In a bid to drum up interest ahead of Qatar’s first children-focused film festival, the Doha Film Institute has been sending out a motley crew of anime characters to popular spots across the city.
Characters including Nintendo’s Princess Zelda, Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII and Howl from Hayao Miyazaki’s popular film Howl’s Moving Castle mingled with residents at Landmark Mall, Souq Waqif and the Corniche, among other places.
All of the characters are sporting #ajyal13 hashtags, to represent the upcoming Ajyal Youth Film Festival, which runs from Nov. 26 to 30. The theme of this year’s festival is anime, and will include an “Otaku” exhibition with galleries showcasing the works of anime and manga-inspired local artists and social clubs.
There will also be a cosplay (costume) contest on Nov. 29 with awards for Best Male, Best Female, Best Group, and Open Category.
The headline show for the festival is Miyazaki’s last film, “The Wind Rises.”
The focus on Japanese animation will ideally generate interest in the festival among young people. In previous years, DFI has put on a joint film festival with New York-based Tribeca, but that partnership ended in April.
Tickets for Ajyal are now on sale online and at Katara and City Center Mall.
Have you spotted any anime characters around town? Thoughts?