The Doha Film Institute (DFI) underlined its commitment to nurturing emerging voices in cinema from across the world Saturday at Cannes Film Festival 2023 with the announcement of the recipients of its 2023 Spring Grants cycle.
A total of 29 films from 18 countries have been selected for the current cycle of the Middle East region’s longest-serving film development initiative that has supported over 750 diverse projects from 75 countries to date. Awarded in two cycles – Spring and Fall, the Institute Grants programme has evolved as one of the flagship film funding initiatives focused on strengthening a vibrant creative ecosystem and supporting emerging voices from all over the world to help them realise their cinematic aspirations, a press statement notes.
The Grants support projects that include feature and short narratives, documentaries and experimentals as well as TV series. In addition to Qatar, recipients of the 2023 Spring Grants include film projects from Algeria, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Lebanon, Mongolia, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sudan and Tunisia.
Recipients include 12 women filmmakers and 10 returning grantees along with four projects from Qatar-based talent, underlining the Institute’s commitment to supporting important voices and the continued evolution of independent cinema from the region and beyond.
Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, chief executive officer of DFI, said: “We are on a mission to discover and promote original and independent voices in cinema, and have had the great privilege of supporting the most powerful and important voices from the region and beyond through our Grants programme. Our Spring Grants 2023 reinforces our continued commitment to filmmakers globally who have once again impressed us with the diversity and depth of the original themes they are exploring in their stories. This current cycle of projects was chosen from hundreds of compelling submissions, and we are proud to bring these soulful stories to global audiences.”
The 2023 Spring Grants recipients are:
  • Mena – Feature Narrative – Development
'Kohl & Cardamom' (Egypt, Sweden, Qatar) by Fady Atallah.
'Rabies' (Lebanon, Qatar) by Sandra Tabet.
'To Bled or Not to Bled' (France, Algeria, Qatar) by Azedine Kasri.
  • Mena – Feature Narrative – Production
'A Quarter to Thursday in Algiers' (Algeria, France, Belgium, Qatar) by Sofia Djama.
'Aicha' (Tunisia, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar) by Mehdi M Barsaoui.
'Aisha Can’t Fly Away Anymore' (Egypt, Tunisia, Qatar) by Morad Mostafa.
'La mer au loin' (France, Qatar) by Said Hamich Benlarbi.
  • Mena – Feature Narrative – Post-Production
'Back to Alexandria' (Switzerland, France, Qatar) by Tamer Ruggli.
'East of Noon' (Egypt, the Netherlands, Qatar) by Hala Elkoussy.
  • Non-Mena – Feature Narrative – Post-Production
'Banel & Adama' (France, Senegal, Mali, Qatar) by Ramata-Toulaye Sy.
'Excursion' (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Norway, France, Qatar) by Una Gunjak.
'Lost Country' (France, Serbia, Luxembourg, Croatia, Qatar) by Vladimir Perisic.
'The Women' (Germany, Italy, Qatar) by The Maw Naing.
'Ze' (France, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Germany, Qatar) by Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir.
  • Mena – Feature – Experimental/Essay – Development
'Tell it to Bridges' (Lebanon, Qatar) by Ali Hammoud.
  • Mena – Feature Documentary – Production
'I Am One of Them' (Poland, Qatar) by Nadim Suleiman.
  • Mena – Feature Documentary – Post-Production
'The Language of Fire' (Algeria, France, Qatar) by Tarek Sami.
  • Non-Mena – Feature Documentary – Post-Production
'Ozogoche' (Ecuador, Qatar) by Joe Houlberg.
'Rising Up at Night' (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Belgium, Germany, Burkina Faso, Qatar) by Nelson Makengo.
  • Mena – TV Series – Development
'Dyouf' (Guests) (Palestine, Qatar) by Saleh Saadi.
'Halaa’ (Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar) by Amal al-Muftah.
  • Mena – Web Series – Production
'The House That My Mother Built' (Sudan, Qatar) by Alyaa Musa.
  • Mena – Shorts – Narrative – Production
'Autumn' (Qatar) by Aisha al-Jaidah.
'The Experiment' (Qatar) by Abdulla Alhor.
'The Day I Smoked a Cigarette with My Father' (Egypt, France, Qatar) by Sameh Alaa.
  • Mena – Shorts Documentary – Production
'Playground' (France, Qatar) by Mohamed Mesbali.
  • Mena – Shorts – Experimental/Essay – Production
'No Reaching Hand' (Qatar) by Batla Aldosari.
'L’mina' (France, Morocco, Qatar) by Rande Maroufi.
'The Grocery List' (Bahrain, Qatar) by Taqwa Ali.
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