Seventeen films made with the support of the Doha Film Institute, including two co-financed projects and 15 recipients of the Institute’s Grants programme, are being showcased at the 12th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) to be held from 9 – 16 December 2015.
Fatma Al Remaihi, CEO of the Doha Film Institute, said:
It is tremendously exciting to watch films supported by the Doha Film Institute take wings and gain the spotlight at international festivals. This year, we have the largest contingent of films supported by the Institute screening at DIFF. It underlines the success of our mission to support Arab filmmakers and emerging talent to enable them to tell their stories to the world. All 17 of these films showcased at DIFF have a unique identity and represent the creative competencies of the new generation of regional filmmakers.’
Headlining the line-up are The Idol (Palestine, UK, Qatar, The Netherlands; 2015), directed by Hany Abu-Assad, which marked its Middle East premiere in Doha last week as the opening gala of the third Ajyal Youth Film Festival; and Bilal (UAE; 2015), directed by Ayman Jamal and Khurram H. Alavi, which also screened during Ajyal where its World Premiere was the closing night gala. Both films are co-financed by the Doha Film Institute.
The recipients of the Institute’s Grants programme include: The Foreign Son (Algeria, France, Qatar) directed by Abdallah Badis; We Have Never Been Kids (Egypt, UAE, Qatar) by Mahmood Soliman; and Nawara – The Light Blue Satin Robe (Egypt, Qatar) by Hala Khalil; and Samir in the Dust (Algeria, France, Qatar) by Mohamed Ouzine; all four films will have their World Premiere at DIFF 2015.
Mustang (Turkey, France, Germany, Qatar) by Deniz Gamze Ergüven; and Dégradé (Palestine, France, Qatar), directed by Arab Abunasser and Tarzan Abunasser are recipients of the Institute’s Fall Grant 2014. Both are screening at DIFF 2015 following their World Premiere at the Cannes Film Festival 2015.
A recipient of the Spring Grant 2015, 3000 Nights (Palestine, France, Jordan, Lebanon, UAE, Qatar) by Mai Masri; Madame Courage(Algeria, France, Qatar), recipient of Spring Grant 2015, by Merzak Allouache; and Go Home (Lebanon, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Qatar), directed by Jihane Chouaib and recipient of the Institute’s Fall Grant 2011 are the other feature narratives in the line-up.
The short films granted by the Institute that are having their World Premiere at DIFF 2015 include: In the Future, They Ate from the Finest Porcelain (Palestine, UK, Qatar) by Larissa Sansour; and The Boss (Iraq, UAE, Qatar) by Rzgar Hussein. Also screening are Waves ’98(Lebanon, Qatar) by Ely Dagher, which won the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at the Cannes Film Festival 2015; Mariam (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar) by Faiza Ambah;
Two films supported by the Doha Film Institute have been short-listed for the IWC Filmmaker Award from luxury Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen at DIFF 2015. Only three films vie for the cash prize of US$100,000, which is presented to a feature-length fiction film. The filmmakers are invited to DIFF’s Dubai Film Market to present their project. The two nominees, supported by the Institute, are: Sahaab (Qatar) by Khalifa Abdullah Al Muraikhi; and Scales (Saudi Arabia, Qatar) by Shahad Ameen.
The Doha Film Institute’s grants programme has supported more than 220 films since its inception in 2010. The next round of grantees will be announced at the end of December.
Image caption: L-R: Director Hany Abu-Assad, Arab Idol Winner Mohammed Assaf, Producer Amira Diab and Doha Film Institute CEO Fatma Al Remaihi on the red carpet at the regional premiere of The Idol on the opening night of the third annual Ajyal Youth Film Festival