The Doha Film Institute is broadening the scope of its partnership with Italy-based Giffoni Film Festival, Europe’s largest film festival for children.

The DFI and Giffoni have worked together for four years, including bringing youth jury members to Doha for the Doha-Giffoni Experience during DFI’s annual film festival, while DFI sent young people to Giffoni to sit on juries there.

Now, after DFI created its Ajyal Film Festival for the Young, DFI is signing a cultural partnership agreement with Giffoni.

DFI will launch the Doha Film Experience, an expanded youth jury programme modelled on the previous Doha-Giffoni Experience to let hundreds of youth jurors vote on Ajyal’s winners.

Abdulaziz Al Khater, CEO of DFI, said: “DFI is moving forward in a new direction, focusing its support on emerging international filmmakers and on galvanising the culture of cinema appreciation in Doha.

“Devising collaborations with like-minded organisations from around the world is part of this thinking. The Giffoni Film Festival has a firmly established reputation for excellence and lengthy experience in exploring cinema for young people. This makes Giffoni an especially effective partner for DFI in enhancing cinema appreciation among Qatar’s youth.”

Claudio Gubitosi, founder and managing director of Giffoni Experience added: “We have been working closely with DFI on various initiatives and we are excited to broaden our collaboration through this cultural partnership.  DFI shares our dedication to engaging and inspiring younger audiences through film and together we can provide stronger platforms for young people from all over the world to share their experiences and discuss film.”

Fatma Al Remaihi, festival director of Ajyal and DFI’s head of programmes, said: “An investment in engaging and encouraging cultural exchange and knowledge in upcoming generations is a valuable and important investment in their – and our – future.

“We are excited to have this opportunity to work closely with Giffoni, as we see tremendous potential to design programming and experiences that will solidify awareness around cinema and give young people the space to express themselves creatively and honestly. With Giffoni’s help, we will continue to encourage today’s young people to take on the challenges of the future, so they can become the artists and professionals of tomorrow.”

The inaugural Ajyal Film Festival for the will run Nov 26 to 30.