Ajyal Film Festival 2021

Ajyal Film Festival 2022

Dounia & The Princess of Aleppo

Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

Marya Zarif, André Kadi / Canada, France / 2022 / 72 min / Colour / Unknown / In French / Arabic, English subtitles
Rated: Parental guidance is advised. Some material may be inappropriate for young children.

Screenings

  • Wed, Oct 5 - 3:30 PM
    Katara Building 16, Drama Theatre
    Fee: 0 QAR

Synopsis

Six-year-old Dounia loves to play, learn and discover new recipes. She lives with her grandparents and father in Aleppo and treasures hearing stories of her mother, who tragically passed away when Dounia was too young to remember. One night, a group of uniformed men take her father away, and an uneasy feeling begins to take hold. War has begun, but her grandparents do their best to shelter the young girl from its effects. As bombs drop around them, the family decide to flee in search of a new home with only a few possessions—and a little magic in hand.

Their perilous journey takes them across land and sea. Joined by other fleeing refugees, the motley crew find some solace in each other through shared songs and stories. Dounia’s more traumatic encounters are eased in child-like flights of imagination thanks to her magic 'baraki' seeds. The film deals with quite a heavy subject matter in displacement, war and loss, but the protagonists’ upbeat attitude and grit, along with enchanting musical scenes, make it an optimistic experience full of hope and wonder.

Director

Marya Zarif

A multidisciplinary artist, Maria Zarif has developed skills in multiplatform design, screenplay writing and direction and has fifteen years of experience in content for young audiences. In 2015 Marya co-founded ‘Je Veux Jouer’ (I Want to Play), a foundation whose purpose is to transform the lives of Syrian refugee children through games. In 2020, she created, wrote and co-directed her first animated web series, ‘Dounia’. ‘Dounia and The Princess of Aleppo’ is her first feature film.

André Kadi

A multidisciplinary artist, Maria Zarif has developed skills in multiplatform design, screenplay writing and direction and has fifteen years of experience in content for young audiences. In 2015 Marya co-founded ‘Je Veux Jouer’ (I Want to Play), a foundation whose purpose is to transform the lives of Syrian refugee children through games. In 2020, she created, wrote and co-directed her first animated web series, ‘Dounia’. ‘Dounia and The Princess of Aleppo’ is her first feature film.

Credits

Screenwriter
Marya Zarif
Producer
Judith Beauregard
Music
Pierre Yves Drapeau
Cast
Rachaf Ataya, Elsa Mardorissian, Manuel Tadros