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Sports film fest ends.

Left to right: Abdulla, Prof. Franco Ascani, Ibrahim Arar, 1st prize winner. Left to right: Mohamed Farid, Prof. Franco Ascani and Dr. Christian Wacker at the opening ceremony. The Qatar Sports Film Festival, the first of its kind in the region, concluded yesterday at Alriwaq Doha Exhibition space.

The two-day event was organised by The Youth Company, a social enterprise for youth development, and the Qatar Olympic & Sports Museum, under the patronage of FICTS (Federation Internationale Cinema Television Sportifs).

Its objective was to promote the art of screenwriting and filmmaking in the world of sports and the Olympics, while also encourage the engagement with sports and a healthy lifestyle.

The festival started with official opening and award ceremony on Friday, May 24, at 5pm, with welcome speeches by Dr. Christian Wacker, Director of Qatar Olympic & Sports Museum and Yusuf Hayat, Deputy Executive Director of The Youth Company. Prof. Franco Ascani, the President of FICTS and member of the IOC Commission for Culture and Olympic Education, greeted the audience and expressed his honor to attend the festival while waving Qatari flag.

The ceremony was then followed by screenings of top five short sports films, submitted for QSFF Short Film Contest, which has been running for the past two months. After each screening the audience had a chance to interact with directors, producers and actors and enjoy entertaining performances by Abdulla, football freestyler, and Dylan and Colin, demonstrating Frisbee tricks.

The opening ceremony announced the winners. Ibrahim Arar, who received the first prize of QR10,000 for the film Sport Dancer, said: "I have been working with films in the past, but not professionally. This award is the initial step for me on the road of filmmaking and I am truly inspired to go forward in this field." The short film Sport Dancer features the story of Abdullah, football freestyler, who won Red Bull Street Style Qatar championship in 2009 and 2012.

The short film Segunda Naturaleza, directed by Alberto Gutierrez from Mexico, took the second prize of QR8,000 and it features the story of bicycle rider. The third prize winners, Colin Herrington (Canada) and Dylan Finol (USA), who are residing in Saudi Arabia now, took QR6,000 for their short film Frisbee Trick Shots. Both students at The KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology) School, they have been practicing frisbee tricks since several years now and were inspired by famous frisbee trick shot star Brodie Smith while creating their film.

During two days the public had a chance to enjoy free screenings of various sports documentaries.

All the films featured individual stories of people, professional sportsmen or sport lovers in racing, mountaineering, surfing, basketball or running, all united by their passion for sports.

"We are extremely grateful to all partners, supporters and guests, who helped us to realise the first sports film festival in Qatar", said Yusuf Hayat, Deputy Executive Director of The Youth Company. "We hope, that with QSFF 2013 we can start an annual initiative and bring it to the bigger scale in the future".

Gulf Times Newspaper 2013

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:May 26, 2013
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