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

  • Bigman

    Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

    Dylan and his best friend Youssef share the same dream of becoming professional footballers after they finish school. They practice diligently every chance they get, coached by Dylan’s huffish but good-humoured father. The team sets their sights on winning the coveted Touzani Cup. But a tragic accident leaves Dylan partially paralysed and unable to play. Stubbornly, Dylan refuses to accept the new limitations of his disability. With the help of Maya and the boys on his team, he searches for new ways to participate in his beloved sport in this inspiring feature about friendship, determination, and the will to win.

    Camiel Schouwenaar / Netherlands, Germany / Feature Narrative

  • Comedy Queen

    Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

    Sasha is 13 years old and wants nothing more than to become a stand-up comedian. She wants to make everyone laugh, especially her father, who cries in the shower when he thinks no one is listening. Behind her eyes, the unhealed tears also burn on Sasha, but she refuses to mourn her mother, who has passed away in tragic circumstances. Instead, she secretly writes a list of everything she must do to survive—shave her hair, stop reading books, say no to the world’s cutest puppy and above all—become a Comedy Queen.

    Sanna Lenken / Sweden / Feature Narrative

  • Dounia & The Princess of Aleppo

    Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

    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.

    Marya Zarif, André Kadi / Canada, France / Feature Narrative

  • Dragon Princess

    Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

    Bristle is a young girl with a very unusual childhood—she is being raised by a dragon! A little different from her two dragon brothers, Bristle makes her own way in the world. But since she is not quite human and not fully animal, she finds it hard to fit into either kingdom. One day a frog sorceress visits her father, Dragon, and demands he gives her his second most-prized possession. After Bristle has exposed their secret cave to the humans, Dragon is furious and offers up his only daughter. Wrought with despair, Bristle flees and embarks on a journey of discovery into the world of humans.

    Jean-Jacques Denis, Anthony Roux / France / Feature Narrative

  • Our Brothers

    Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

    December 5th, 1986. Thousands of students take to the streets of Paris to protest the harsh higher education reforms. Twenty-year-old Abdel Benyahia attempts to break up a bar fight but is tragically shot dead by a drunken police officer. Just hours later, Malik Oussekine is pursued and beaten to death by three police officers from the controversial motorcycle unit. As revolt threatens to erupt amidst a population horrified by Malik’s murder in the heart of their city, the families of both victims, while never meeting, struggle to understand what really happened that night.

    Rachid Bouchareb / France / Feature Narrative

  • The Apple Day

    Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

    ‘A’ is ‘Apple’, or more appropriately in Farsi—’S’ is for Seeb. Young Mahdi is learning the alphabet and his teacher has the creative idea of rooting the new letters in real-life objects. Since Mahdi’s father is an apple seller by trade, his duty is to bring each student an apple for the class on ‘S’. A simple enough task on the surface. But when the family’s van is stolen, it sets off a series of events that make 30 apples seem like a herculean challenge—one which older brother and young hero, Saeed, is determined to accomplish.

    Mahmoud Ghaffari / Iran / Feature Narrative

  • Until Tomorrow

    Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

    Fereshteh is a young mother facing a serious dilemma. On the surface, she is relatively happy, studying and working in a print shop in Tehran, with dreams of one day travelling abroad. But her parents are coming to visit, and she has kept a secret from them—her two-month-old daughter. Born out of wedlock and with little help from the father, Fereshteh and her trusted friend Atefeh must resort to increasingly desperate measures to keep her baby hidden and safe in a city with limited options for a mother living outside of traditionally accepted family norms.

    Ali Asgari / Iran, France, Qatar / Feature Narrative