Three films supported by the Doha Film Institute (DFI) have been selected for the 72nd edition of the Locarno Film Festival, which takes place from August 7-17 in Locarno, Switzerland.
DFI’s latest co-financed project, To the Ends of the Earth by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, will screen as the closing night gala of the festival. The celebrated Japanese director, screenwriter, and author was nominated for the Golden Leopard award – the top prize at Locarno – in 2013 for his sci-fi drama Real.
DFI grant recipients South Terminal by Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche and 143 Sahara Street by Hassen Ferhani will also screen at the leading event and represent important voices in filmmaking from the Arab world.
“This is another strong achievement for the institute, that underlines our mandate to support high quality films from the region and the world. It is exciting to see these films mark their premieres at an important festival like Locarno, widely regarded as a key platform to discover new and interesting filmmakers and compelling content that offer fresh perspectives,” Fatma Hassan al-Remaihi, CEO, DFI, said.
“We remain committed to support projects that reflect the cinematic ambitions of talented filmmakers and contribute to world cinema through their captivating story-lines and unconventional narrative styles,” she stressed.
“I am especially proud that celebrated auteur Kurosawa’s new film will have its international premiere at the event. To the Ends of the Earth presents fascinating perspectives on life that reflect human hopes, aspirations and challenges,” al-Remaihi added.
To the Ends of the Earth (Japan, Uzbekistan, Qatar), written and directed by Kurosawa, is a journey of enlightenment that follows an inward-looking and cautious TV host, Yoko, as she follows the ancient Silk Road through Uzbekistan with her team in their search to capture a legendary fish. The film’s cast features both Japanese and Uzbek actors including Ryo Kase, Shôta Sometani, and Adiz.
Ameur-Zaïmeche’s South Terminal (France, Qatar) tells the story of a doctor who is plunged into the chaos of a civil war, striving to do his duty against all the odds until one day his life turns upside down.
Halfway between a war chronicle and a political thriller, South Terminal is Ameur-Zaimeche’s sixth feature film. Born in Algeria and raised in France, Ameur-Zaïmeche was nominated for Locarno Film Festival’s Golden Leopard award for Smugglers’ Songs in 2011.
Meanwhile, 143 Sahara Street (Algeria, France, Qatar) by Ferhani tells the quiet story of Malika, a woman who runs a small restaurant in the middle of the Algerian desert.
DFI’s funding initiatives offer creative and financial support to filmmakers based in Qatar and around the world, helping them unlock their artistry, manage their productions effectively and make high-quality films.
The Grants Programme provides development, production and post-production funding to filmmakers from Qatar and around the world.
The Doha Film Institute Co-Financing invests in strategic partnerships with film projects that are culturally relevant and commercially viable. The Institute also has the Qatari Film Fund, dedicated to supporting short and feature filmmaking by Qatari directors.