cultural Village, will feature 36 public screenings of the films, 18 screenings dedicated to the Ajyal jury, interactive panel discussions, red carpet events, and community-oriented activities that will delight all ages.

“Films have the unique power to transcend borders. They expand our horizons, nourish our souls, reinvigorate our intellect and enable us to form meaningful, lasting human bonds. Above all, films provide a communality across all divides, and the stories they present provide us with a shared experience. This transformational power of cinema inspired the inception of Ajyal Youth Film Festival five years ago.”- Fatma Al Remaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute.

Ajyal 2017 will also celebrate the illustrious career of Kuwaiti actor Abdulhussain Abdulredha, who passed away earlier this year, with an honourary award, and shines a spotlight on Kuwaiti cinematic voices with a special ‘Made in Kuwait’ section featuring an eclectic and moving selection of short films.

While Ajyal is a celebration of films from all over the world, Ajyal Creativity Hub presents a vibrant programme of cultural and creative activities which includes Geekdom – a hub for the community to come together and relive their childhood memories through music, games, competitions, talks and films; and Ajyal Talks – intimate and in-depth dialogues on relevant and topical issues that impact youth across the globe.

Below are a few of the films we look forward to watching!


Ajyal 2017 will open with the Middle East premiere of The Breadwinner (Canada/Ireland/ Luxembourg, 2017) by Nora Twomey and Executive Produced by Angelina Jolie. An animated Afghan tale of a young girl’s will and determination, the film is based on the best-selling novel by Deborah Ellis about Parvana, an 11-year-girl who must resort to creative means so she can work to support her mother and sister after her father is unjustly arrested.


Out in the beautiful quiet of the desert, a man teaches his young sons how to track and hunt. Frustration leads to an apparently harmless struggle between the two brothers – but their carelessness brings about sudden disaster. Qatari filmmaker A.J. Al Thani’s film strikes just the right balance of calm and calamity, adolescence and adulthood, knowhow and panic to tell a seemingly simple story with a sense of gravity that will echo with anyone who has seen an innocent plan go horribly wrong.


‘Looking for Oum Kulthum’ is a film-within-a-film, in which a female Persian director attempts to make a film about the Arab Kulthum, encountering all the maddening obstacles of the film industry. Connected though they are as neighbours, the Arab and Persian worlds are vastly different; what the women have in common, however, is the very fact that they are women, and must operate in a world in which men place constraints upon them. It is no surprise that Neshat’s second feature-length film follows a successful and intriguing career in the art world; its reflections on the place of art in expressing the world around us are both astute and timely.


A Syrian man plays with his young daughter on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Suddenly, their lively horseplay takes an unexpected turn, and the father does something that risks the youngster’s life. What is it that could drive a person to put their own child in danger’s way? ‘Mare Nostrum’ (the term is the Latin name for the Mediterranean) is a heart-rending look at what ordinary people sometimes feel they must do in extraordinary circumstances.

1001 DAYS_STILL_(1) 2‘1001 Days’ tells the story of the life of Sheherezade, the creative and heroic storyteller. Within a traditional fairy-tale structure, this animated short addresses eternal issues like sacrifice, equality and bravery, and considers how today’s women deserve equal treatment and privileges. Night after night, Sheherezade fought for her life by crafting stories for the King. ‘1001 Days’ imagines a story behind the famous fable, and a strong woman who fights for her independence, dignity and freedom.


After a hard day’s shopping, Latifa, a rude and vain woman and her long-suffering maid Rosie get trapped in an elevator. Already haught and dismissive, Latifa becomes downright nasty in her treatment of Rosie, even going so far as to blame her for the mechanical failure. This brings emotions to a head, and Latifa goes on a journey in her mind, in which she confronts her own egotistical nature and rediscovers the lessons of humility and respect she learned as a child. 


Ajyal Youth Film Festival is an annual celebration of film designed to nurture young minds and support the development of mindful global citizens and thoughtful future leaders. ‘Ajyal’, Arabic for ‘generations’, brings people of all ages together through screenings and events that inspire creative interaction and stimulate cinematic dialogue.

Ajyal Youth Film Festival builds on the Doha Film Institute’s history of community-based programming. Through its’ jury programme, youth between the ages of 8 and 21 are given an opportunity to watch, analyse and discuss global cinema and culture, developing self-confidence, independent critical thinking skills, self-expression, and an appreciation of cinema, while making new friends and discovering global cultures.


Tickets for the 5th Ajyal Youth Film Festival are available for purchase from November 15 for QR25 for general screenings online at and from Ajyal FNAC Ticket Outlet at FNAC (Doha Festival City). From November 18 tickets are available for purchase from the Ajyal Katara Box Office in Katara Building 12. For up-to-date information or more details on the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, please visit


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Celebrating Emerging Middle Eastern Creatives