The Doha Film Institute has launched ‘Producers Lab,’ a programme to mentor emerging talent from the region through a six-day workshop in different aspects of producing films.
First of its kind in the region, the programme will cover key areas to support the development of documentary and narrative films.
The Lab is an opportunity for emerging local and Gulf-based producers to develop their skills with the mentorship of noted industry experts, and focuses on the creative, artistic and strategic aspects of producing short or feature-length documentary and fiction films.
Fifteen projects, including ten from Qatar, have been selected to take part in the Lab.
Five feature narratives, five feature documentaries and five short narratives will be mentored through the programme, with Qatari projects participating in all three categories.
Fatma al-Remaihi, chief executive officer of Doha Film Institute, said: “Doha Film Institute recognises the rise of emerging talent in the region and the fundamental role producers play in defining, supporting and influencing the voice of filmmakers.
The first Producers Lab highlights our commitment to nurture the next generation of filmmakers, and help them cultivate a refined sensitivity to balance between the creative and financial aspects of filmmaking.”
Evaluated by an expert panel of judges, the selected projects are distinguished by their diversity of themes; compelling documentary, narrative approaches; distinctive cinematic treatment and format. The Lab aims to enable the talents associated with these projects to address important and nuanced questions related to script development, executive production, finance and budget plans, marketing, pitching and distribution.
The chosen projects include feature narratives such as Iter Baghdad - Alaa Alasad (producer - Jordan); Coming of Age -  Ania Wojtowicz (producer - Poland/America) & Sara al-Obaidly (director- Qatar); Five Days of Grace - Saleh Nass (director/producer - Bahrain); You Will Die at Twenty - Amjad Abu Alala (director/producer - Sudan) and The Sense of Emptiness - Oksana Shumylo (Ukraine).
The selected feature documentaries are: To the Ends of Earth - Hamida al-Kawari (director/producer - Qatar); A Man on Fire - Louai Haffar (producer - Lebanon); Jamharics: The Children of Zion - Nadine Drummond (producer - UK); Stuck in My Name - Mohamed Refaat (producer - Egypt) and Absence -  Fatma Riahi (producer - Tunisia).
Short narratives in the programme are: The Dog’s Children - Layan Abdul Shakoor (producer - Saudi Arabia); The Play - Fahad al-Obaidly (director/producer Qatar); Spot - Latifa al-Darwish (director/producer Qatar); Is That All There Is?  - Eiman Merghani (director - Sudan) & Ghouna Jaber (producer – Jordan) and The Left Shoe - Ibrahim Korayem (producer – Egypt/Canada).
The Producers Lab is led by industry experts including Dora Bouchoucha, renowned producer and the founder of the Carthage Film Festival Projects Workshop; Jad Abi Khalil, the head of the Beirut Cinema Platform; Jovan Marjanovic, the head of Industry at Sarajevo Film Festival; Mohamed Hefzy, a  prominent scriptwriter and producer in the Arab world; and Violeta Bava, co-founder of BAL, a leading co-production market for Latin American films and a programmer of the Buenos Aires International Film Festival.