Curtains go up on the fourth Doha Tribeca Film Festival, the annual cultural event of Doha Film Institute (DFI), today with a red-carpet ceremony and the gala screening of renowned director Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, co-funded by DFI.

An array of film talent from Qatar, the Arab film industry and international cinema will attend the opening night ceremony to be held at Souq Waqif, that is hosting the festival along with Katara Cultural Village and the Museum of Islamic Art.

With an expanded format this year, DTFF 2012, to run through November 24, will showcase over 87 films from across the globe under distinct themed sections, including Arab Film Competition, Made in Qatar, Contemporary World Cinema, Special Screenings and Tribute to Algerian Cinema.

The Arab Film Competition at DTFF has the distinction of being the only competitive film festival event in the region dedicated to Arab talent.

This year’s selection of entries for the Arab Film Competition marks the powerful evolution in the cinematic sensibilities and approaches of the region’s filmmakers, representing Egypt, Qatar, Tunisia, Algeria, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

More than 27 films, including seven documentaries, seven narrative features and 13 shorts from 10 Arab countries are competing for total prize money of over $440,000.

This year, the festival  has the largest showcase of “Made in Qatar” films so far, highlighting the significant strides achieved by the country’s emerging film industry. In all, 19 films made in Qatar, including 15 world premieres, will be screened. These films will also compete for the “Made in Qatar” development award of $10,000 to be evaluated by an independent jury.

DTFF 2012  has a strong representation of international cinema, with 21 films in the Contemporary World Cinema section and 12 Special Screenings.

The films have been drawn from across the world with representation from both established markets such as France, Germany, India, Iran, UK, China and the US and Festival debutants, including Kazakhstan, Senegal, Ethiopia and Iceland.

The festival will  pay tribute to Algerian cinema with a selection of movies to mark the 50th year of the country’s independence, in addition to a tribute to the popular Indian director Yash Chopra, and a programme to highlight the 40th year of diplomatic relations between Qatar and Japan.

Highlighting DFI’s mandate to sustain film education and appreciation, DTFF will  have a series of industry events and panel discussions evaluating the diverse aspects of filmmaking – from story development, implementation of technology, to distribution.

DTFF’s “Doha Talks” will feature a series of 13 industry events, special screenings, and extended Q&A sessions with renowned filmmakers, including Mira Nair and Robert De Niro. Another key component of the festival, Doha Projects, will pave the path for 40 DFI grantees to network with regional and international film experts through one-on-one meetings and exclusive sessions.

DTFF will  host an extensive line-up of family and youth-centred activities, including family day screenings, kid’s red carpet experiences, DFI kids access programme, stage performances, roaming entertainment and performers, art and craft workshops, sports, storytelling, puppetry, games, film-making activities and performances from local schools and community groups, among others.

Katara will  come to life with a host of musicians and performers, including the Mighty Jokerz breakdance group, Capoeira Martial Arts Demonstrations, Team Spirit Drum Circles, the Marasi Ensemble from the Qatar Music Academy and Doha Jazz,  in addition to fire dancers, acrobats, and percussionists, all celebrating the collaboration of film, music and the arts.  Page 20

Related Story