VIS students participate at Ajyal Youth Film Festival 2017



Karl Rydlo, Physical Education Teacher / Department Head, Vision International School, Qatar


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About twenty high school students from both boys’ and girls’ divisions of Vision International School took part in the fifth annual Ajyal Youth Film Festival in Doha, Qatar.

Ajyal, meaning ‘generations’ in Arabic, invites people of all ages to come together and discuss cinema through events that inspire creativity and interaction. Driven with the goal to inspire and create, Ajyal Youth Film Festival has been designed to empower the region’s youth and to inspire film enthusiasts in a fun and collaborative environment, where young people can express themselves through the beauty of film.

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The festival was held at Katara Cultural Village from November 29 - December 4, 2017. The largest to date, it screened 103 films from 43 countries, including 20 feature films and 83 short films, illustrating the ability of storytelling to transcend borders, transform minds and touch hearts.

Since the beginning of academic year 2017/2018, VIS students have been taking an elective Film Study class taught by Ms. Sukey Oleson and Mr. Karl Rydlo. Together with 550 other youngsters from 45 countries, aged between 8 and 21, the students screened and voted on four feature and ten short films, including the award winning animated film “The Breadwinner”. Executive-produced by celebrity actress Angelina Jolie, the film portrays a tale of female empowerment and imagination in the face of oppression, and a celebration of the culture, history and beauty of Afghanistan. The festival also featured Ajyal Talks, a series of open discussions about real, globally relevant issues and the power that film can have in increasing awareness. Subjects included child trafficking, the way media influences perceptions and the power of art in overcoming adversity.

Ajyal Youth Film Festival and beyond

Vision International School students will further expand their knowledge in film-making by continuing to participate in the elective Film Study class that has been be offered in partnership with Doha Film Institute. Dr. Bobbi McDaniel, Girls’ Division Principal, introduced the program to VIS at the beginning of 2017/2018. The ultimate goal of the program is to produce a short film that will be featured in the “Made in Qatar Category” at next year’s Ajyal Youth Film Festival.


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