First every hybrid edition of Ajyal Film Fest draws down curtains

  • 2 months   ago

This eighth edition of DFI’s Ajyal Film Festival will go down history, not for the unique first-ever hybrid triple mix of screenings but also for the strong resilience and determination shown by organizers, participants and the audience in making the event a grand success, in face of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Doha Film Festival (DFI) presentation of a first-ever hybrid edition of the 8th Ajyal Film Festival drew to a close yesterday as winners of the Ajyal Jury Competition and Made in Qatar Awards were announced at a colourful ceremony held simultaneously the Katara Drama Theater with live broadcast from Ajyal’s new Drive-In Cinema at Lusail. 

 

DFI’s unique triple mix combination of online, in person and drive-in experience proved to be a massive draw and an exciting experience for movie fans while the organisers  gave top priority  to all the strict pandemic preventive measures laid down by Ministry of Public Health, in order to safe-guard the safety and health of all concerned.

DFI chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, delivered a special online message to the Ajyal jurors and the audience.

Winners of Ajyal 2020 Jury Competition and Made in Qatar were announced in the presence of HE the Minister of Culture and Sports Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali.

DFI CEO and festival director Fatma Hassan Alremaihi thanked the leadership, public and private sector entities, sponsors, volunteers, filmmakers, and members of the jury for their support in hosting the event.

“As the curtains come down on this year’s 8th Ajyal Film Festival, I remain deeply grateful for your support and unwavering belief in the power of cinema to spark meaningful change in the world and to inspire us to take on the challenges of this year with compassion and humanity. I am proud of your passion, tireless energy, and enthusiasm in keeping cinematic conversations alive, and making this year's Festival possible. Our Ajyal community around the world connected to push the limits of creativity and unite for an unforgettable edition in a virtual space of imaginative collaboration. While this edition was a seemingly impossible challenge at the beginning, you not only made it a reality – but a truly special experience,” she said.

Ajyal’s flagship programme Made in Qatar, presented by Ooerdoo, included 16 narratives, documentaries and reflective essays by 18 Qatari and Qatar-based filmmakers in celebration of Qatar’s growing national film industry.

The Made in Qatar jury was comprised of filmmaker Kamal Aljafari, composer Dana Alfardan, and producer Marie Balducchi.

The international Ajyal Jury – many who participated virtually from around the world – selected this year’s Ajyal Jury Competition Awards winners. Jurors were divided into three age categories: Mohaq (8-12 year olds), Hilal (13-17 year olds), and Bader (18-25 year olds) to evaluate a selection of 22 feature films, including Sun Children, 200 Meters and Their Algeria, and 58 shorts, including Woman of Steel, How My Grandmother Became a Chair and The Present.

The winners of the Made in Qatar Competition Awards: Special Jury Award - Stranger (Qatar, France/2020) by Yasser Mustafa and Christophe Buffet.

Abdulaziz Jassim Award for Best Performance: Amina Hilal from Under Her Skin (Qatar, France, Algeria/2020) by Meriem Mesraoua.

Best Documentary Award: Ander (Qatar, Kazakhstan/2020) by Alina Mustafina; Best Narrative Award: Under Her Skin (Qatar, France, Algeria/2020) by Meriem Mesraoua.

The winners of the Ajyal Jury Competition Awards are: Mohaq - Best Short Film Award: Hope (Qatar, Indonesia/2020) by Abdulla Mohammed al-Janahi; Best Feature Film Award: Dino Dana (Canada/2019) by JJ Johnson.

In the Hilal section, Best Short Film Award went to The Present by Farah Nabulsi while Best Feature Film Award was Sun Children by Majid Majidi. Woman of Steel by Obada Yousef Jarbi was adjudged Best Short Film Award in the Bader section while 200 Meters by Ameen Nayfeh won Best Feature Film Award as well as Audience Award.

The Bariq Audience Award went to Small Spark by Julie Rembauville and Nicolas Bianco-Levrin.

This eighth edition of DFI’s Ajyal Film Festival will go down history not for the unique first-ever hybrid triple mix of screenings but also for the strong resilience and determination shown by the organizers, participants and the audience in making the event a grand success in face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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