8th AlJazeera documentary film festival gets underway
AILYN AGONIA DOHA ALJAZEERA is and will remain the voice of the oppressed, AlJazeera Network Board of Directors Chairman Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer al Thani said on Thursday.
Speaking at the opening of the 8th AlJazeera International Documentary Film Festival, he said the revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests in the Arab world in the recent past is well-represented in the entries this year.
“We will continue to serve as voice for critics and filmmakers who work for freedom, justice and equality,” he asserted.
The year’s edition, with the theme ‘Future’, received 1,071 entry forms and 682 films from 90 countries.
The final list of films competing for 17 awards includes 168 entries from 59 countries. The festival will run till April 22.
The official opening saw an award being presented to AlJazeera News Channel journalist Tayseer Allouni.
The Syria-born Spanish citizen was the only international correspondent in Kabul in October 2001. He had interviewed Osama bin Laden the same year.
Palestinian director Khalil El Muzayen’s 25-minute documentary on the highly-acclaimed theatre production ‘The Gaza Monologues’ was also screened. It follows the training of 32 young survivors of the war in reliving before an audience their daily lives during the Israeli aggression in 2008-2009.
Some of them have shared their thoughts of the war and how the experience ‘forced’ them to think and act older than their actual age just to survive during those dark days.
Five countries are participating for the first time and Holland is among those that sent the most entries. There are 46 entries in the short, 66 in the medium and 28 in the long films category. The New Horizon Competition for school students and directors with no prior experience has 19 entries while the Promising Films Competition launched last year for university students in Qatar has nine entries.
The festival has a 15 member jury drawn from countries like China, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Russia, Egypt, Italy, Spain, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Greece, Poland and Turkey, apart from Qatar.
The festival will also feature a two-day workshop on ‘Foundations of Filmmaking’ on April 20 and 21 and a photo contest open to all.