DFI set to showcase best of independent American cinema
October 19 2021 11:23 PM
Nine Days
Nine Days

The series launch comes as part of 2021 Qatar-USA Year of Culture
The Doha Film Institute (DFI) is launching two film series to celebrate the best of independent US cinema this month as part of the 2021 Qatar-USA Year of Culture.
The ‘Indie Hits’ programme on October 21 and 22, will feature a selection of popular, independent films from the international film festival circuit.
The ‘Year of Culture Series’ from October 26- 30 showcases five films that have helped shape the trajectory of US independent cinema. Both series will be held at Building 16, Katara Drama Theatre.
The 2021 Qatar-USA Year of Culture is the latest in Qatar Museums' (QM) annual cultural exchange initiative, which was established in 2011 to deepen ties with countries around the world through events such as festivals, exhibitions, screenings, competitions, workshops and talks. Through these activities, QM aims to bring people together using different creative mediums to explore their similarities and celebrate their differences.
In a statement, DFI CEO Fatma Hassan Alremaihi said: “Beyond typical associations of US films with Hollywood blockbusters and studio titles, America and Qatar share an important past and present culture of independent cinema where unheard voices are amplified and celebrated.
“By screening classic genre-defining films alongside ground-breaking recent productions, we take audiences on a journey through the evolution of US independent film, demonstrating the crucial role that it has played in raising awareness of social and cultural topics, and emphasising the unifying power of cinema across borders and cultures”.
US embassy Doha’s Public Diplomacy Officer Samantha Jackson said: “The Qatar-USA Year of Culture encourages dialogue on our bilateral relationship and shared ideals of tolerance and diversity. These discourses via film promote cultural engagement and authentically allows for creatives to comment on contemporary issues, while allowing a global audience to reflect on their own heritage and lives. Filmmaking is an important medium celebrating freedom of artistic expression.”
The ‘Indie Hits’ programme features eight films released over the past five years that have played a significant role in shaping the dynamics of independent cinema. It includes two feature films, kicking off tomorrow (October 21) at 5pm with Nine Days (2020) by Edson Oda (also to be screened on October 22 at 8pm). This will be followed by Minari (2020) on October 22 at 8pm by Lee Isaac Chung. On October 22 at 5pm, the ‘Indie Hits’ series presents a specially curated selection of short films including: Feeling Through (2019) by Doug Roland; A Concerto is a Conversation (2021) by Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers; Dear Philadelphia (2021) by Renee Maria Osubu; Two Balloons (2017) by Mark C Smith; The Elephant’s Song (2018) by Lynn Tomlinson; and Radiance (2017) by Chialing Yang.
The ‘Year of Culture Series’ complements the ‘Indie Hits’ programme by providing audiences with the opportunity to view five of the most iconic films, dating from 1973 to 2017, enabling them to track the progression of Indie film over the past five decades. It commences on October 26 at 7pm with Badlands (1973) by Terrence Malick.
Elephant Man (1980) by David Lynch will be screened on October 27 at 7pm while Jared Hess’ Napoleon Dynamite (2004) is set for October 28 at 7pm.
Amreeka (2009) by Charien Dabis screens on October 29 at 7pm and the ‘Year of Culture’ series comes to a close on October 30 at 7pm with The Rider (2017) by Oscar Award-winning filmmaker Chloe Zhao. All films will be screened at the Katara Drama Theatre. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance via the DFI website www.dohafilminstitute.com

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