Ajyal Film Festival 2021

Films

All Days

  • A Story for 2 Trumpets

    Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

    An enchanting and beautifully crafted animated short, ‘A Story for 2 Trumpets’ tells the tale of a young girl’s evolution into a woman and an artist. Through a series of spellbinding pastel vignettes accompanied by dreamlike music, we are whisked into a surreal world where metaphors and personal experiences melt together. A captivating tale about metamorphosis, adolescence and how the creative process can draw inspiration from all of life’s experiences.

    Amandine Meyer / France / Short Animation

  • 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

  • An Invisible Apprentice

    Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

    Despite the shimmering lights, upbeat music and assumed fun of her roller disco class—something is weighing heavy on the shoulders of 12-year-old Inés. Her dance class is a planned distraction, one that was meant to take Inés away from the flashing and beeping lights of her ailing sister’s EKG machine. Learning balance in more ways than one, the young girl begins to compartmentalise her feelings in this nostalgic 80s short about maturation, family, illness and hope.

    Emilia Herbst / Argentina / Short 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Canary

    Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

    Canary birds are highly sensitive to their environments. Because of this, they were often used in mining as an indicator to see if the air was safe to breathe. Young Sonny doesn’t like mining much, and he trains his pet canary to play dead so they can take the day off. A prank that leads to unintentional disaster in this well-crafted animated short about honesty, integrity, and friendship.  

    Pierre-Hugues Dallaire, Benoit Therriault / Canada / Short Animation

  • 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

  • Displaced

    Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

    In post-war Kosovo, driven by the ambition of keeping their beloved sport alive, two local players wander from one obscure location to another, carrying the club's only possession—their ping pong tables. In an environment of hopelessness, ravaged by forced migration, the dedicated pair cling to the pursuit of bringing their sport back to its pre-war level of success—a dream that almost seems impossible given the challenges they face.

    Samir Karahoda / Kosovo / Short 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

  • The Eternal Melody

    Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

    When an elderly woman living high in the mountains with her grown son is visited in a dream by her late husband, mother and son go to great lengths to help ease his passage to the next world. Religion, spirituality, and the universal human condition are intricately woven in this tale about the agony of accepting loss—while navigating the dissonance between letting go and holding onto that which has passed

    Niranjan Raj Bhetwal / Nepal / Short Narrative