Industry programmes to focus on the impact of media on young audiences.

The inaugural Ajyal Youth Film Festival (Nov 26-30), presented by the Doha Film Institute, has unveiled a series of industry events under the theme ‘Our Children First!’.

The festival will feature a two-day industry forum (Nov 27-28) to discuss the influences of media and the impact it has on younger audiences.

The first day will focus on Mossowa-Equality and is aimed at encouraging interaction and dialogue among industry professionals, shedding light on the importance of media literacy and looking at the reach and influence of media.

‘Getting Social with media; let the games begin,’ is a panel dedicated to social media and gaming. It will highlight the latest trends in media, and look at how new media can play a vital role in elevating a product, content, or communication; while the ‘Production Forum’ will show how local content has captured audiences – from Bollywood to Hollywood.

Day two will begin with a discussion on local productions, specifically looking at what is needed to produce quality local programmes for children. The next session is on animation, and who the creators of quality animation for young people are.

Policy, research, and regulation are the topics for the afternoon, where panelists will discuss policies in filmmaking in the Middle East and North Africa. Thereafter, an in-depth understanding of film festivals, and its role in creating opportunities for distribution, marketing and financing.

AYFF festival director Fatma Al Remaihi said: “It’s very important that our young and aspiring filmmakers not only learn about the process of filmmaking, but also understand how the media can play a big part in influencing a film or project. 

“The Our Children First! forum at the festival will provide an interactive platform to discuss issues related to the creation of original content for young audiences; from the likes of social media helping grow and build support, right through to understanding how local productions create quality programmes.

“This aims to bring together local, regional and international experts working in children and youth media who are keen to collaborate and exchange knowledge.”

More details on Ajyal Youth Film Festival can be found at