Preparations are almost complete at the Sheraton Hotel for the eigth edition of the Al Jazeera Documentary Film Festival. Starting tomorrow morning, the festival is open to the public and runs through Sunday, April 22.
Organizers say the theme of this year’s festival is “future”:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sfAlTDPXhg]
The festival says 168 films will be shown, from 59 different countries, culminating in an award ceremony on Sunday. Fifteen international jurors will choose the recipients of the Al Jazeera Golden Award, as well as prizes for “promising film,” “new horizon,” “children and family” and “public liberties and human rights.”
One film that won’t likely be played is the Iranian documentary “School.” The film’s producer Mohammadreza Abbasian withdrew it from the festival earlier this month to protest what he called Al Jazeera’s silence on “crimes committed by Al Khalifa regime in Bahrain.”
Documentary films start playing from 9am tomorrow, although the official opening ceremonies don’t get under way until around 7pm in the main Al Majlis Hall.
In his film, director Khalil El Muzayen talks about a play called “The Gaza Monologues”, where the youth from Gaza enact the stories of war and siege that they went through during the Israeli aggression from 2008 to 2009. The film also follows the writers of the play and records the training they went through for the play
Also on offer in tomorrow’s line up are two short films by students at Northwestern University in Qatar: ”Behind the Walls,” about female domestic workers in Qatar and “Salma’s World,” about an artistic young Palestinian girl.
Are you going? What do you think about this year’s film selection?