12 flicks to see at Ajyal Youth Film Festival

As Doha’s newest family-friendly film festival kicks off, we check out what the cinemas have to offer Discuss this article

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1 Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang
(PG) by Óskar Santos (Spain)
The beloved Spanish mischief-makers Zip and his twin brother Zap have entertained comic-book lovers for decades. Now, they make their big-screen debut in this action-packed adventure, which pits them against the evil headmaster of a rural reform school. Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang is full of mystery, friendship, and hilarious escapades.
Price: QR25
Timings: Nov 29 – 2pm – Katara bldg 16 – Opera House; Nov 30 – 2.45pm – Katara bldg 12 – B


2 Regret
(PG – 13) by Dave Schram (The Netherlands)
School life isn’t easy for Jochem, who is the target of the class bullies. Tino, the class mentor, is too busy being popular with his students to take action, while classmate David doesn’t dare to say anything in Jochem’s defence. Tino organises a class party, and the next morning the school principal informs the class that Jochem didn’t return home last night.
Price: QR25
Timings: Nov 27 – 4.30pm – Katara bldg 16 – Opera House; Nov 30 – 10.15pm – Katara bldg 12 - B


3 Kauwboy
(PG – 13) by Boudewijn Koole (The Netherlands)
Ten-year-old Jojo lives with his dad in a rural area of the Netherlands. Jojo’s exuberance is his way to cope with the absence of his country-singer mother, who is expected home soon after her tour of the Americas. His only solace is a friendship with the abandoned baby jackdaw, which becomes the trigger for reconnecting with his emotionally detached father.
Price: QR25
Timings: Nov 28 – 9.30pm – Katara bldg 12 – A; Nov 30 – 5.30pm – Katara bldg 16 – Drama Theatre


4 The Pee-Wee 3D: The Winter That Changed My Life
(PG) by Eric Tessier (Canada)
After his mother dies, 12-year-old Janeau Trudel and his dad move to a hockey-mad Quebec community, who hope their team will make it to the pee-wee hockey tournament. Janeau’s superb hockey skills soon get him on the team – where he is faced with the jealousy of the team captain. But even the seemingly impossible can be overcome with hard work and determination.
Price: QR25
Timings: Nov 29 – 8.15pm – Katara bldg 16 – Opera House; Nov 30 – 1pm – Katara bldg 16 – Opera House


5 Touch of the Light
(PG) by Rong-ji Chang (Hong Kong, Taiwan) – Qatar premiere – 2012
Based on the real-life story of Taiwanese piano prodigy Huang Yu-Siang, Touch of the Light is a powerfully inspiring story about determination and believing in oneself. When Siang leaves his rural home and family to attend university in the city, he meets Jie, a beautiful yet unhappy girl who dreams of becoming a dancer, and the two inspire each other to pursue their dreams against all odds.
Price: QR25
Timings: Nov 27 – 10.15pm – Katara bldg 12 - A; Nov 29 – 7.15pm – Katara bldg 12 - B


6 Mike Says Goodbye!
(PG – 13) by Maria Peters (The Netherlands)
Mike has been in hospital for months and now he’s well enough to go home. But when his mother doesn’t show up to collect him, the youth care bureau gets involved, and Mike and his pal Vincent must come up with some devious strategies to foil plans to send him off to a foster home. Will Mike be able to celebrate Christmas at home with his mum?
Price: QR25
Timings: Nov 27 – 7.15pm – Katara bldg 12 - A; Nov 29 – 9pm – Katara bldg 12 - A


7 The Painting Pool
(PG) by Maziar Miri (Iran) – Gulf premiere – 2013
Maryam and Reza are different from other couples. For them, everything is more difficult than for most people – like crossing the street, cooking a pizza – but they will not allow their mental challenges to stand in the way of their love for their child. This is a remarkable portrait of two people fighting for their right to lead a normal life and be a family.
Price: QR25
Timings: Nov 27 – 8pm – Katara bldg 12 - B; Nov 29 – 6pm – Katara bldg 12 - A


8 The Way Way Back
(18+) by Jim Rash, Nat Faxon (USA) – Gulf premiere – 2013
When 14-year-old Duncan, his mother and her overbearing boyfriend go on a summer vacation, Duncan has trouble fitting in until he strikes up an unlikely friendship with Owen, the easygoing manager of the Water Wizz water park. Duncan eventually finds his place in the world in this charming coming-of-age tale that features great performances from Liam James, Toni Collette, Steve Carell and Sam Rockwell.
Price: QR25
Timings: Nov 28 – 6.30pm – Katara bldg 12 - A; Nov 29 – 11.15pm – Katara bldg 16 – Opera House


9 When I Saw You
(PG – 13) by Annemarie Jacir (UAE, Palestine, Jordan, Greece)
In Jordan in 1967, young Tarek and his mother are stranded in a refugee camp, while his father remains in Palestine. Tarek longs to go home – he hates the camp and especially the patience of the others – so against all odds he sets off on the journey home. This charming film breathes energetic new life into the notion of the Palestinian right to return – and shows that the hopes of childhood can prevent their elders from giving up.
Price: QR25
Timings: Nov 28 – 8.45pm – Katara bldg 16 – Drama Theatre; Nov 30 – 5.15pm – Katara bldg 12 - A


10 Flying Paper
(G ) by Nitin Sawhney, Roger Hill (Palestine, USA)
This uplifting story about children in Gaza on a quest to shatter the Guinness World Record for the most kites ever flown showcases the resilience of a group of Palestinian youths despite the difficulties of their everyday surroundings. The film humanises the conflict by looking at kite culture as a form of creative resistance.
Price: QR25
Timings: Nov 30 – 5.45pm –Katara bldg 12 - B


11 Wajma (An Afghan Love Story)
(PG-15) by Barmak Akram (Afghanistan, France)
When Wajma, a young woman bound for law school, is seduced by Mustafa, a gregarious waiter, the two begin a playful, clandestine relationship that gets Wajma deep into trouble. Mustafa abandons her and her father discovers the situation – a dreadful violence erupts, as the father must choose between the honour of his family name and his devotion to his daughter.
Price: QR25
Timings:  Nov 28 – 10.15pm – Katara bldg 12 - B; Nov 30 – 8.15pm – Katara bldg 16 – Opera House


12 On the Way to School
(PG) by Pascal Plisson (France, Mexico)
Jackson, Zahira, Samuel and Carlito, the heroes of this inspiring documentary, are from Morocco, Kenya, India and Argentina. The film observes as the four students confront and overcome often dangerous obstacles – enormous distances over treacherous territory, snakes, elephants and even bandits – on their journey to the classroom. By embarking on this adventure littered with challenges, the four begin to leave childhood behind, their lives changed forever.
Price: QR25
Timings: Nov 27 – 7.30pm – Katara bldg 16 – Opera House; Nov 28 – 7.15pm – Katara bldg 12 - B

For more information: www.dohafilminstitute.com/filmfestival

By Katy Gillett
Time Out Doha,

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