Posted on May 13, 2011

The first major movie produced by the Doha Film Festival (DFI), starring a host of Hollywood names, will premiere at the 2011 Doha Tribeca Film Festival in October. Co-produced with Quinta Communications, Arabian epic Black Gold is the first major international co-production for DFI and Qatar.

Starring Antonio Banderas, Freida Pinto, Tahar Rahim, Mark Strong, Riz Ahmed and Liya Kebede, the film is an epic adventure adaptation of Hans Reusch’s classic novel The Great Thirst. The film’s prominent battle scenes were shot in the spectacular desert dunes of Mesaieed and Shamal, in Qatar – over a four week period. “DTFF 2011 is the perfect launching platform for Black Gold,” said Sheikh Jabor Bin Yousuf Al Thani, DFI Festival board member.

Freida Pinto pictured in a scene from Black Gold. (Quinta and David Koskas)

Amanda Palmer, DFI executive director, added: “We are increasingly empowering local storytellers and working harder than ever to build a long-term film industry in Qatar.” Tarak Ben Ammar, CEO of Quinta, said: “Black Gold has been my dream project for more than 30 years. I am delighted that the film will now receive its world premiere in Qatar.”

The DFI was launched last year with the aim of allocating significant funds to produce 10 movies per year. DTFF 2011 will showcase an internationally diverse programme of about 40 films. The second edition of the festival, which wrapped on October 30, 2010, featured 51 films from 35 countries including four world premieres.

Nearly 42,000 movie-goers attended the Festival screenings and events. Celebrities in attendance included Robert De Niro, Salma Hayek Pinnault, Julian Schnabel, Freida Pinto, Hiam Abbas, Yosra, Adel Imam, Mira Nair, Kevin Spacey, and Rachid Bouchareb.

source: Arabian Business