Cannes, France, 18th May 2010 – The international launch event for the Doha Film Institute (DFI) was held on Sunday evening in Cannes, at the Majestic Beach, a stunning venue situated on the Croisette’s beach front.
Celebrated filmmakers, film stars and world dignitaries came together to celebrate the creation of Qatar’s first year-round international cultural film organisation. In attendance were H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Fahad Al-Thani, H.E. Sheikh Jabor Bin Yousef Al-Thani, Martin Scorsese, Elia Suleiman, Bertrand Tavernier, Terry Gilliam, Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir, Amin Matalqa, Bahman Ghobadi, Thierry Fremaux, Tarak Ben Ammar, Jean-Jacques Annaud, Mallika Sherawat, Stephen Baldwin and Khalid Abdalla.
Guests walked the red carpet and arrived to the music of Palestinian singer Dalal Abu Amneh and her band.
The evening started with a special message from DFI Founder H.E Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani launching the new umbrella organisation established to bring all of Qatar’s film initiatives together under one banner.
DFI’s goal is to build a sustainable film industry in Qatar with strong links to the international film community and an education focus for the local community.
Amanda Palmer, Executive Director of DFI also welcomed guests, and then introduced celebrated film director Martin Scorsese.
Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation has signed a three year cultural partnership with DFI to restore and preserve international films of cultural significance.
Craig Hatkoff, co-founder of Tribeca Enterprises along with Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal spoke about the Doha Tribeca Film Festival now entering its second year. DTFF is a cultural partnership between DFI and Tribeca Enterprises.
Guests then enjoyed fireworks, which lit up the Croisette.
Throughout the night, guests enjoyed the world premiere screening of Shadi Abdel Salam’s film The Eloquent Peasant, a classic film made in 1970 and recently restored by the World Cinema Foundation.