Posted on July 07, 2015

The Doha Film Institute has announced the four feature film grant recipients of the Qatari Film Fund, underlining its commitment to strengthen the framework of the nation’s cinematic landscape. The four feature films will join the recently announced line-up of nine short films set to receive support within the first cycle of the funding programme, created to develop up to four feature films, in addition to developing and producing up to eight short films every year.

Over the course of the programme, the Doha Film Institute will work with the four filmmakers to develop and finalise their scripts; outline and implement budgets and production schedules; secure creative and technical teams; and provide mentorship opportunities with industry specialists. The fund’s structure allows for at least one of the four feature films in development to be selected for further production support in 2016.

Drawing inspiration from faith, family, cross-cultural friendship and self-discovery, the four feature films serve as a window into the creative aspirations of Qatar’s emerging filmmaking talent. Fatma Al Remaihi, CEO of the Doha Film Institute, said: “Our goal has always been to inspire, nurture, and empower a generation of storytellers who can champion the growth of our film industry into the global arena; and the line-up of the feature films selected for the Qatari Film Fund are a testament to this vision.”

“The newest additions to the Qatari Film Fund slate not only represent the next generation of Qatari filmmakers, but underscore the importance of providing multi-faceted support to enable these filmmakers to hone their skills and make their creative vision a reality.” Under the Qatari Film Fund, feature film treatments and screenplays at varying levels of progress are eligible for development funds up to QAR 182,500, which includes bespoke mentoring opportunities provided by the Doha Film Institute through its international network of industry professionals.

DFI announces 4 Qatari films to receive 2 [].jpgThe four feature films selected for development are:

Kakashi’ directed by Yousef Al-Moadhadi and written by Hind Al-Ghawi: Kakashi, a Japanese man, lives in a permanent state of panic and insecurity. His fiancée Sayuri has moved to London and has become unsure of her desire to marry this nervous wreck. To get out of the situation, she places what she thinks is an impossible demand on Kakashi: she tells him he must meet her in London. Kakashi, who is terrified of flying and has never boarded an airplane, has no choice but to undertake the mission or lose his true love. When a passport mix-up leaves him stranded in Qatar, Kakashi is plunged into a series of culture-clash adventures that draw him into Khaleeji society and transform him into the man he needs to be.

The DNA of Love’ directed by Hafiz Ali Ali and written by Tom Abrams: After the death of his Qatari wife, a retired engineer decides to visit the United States to find Sofia, the daughter who has been lost to him since his first wife left Qatar 20 years earlier. Meanwhile, after the death of her American mother, Sofia travels to Doha to find answers to her mother’s secret past. Each character must deal with their loss and the challenges of a new and unfamiliar world as they search for each other.

Superpower’ written and directed by Mohamed Al Mahmeed: ‘Superpower' is the story of Jassim, a cancer-ridden Qatari teenager who returns home to his dysfunctional family after spending time in hospital. Fatma, Jassim’s loving, religious sister, notices her brother’s anxiety and their parents’ lack of concern for him. Jassim shows her a list of the tallest buildings in the world, which he would visit if he were not ill. Fatma convinces Jassim to run away with her to visit the buildings, in Dubai, New York City, Tokyo, Shanghai and Mecca. When their parents learn of Jassim and Fatma's adventure, they join them in New York, which becomes a battleground for the whole family. As Jassim and Fatma continue their trip, they come to understand who they are, their faith and their dreams.

Little River’ directed by Sheikha Shaikha Al-Thani: In Mecca, Amna meets an older woman named Mariam, who works for an organisation that assists exiled citizens. All through their conversation, Mariam asks the younger woman, “What happened to your sister?” Through flashbacks, Amna reveals the story of her sister Alya and her father, an alleged state criminal, who refuses to give up his home and the river. A tale of faith, betrayal and love, ‘Little River’ examines the dynamics of family and society and the pain of remembrance, all rooted in the poetry of Jalal Ad-Din Rumi, thoughts from ‘Don Quixote’ and a well-known ayah from the Qur’an: “Verily with every difficulty there is relief”.