During a press conference held at Katara’s Amphitheatre on Sunday, 26 November, the Cultural Village Foundation – Katara officially announced the inauguration of the fourth annual British Festival in the honourable presence of the General Manager of the Cultural Village Foundation – Katara, HE Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, the British Ambassador to Qatar, HE Ajay Sharma and Dr Frank Fitzpatrick, Director British Council Qatar.
The Festival runs from 26 November to 8 December and has been organised by the British Council in partnership with the British Embassy, with the Cultural Village as the strategic cultural partner. This year the Festival features a variety of events for all the family, including public art and architecture, films and musical performances.
On 29 November winners of the Unlimited Doha Design Prize, along with special guest speakers will hold a panel discussion on architectural themes, covering the topics of ‘Transformation of The Built Environment in Doha and Its Impact on the Architectural Identity’ and ‘Everyday Life and Public Space’. This event is being run in partnership with Qatar University’s Faculty of Engineering and University College London – Qatar.
Twenty-ninth November will also see the launch of the Ajyal Film Festival, organised by Doha Film Institute and supported by the British Council. The Festival includes the Ajyal Competition as well as public screenings of family-friendly short and feature-length films, and a series of works made in Qatar. Young film judges from the UK and around the world will be invited to Doha to sit on the jury and choose a winning film. The Festival will run from 29 November to 3 December, with the closing ceremony and screening of the winning film on 4 December.
Art and architecture will meet at Katara, where there will be a maze representing the streets of old Doha. There will also be a selection of traditional Qatari games. Children can enjoy creating their own collages of the existing streets of Doha and will be able to design their dream spaces. The maze will be open to the public from 30 November to 6 December, with the first weekend dedicated to families.
The Sheikh Faisal Museum is the venue for a Health and Lifestyle UK Alumni networking event on 2 December. UK and Alumni speakers will focus on health and lifestyle topics throughout the evening. An exhibition of UK branded cars will be available to attendees, with a special Formula 1 car.
The 2017 Qatar British Festival finale will be held on 8 December at the Abdul Aziz Nasser Theatre, Souq Waqif. Celebrated conductor-composer James Shearman is coming to Doha to conduct the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra at the closing event of the 2017 Qatar British Festival. ‘The Planets’ and other works from the UK such as James Bond 007 will be performed alongside music from Independence Day, The Bridge on the River Kwai and many more. The performance will conclude with the world premiere of Qatari composer Dana Alfardan’s latest composition.
Other events during the British Festival include British Festival Tea Time at the Shangri-La Hotel from 26 November and ‘Jingle All The Way’, a concert by the Doha Singers on 30 November at the Shangri-La Hotel.