Ajyal Film Festival 2021

Films

All Days

  • After Yang

    Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

    Based on a short story by Alexander Weinstein, ‘After Yang’ is a compelling drama set in the alarmingly near future where domestic robots pervade our daily lives. A young couple, Jake and Kyra, adopt a daughter named Mika. To help her understand her place of birth and culture more, they also purchase an android as a carer and teacher—Yang. Forming a strong bond with her new companion, Mika is inconsolable when Yang malfunctions. As a discontinued model that was bought outside of the conventional channels, Jake faces an existential quest to repair Yang.

    Kogonada / United States of America / Feature Narrative

  • As Time Passes

    Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

    'As Time Passes' is a poetic series of captivating vignettes tracing the filmmaker's family roots from east to west and their experience as a diaspora. Through journal entries, a mother's words, neighbourhood stories, and existential inquiries, one still searches for meaning beyond the walls of their mind. Tinged with sadness and longing for a sense of self, the film reminds us; "In the depths of darkness, seeds are planted. We begin to yearn for light—only to find that we, ourselves, are the light".

    Jamil McGinnis / United States of America / Short Documentary

  • Burros

    Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

    In southern Arizona, twenty miles from the Mexico border, a young Indigenous girl discovers a Hispanic migrant her age who has been separated from her father while travelling through the Tohono O’odham tribal lands into the United States. Unable to communicate, Elsa takes her through her community and ultimately to her grandmother, Gagi, who speaks Spanish and bridges the language barrier. ‘Burros’ is an emotional story set in a complicated place in the world, but at its core, it is a story about finding connection.

    Jefferson Stein / United States of America / Short Narrative

  • Farrucas

    Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

    Hadoum, Fatema, Sheima and Sokayna are four teenagers from El Puche, a marginalised suburb in the Spanish city of Almería. Proud of their Moroccan and Spanish roots, the girls help each other navigate life’s challenges in their underprivileged neighbourhood and underfunded schools. Full of dreams and hope, their self-confidence is put to the test during Fatima’s 18th birthday in this compelling short narrative about identity, expectation, and free will.

    Ian de la Rosa / Spain, United States of America / Short Narrative

  • My Sister Liv

    Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

    When eight-year-old Tess learned that her mother was pregnant, she was not excited at the prospect of a sibling. But with the birth of little Liv, who had the same fiery red hair as her older sister, an unbreakable bond was formed that, sadly, was torn apart too soon. Liv grew into a young woman full of energy and with incredible musical talent, but even as a child, she suffered from anxiety and depression until she was driven to a radical solution. Tess was left with a void in her life that she decided to fill by working with teenagers who have the same difficulties as Liv did.

    Alan Hicks / Australia, United States of America / Feature Documentary

  • On The Surface

    Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

    ‘On the Surface' is a short contemplative animation about a young Black woman who goes swimming in the Icelandic Sea. There, she reflects on her experience of raising a child in a country that feels nothing like home. She relives her traumatic pregnancy and postnatal depression as she enters the freezing water. Facing her fears, she begins to relax in the deep wild abyss—helping her to heal on her emotional journey.

    Fan Sissoko / Iceland, United States of America, Mali / Short Narrative

  • Same Old

    Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

    Lu is a Chinese immigrant living day to day on tips from his job as a delivery worker. He supports his wife and ailing mother as they desperately try to make ends meet in the unforgiving city. One night, his bicycle, and in essence his livelihood, is stolen from him. He’s forced to embark on a desperate journey to reclaim it in this poignant short about the precarious position many zero-contact hour employees regularly find themselves in.

    Lloyd Lee Choi / United States of America, Canada / Short Narrative

  • The Territory

    Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

    ‘The Territory’ follows the vital, inspiring fight of the Indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau people of Brazil to defend their land from non-Indigenous farmers intent on colonising their protected territory. Co-produced by the Uru-eu-wau-wau community, the film draws on intimate access to both the Indigenous perspective and the farmers who want their land to chronicle a conflict that has profound implications for the survival of a people and the planet. The community has faced environmentally destructive and often violent incursions into their sovereign territory by nonnatives seeking to exploit the land. Illegal logging and land clearing incursions have become more frequent and more brazen over the years.

    Alex Pritz / Brazil, Denmark, United States of America / Feature Documentary