A scene from the anime film The Wind Rises.
DOHA: Critically acclaimed anime film The Wind Rises will open the first Ajyal Youth Film Festival to be held by Doha Film Institute from November 26 to 30.
This will be the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) premiere of the film which is a tribute to the Japanese art form anime, followed widely by the youth in the Middle East.
Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, the film derives inspiration from a short story written by mid-20th century poet, writer, and translator Tatsuo Hori, which fictionalises the life of the designer of the fighter aircraft Mitsubishi A5M and its successor, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, both of which were used in the Second World War.
Fatma Al Remaihi, Festival Director, said: “Promising a showcase of international films, the festival pays tribute to one of the world’s most followed art forms.
“Anime is popular with the youth in the Middle East and our opening night film celebrates the final work of legendary filmmaker Miyazaki. It’s very exciting for us to have the work of such a prolific filmmaker screened at the launch of our festival. The Wind Rises is billed as one of the most critically acclaimed anime films of this generation.”
Starring Japanese animator and film director Hideaki Anno; Japanese actress and former musical performer, Miori Takimoto; actor Hidetoshi Nishijima; and theatre and film actor Masahiko Nishimura, among others, the film depicts the story of Jiro Horikoshi, a young boy living in a provincial town. With a career spanning over 50 years, director, animator, manga artist, producer, and screenwriter, Miyazaki, has attained international acclaim as a maker of anime feature films.
He began his animation career in 1961 and has directed 20 features, including Howls’ Moving Castle, My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Castle in the Sky, among others.
The tribute also includes Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro  by Hayao Miyazaki; Horus: Prince of the Sun , by Isao Takahata; Panda and the Magic Serpent , by Taiji Yabushita and Kazuhiko Okabe. Closing the curtain on the tribute will be Garden of Words  and Voices of a Distant Star  by Makoto Shinkai.
The screenings will be complemented with community-wide activities, including the Otaku Exhibition that celebrates works of local and regional artists paying tribute to the anime culture.