The Doha Film Institute (DFI) is shining the spotlight on Qatar’s homegrown talent with the showcase of five Made in Qatar films at the 2017 Sarajevo Film Festival to be held from August 11 to 18.
A total of 12 films supported by DFI, including the Made in Qatar titles, have been selected to take part in one of Europe’s largest film events.
Qatar’s strong participation is further underlined by DFI CEO Fatma al-Remaihi for being chosen as one of the five jury members for the Competition Programme - Feature Film.
The other jury members are writer-director-producer Michel Franco (Mexico), Edinburgh International Film Festival artistic director Mark Adams, actor Goran Bogdan (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia), and Turkish actress Melisa Sozen.
This year, nine films supported by DFI, through its Co-Finance, Grants programme, Qatari Film Fund and other development initiatives, will be screened as part of the festival, in addition to three films – that are Grants recipients and Qumra projects – selected for the CineLink Industry Days, opening doors for the filmmakers to interact with international experts to discuss various aspects of film production.
The DFI supported films to be screened at Sarajevo event include five films by Qatari directors, including Al Johara (2016) directed by Nora al-Subai, Kashta (2016) by AJ al-Thani, Smicha (2016) by Amal Al Muftah, Amer: An Arabian Legend (2016) by Jassim al-Rumaihi, and Aisha al-Muhannadi’s independent venture Makh’bz (2015).
“It is my privilege to serve as a jury member of the Sarajevo Film Festival, with its exceptionally curated programme of feature films that put the spotlight on new approaches to filmmaking, and in presenting compelling stories from different parts of the world,” al-Remaihi said.
“We remain committed to this mission of supporting bold voices in filmmaking from Qatar, our region and beyond, and bringing fresh perspectives and narrative styles to global audiences,” she noted.
Al-Remaihi added that they are looking forward to continue working on joint initiatives with Sarajevo, its cultural partner, to nurture emerging talents in cinema.
Four granted films selected to screen at the Festival include Beauty and the Dogs (Tunisia, France, Sweden, Norway, Lebanon, Switzerland, Germany, Qatar/2017) by Kaouther Ben Hania, Until the Birds Return (Algeria, France, Germany, Qatar/2017) by Karim Moussaoui, City of the Sun (Georgia, USA, Netherlands, Qatar/2017) by Rati Oneli, and Taste of Cement (Syria, Lebanon, Germany, UAE, Qatar /2017) by Ziad Kalthoum.
All these titles have screened at leading international film events including the 2017 Cannes and Berlin film festivals.
Three Qatar-backed films and past Qumra projects will be showcased in the CineLink Industry Days programme, and will benefit from additional guidance from international experts at Sarajevo Film Festival.
The short-listed projects are: iPhone Memory by Mahdi Ali Ali (Qatar); The Maiden’s Pond (Lebanon, Germany, France, Qatar) by Bassem Breche, and Reem Saleh’s What Comes Around (Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar).
Sarajevo Film Festival is marking its 23rd edition this year and builds on its reputation for high-quality programming, strong industry segment, and educational and networking platforms for young talents.
The Festival welcomes film professionals from across the world for its unique selection of Southeast European and international films.