Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF), the annual cultural event of Doha Film Institute (DFI), to be held from November 17 to 24, 2012, is putting the spotlight on home-grown talent with a selection of 19 films by local filmmakers based in the country, including nationals and expatriates.
This year marks the largest showcase of Made in Qatar films so far, highlighting the significant strides achieved by the country’s emerging film industry with 15 world premieres, as part of the overall Festival line-up of more than 87 films being screened from across the globe.
The 19 films to be screened from 70 submissions include three feature films, all of which will make their world premiere at the Festival. The films will also compete for the Made in Qatar development award of US$ 10,000 to be evaluated by an independent jury.
This year, Made in Qatar films will be screened under four programmes: New Hopes – with five films exploring themes around hope and pain; Through Their Eyes – featuring ten short stories of love and friendship as well as introspective documentaries; Angel in June – the story of a young, charitable girl based on real-life events and set in the Filipino community of Doha; and Thriller Night – a collection of three thrilling films by Qataris including a feature that offers a unique meditation on what is beyond life as we know it.
His Excellency Mr. Issa Bin Mohammed Al-Mohannadi, DTFF Vice Chair, said: “One of the founding mandates of Doha Film Institute and DTFF is to promote a culture of filmmaking in Qatar. Made in Qatar, the largest so far, demonstrates the success of the concerted efforts in creating a robust filmmaking industry locally by identifying and nurturing talent. The films in the selection will surprise viewers with their thematic intensity and narrative style. Most importantly, it offers glimpses of life in Qatar and will resonate with the local community.”
Among the three feature-length films in Made in Qatar are Lyrics Revolt, by Shannon Farhoud, Ashlene Ramadan, Melanie Fridgant and Rana Khaled Al Khatib, a documentary that started as a student project at Northwestern University in Qatar, explores the Arab Spring through hip hop artists of the Middle East; Lockdown, the first zombie thriller directed by Mohammed Al-Ibrahim and Ahmed Al Baker and Angel in June, by Jan Xavier Pacle, the story of a young, charitable girl based on real-life events and set in the Filipino community of Doha. The screening of Lyrics Revolt will be followed by a hip hop concert for the community at the Katara esplanade.
Chadi Zeneddine, Resident Filmmaker and Programmer at DFI said, “The diversity in content and narrative styles demonstrates the strong evolution of local filmmaking over the past few years. Talented youngsters as well as experienced professionals are screening their films in the Made in Qatar programme. The common thread in all these movies is the creativity of the filmmakers to push beyond the obvious and create heart felt moments from ordinary situations”.
With an expanded Festival format this year, DTFF 2012 will showcase over 87 films from across the globe under distinct themed categories including Arab Film Competition, Made in Qatar, Contemporary World Cinema and Special Screenings.
Made in Qatar section at DTFF 2012 includes:
Angel in June
Jan Xavier Pacle
While most youngsters her age are concerned with play, 13-year old Angel is a kind and altruistic girl who busies herself with making the world a better place, despite developing symptoms of a terrible illness. Inspired by real-life events, the story takes place in the Filipino community in Doha.
Lockdown: Red Moon Escape
Mohammed Al-Ibrahim, Ahmed Al Baker
While Saif and Rashid are out in the desert fixing a flat tire, they encounter the unimaginable: a pack of zombies on the loose. Saif escapes, but when a military task force jails him, he finds himself surrounded by supernatural beings. Will he ever escape this living nightmare?
Feature Documentary- Qatar, Syria, Palestine, France, Lebanon-2011
Shannon Farhoud, Ashlene Ramadan, Melanie Fridgant, Rana Khaled Al Khatib
As pro-democracy revolutions spread through the Arab world, one sound in particular is echoing the hopes, dreams and frustrations of its people: hip hop. ‘Lyrics Revolt’ captures leading Arab artists who employ the sharp political edge of hip hop during this game-changing time for the MENA region and beyond.
Director:Tarek Abu Esber
Every afternoon, Ahmed Al Jaber leaves his majlis to drive one of his breathtakingly designed vehicles – adorned with flags, golden ornaments and lights – on the Corniche in Doha. What motivates him to put on this spectacle on the streets of Qatar?
Sara Al-Saadi, Maaria Assami, Latifa Al-Darwish
‘Bader’ is the story of a young boy trying to find his place in an all-boys’ elementary school. The documentary highlights the boy’s struggle with his identity, and how he comes to rely on poetry to help him overcome his challenges.
Brains of Empowerment
An experimental film about the empowerment of women in the Middle East. When a woman in traditional Qatari clothing pursues her quest to defy social norms and do what her heart desires, other women follow in her footsteps. As a result of this powerful decision, amazing brains manifest themselves.
Noor Ahmed Yaqiub
An emotional journey about a Qatari girl named Noor. Stricken with cancer, she suffers from her dark reality, which is reflected through her paintings and has begun to haunt her dream world.
Ghazil – (Ghazil-The Story of Rashed & Jawaher)
A strict family; a jealous cousin; society as enemy. The story of two devoted hearts fighting against everything they know. How far would you go for love? A 20-minute film inspired by Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, set in the Gulf sometime in the early 1900s.
An exploration of an unexpected friendship between a Qatari woman and the man who cleans the streets of her neighbourhood. One day, she finally decides to ask for his name…
Who is this little insect disturbing the Zen mood of a reader in the era of the revolutions?
A psycho demands perfection in every aspect of his life. When he notices that his friend has an asymmetrical face, he decides to take matters into his own hands.
A single-shot drama inspired by a true story about a delivery boy who was captured by Mubarak’s regime on January 28, 2011 – the third day of the Egyptian revolution.
Omra Il-Ashab (Omra with the Friends)
Short Narrative- Jordan, Palestine-2012
Qatar University students embark on a journey to Mecca and Madina to perform their omra during Spring Break. Ibrahim Arar brings along his point-and-shoot camera, and captures an authentic story revealing the character, humour and friendships inspired by a time-honoured tradition with modern-day twists.
The brief moment when a man waits to find out if he is going to be a father. A time for reflection on the life he has lived and a plan that was never mastered or realised.
This animated adaptation of a Middle Eastern folktale follows Rain on a journey into the desert. After a tragic event, he seeks refuge in a drought-stricken Bedouin camp, where he is challenged by expectations that arise from his name. Unable to meet the demands of his hosts, Rain resorts to spirituality and hope.
A cheerful fasting ant looking for fatoor meal during Ramadan tries to rescue her kingdom from a Qatari gardener.
Two boys on a typical night at the movies speak loudly to one another and exchange text messages while the audience are trying to watch the film. Something is about to happen.
Short Documentary- Qatar, Philippines-2012
Robert Arlo DeGuzman, Kennedy Somera
Dream-like images and reflections address the issues around imagining the concepts of home, identity and belonging.
Short Narrative-Qatar- 2012
Director: Riad Makdessi
Set in the slightly surreal world of Doha, a city of expatriates, amid a landscape of luxurious lifestyles, in ‘8 Billion’, two young people find that they are not only lost in an unfamiliar culture far from their families but, more significantly, they are lost in their own self-inflicted isolation.
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