Wednesday, 05 December 2018 18:08

The diary of the five jurors at the Ajyal Film Festival: "Giffoni has opened the door to a new world"

"For a week we left behind our habits, family, friends and everyday life, and went on a journey which we trusted would be a great opportunity. Giffoni has opened the door to a new world". These are the emotionally charged voices of the five giffoners Luisa Fiore Annunziata, Pasquale Catino, Nicole Maria Rosaria Pagano, Marta Quarello and Valeria Visciani returning from the Ajyal Film Festival. The event, in its sixth edition, was held in Doha up to December 3rd. To accompany the jurors in Qatar Natascia De Rosa, Head of the Jury Office of the Giffoni Experience.

"It's hard to adequately express our gratitude for having been chosen as the five lucky jurors to take part in Ajyal, an incredible film festival for kids that takes place in the pulsing heart of Qatar - they explain - our expectations were high and were satisfied immediately, from the moment we met ".

The term "Ajyal" in Arabic translates "generations", referring to over 500 children and youth of different nationalities who have animated all of the past editions of the festival. The jurors are divided into three categories: Mohaq (translated "new moon" includes children aged 8 to 12), Hilal (the "crescent moon" with youngsters aged between 13 and 17) and finally Bader ("the full moon" from 18 to 21 years old).

"There has been a remarkable evolution in our relationship, we found ourselves at the airport, we were shy and silent at first and then came full circle and are now friends more than ever, bound by indelible memories - they continued - we were so excited, for some this was the first trip alone and for others the first experience outside of  Europe and it scared us a little to discover a culture so different from ours. However, the reception was extraordinary and we could not have expected anything better ".

Among the talent that the jurors have met during the event there was also Evangeline Lilly, better known for her portrayal of Tauriel in the trilogy of "The Hobbit" (She was also recently in Giffoni thanks to the preview of "Ant-Man and The Wasp" also starring Paul Rudd, during the 48th edition of the Festival) and Tom Felton, the ruthless Draco Malfoy of the Harry Potter saga.

"Katara will always remain in our hearts, with its colors and its wonderful people - they continued - the heart of the festival where we met extraordinary people like Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Evangeline Lily, solar and incredibly sweet and Tom Felton, who was a part of our childhood thanks to his role in Harry Potter, every day. The films in competition were very diverse and, in one way or another, exciting. It was a pleasure to meet the protagonist of the winning film, 'What Walaa Wants' ". Then they added: "This experience has enriched us deeply, giving us more unique and rare moments, such as the excursion in the desert or the visit of the Souq Waqif, the most important market in Doha. We put ourselves in the shoes of the kids who, every year, we host in Giffoni. Inevitably our cultural baggage has been enriched, having been in close contact with jurors coming from all over the world, we will carry them forever in our hearts and we cannot fail to feel lucky to have known them ".

A festival that will remain indelible in the lives of the five giffoners: "We will miss them, we will also miss the incredible work of the festival organizers, the typical food, hospitality, the climate that kind of brought us back in the summer. We do not know if we could ever participate in the Ajyal again or visit Doha again, but it is certain that these days are now cherished in the drawer of our best memories, and they will never be lost ".