Continuing the international recognition gained by films supported by Doha Film Institute (DFI), eight films have been selected to screen at the upcoming 2016 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
Seven grant recipients, along with The Salesman, will screen in key programming strands at the festival’s 41st edition, to be held from September 8 to 18.
In a statement, DFI stressed that “as part of its commitment to promoting filmmaking talents in Qatar and offering them platforms to strengthen their understanding of global cinema and foster international networking”, the institute will host two Qatari filmmakers — Hafiz Ali Abdulla and Meriem Mesraoua — at TIFF. They will participate in a series of targeted workshops, networking events and industry meetings.
Fatma al-Remaihi, CEO of DFIe, said: “The significant showcase of eight films supported by Doha Film Institute at TIFF 2016 is a matter of great pride for us. It underlines the quality of our selection process that supports new and established voices from the Arab world and beyond.”
Two grant recipients mark their world premiere at TIFF: Blessed Benefit (Jordan, Netherlands, Germany, UAE, Qatar/2016) by Mahmoud al-Massad and Off Frame AKA Revolution Until Victory (Palestine, France, Qatar/2016) by Mohanad Yaqubi.
In another first, By the Time it Gets Dark (Thailand, Netherlands, France, Qatar/2016), directed by Anocha Suwichakornpong, has been chosen in the Wavelengths programme at TIFF, which celebrates daring, visionary and autonomous voices that expand the notions of cinema. The film had its world premiere at Locarno. Also at TIFF is another DFI grantee, White Sun (Nepal, Netherlands, US, Qatar/2016) by Deepak Rauniyar, a TIFF Talent Lab alumnus.
Closely following their success at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, where they premiered, four films supported by DFI have made the cut at TIFF, too. These include The Salesman, written and directed by Asghar Farhadi, which won top honours at Cannes — including the Best Screenplay and Best Actor awards in the official competition section.
The Salesman is produced by Memento Films Production and Asghar Farhadi Production and co-produced by Arte France Cinema in association with Memento Films Distribution and DFI.
The other films supported by DFI, which were screened at Cannes this year and are making their North American debut, include Apprentice (Singapore, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Qatar/2016), directed by Junfeng Boo; Mimosas (Spain, Morocco, France, Qatar/2016) directed by Oliver Laxe, winner of the 2016 Nespresso Grand Prize awarded by the Jury of the Cannes Critics Week and Divines (Morocco, France, Qatar/2016), the debut feature by Houda Benyamina that scooped the coveted Camera d’Or prize at Cannes this year along with a special mention from SACD for debut film in the Directors’ Fortnight section.
Additionally, five films supported by DFI are also being screened at the ongoing 73rd Venice Film Festival. These include White Sun by Rauniyar screening in the Orizzonti section and The Last of Us (Tunisia, UAE, Lebanon, Qatar/2016) by Ala Eddine Slim, selected to screen in the International Critics’ Week segment. The other three grantee projects – Poisonous Roses (Egypt, France, Qatar/2016) by Fawzi Saleh, One of These Days (Lebanon, Qatar/2017) by Nadim Tabet and Ghost Hunting (Palestine, France, Switzerland, Qatar/2016) by Raed Andoni have been selected to screen as work in progress at the Final Cut in Venice.
The selection at TIFF follows the win by DFI-supported films gaining top acclaim at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and Sarajevo Film Festival. At Sarajevo, 15 films supported by DFI, including several films ‘Made in Qatar’ by local talents, were screened in August this year.
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