Posted on October 16, 2017

Following the success of the first edition in 2016, the Doha Film Institute has opened applications for the 2017 edition of its Producers Lab to be held from November 12 to 18 with the aim to strengthen the creative, financial and strategic skills of film producers based in the Middle East and North Africa region. The six-day programme includes intensive training exercises, group tutorials, one-to-one meetings and masterclasses by industry experts.

Focusing on various aspects of producing a feature-length documentary and fiction film, the DFI Producers Lab also aims to strengthen co-productions in the MENA region by bringing together intimate groups of serious and like-minded producers. Promoting networking opportunities along with skills-building, the programme will also offer insights on film marketing and distribution, with an in-depth focus on targeting the right audiences, understanding international markets and employing effective sales tactics.

Fatma Al Remaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute, said: “Our year-round programmes focus on diverse aspects of filmmaking – and one of the most crucial is the role of film producers who support the voice of the directors and have a greater responsibility in shaping an impressive project. It is important that producers gain stronger insights on the filmmaking process, enabling them to develop even more creative ventures. Through the Producers Lab, we aim to strengthen the skills of producers and in turn contribute to building a strong homegrown film industry for the MENA region.”

The DFI Producers Lab is designed for producers, investors, financiers, directors or anyone interested in entering the filmmaking business in production. Open for those with a project in development stage with a director/screenwriter associated to the project, the workshop aims to be a small and intimate event with a maximum of 10 participants, allowing room for special attention to be given to each project. The deadline for receiving applications is October 29, 2017. For submission requirements and to apply, log on to:

DFI's Producers Lab from Nov 2 [].jpg

The DFI Producers Lab will highlight the responsibility of several types of producers – such as creative producer, co-producer, associate producer, line producer and executive producer – as well as highlight the producer’s approach to script and development, structural analysis and creative production. Many case studies will be presented throughout the sessions, enabling participants to address questions related to script development, executive production, finance and budget plans, marketing, pitching and distribution. Industry standard technical documents and templates, such as the budget financing plan, distribution and sale strategy samples, and treatment examples, will be shared with participants and discussed in detail.

Mentors for this cycle include:

  • Jovan Marjanović, Head of Industry of the Sarajevo Film Festival and producer of a number of award winning documentaries, shorts and feature films is the Lab Leader. Violeta Bava, renowned producer from Argentina and co-director of BAL, a leading co-production market for Latin American films is the Lab Advisor. A film producer since 1994 (Hedi 2016), Dora Bouchoucha was Head of Fonds Sud and President of the CNC Aide aux Cinemas du Monde Fund is the Producer Expert while Raquel Cabrera Simón, from the Film Agency, a world leading Film Marketing consultancy is the Marketing Expert.
  • Aranka Matits, the founder of Featurette, a specialized consultancy for sales and distribution, is the Sales Expert. Jad Abi Khalil, a founding member of Beirut DC and head of the Beirut Cinema Platform; and Jana Wehbe, who is attached to several award-winning films from the region, are the Projects Coaches. Rounding up the line-up of mentors is Jani Thiltges, Head of Studies for EAVE and renowned producer.
  • Violeta Bava will discuss the chronology of the development process and the role of the producer/creative producer, while Jovan Marjanović will explain how the money works. Raquel Cabrera and Aranka Matits will discuss film marketing, sales and distribution based on their experience of the acclaimed film, Theeb. Jani Thiltges, will present a detailed overview on the European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs, a professional training, project development and networking organization for audiovisual producers.

This year, one of the participating projects will be selected to attend the prestigious 2018 EAVE Producers Workshop.