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Doha Film Institute strengthens support to national film talent with the launch of ‘Qatari Film Fund’

Dec 04, 2014

  • New fund for Qatari directors and writers builds on history of education, development and financial support from the Doha Film Institute
  • Up to four feature films and eight short films to be supported by the Fund; invitations to open early next year
  • At least one feature film will be selected for production in 2016 by the Qatari Film Fund

Doha, Qatar; December 4, 2014: Further strengthening its commitment to national film talent, the Doha Film Institute has launched a dedicated ‘Qatari Film Fund’ to support short and feature filmmaking by Qataris. The new film development, production and post-production fund was announced by Fatma Al Remaihi, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute and Director of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, at the screening of the ‘Made in Qatar’ films at the second Ajyal Youth Film Festival.

The launch of the Qatari Film Fund will offer another avenue of support extended by the Institute for the growth of home-grown talent. The second Ajyal Youth Film Festival features one of the largest showcases to date of more than 20 films made by Qataris and residents who call Qatar home in the ‘Made in Qatar’ section which forms the heart of the festival.

To be rolled out early next year, the Qatari Film Fund will develop up to four feature films and will develop and produce up to eight short films every year through two application sessions for Qatari directors and writers. At least one of the four feature films in development will be selected the following year for production support by the Qatari Film Fund through mentoring and financial support.

Feature film treatments and screenplays at varying levels of progress will be eligible for development funds up to QAR 182,500 which include bespoke mentoring opportunities provided by the Doha Film Institute.

Short films are eligible for a combined development and production budget of up to QAR 182,500 and will include mentorship, equipment and production support from the Institute. The Doha Film Institute will work closely with the selected applicants through all stages of production to assist in the realisation of their films.

Al Remaihi said: “The Qatari Film Fund marks a new phase of support for Qatari filmmakers. In recent years, we have witnessed a welcome growth in the local industry in both the volume and quality of films we are seeing, evidenced by the high level of participation by Qatari talent in our Made in Qatar showcase at the Ajyal Youth Film Festival.”

“Through film, and in fact, all forms of culture and entertainment, we reflect ourselves. We reflect our human experience – our beliefs, custom, tradition, language and our culture. Nurturing the creative community of our own country is vital to accurately reflect our stories on screen – so that we can share them amongst ourselves and also with the rest of the world. It is with this in mind that we launch the Qatari Film Fund and I am confident that it will add another exciting dimension to the Qatari film industry.”

Currently, filmmakers are supported through the Doha Film Institute Grants Programme, which provides development, production and post-production funding to filmmakers from Qatar, and first- and second-time filmmakers from around the world. Additionally, the Institute also provides creative and logistical support for, and financial contributions to, work by filmmakers from Qatar through its education programmes.

More details and the application process for the Qatari Film Fund will be announced early next year. The Doha Film Institute will work jointly with each granted project to develop and finalize their script, establish a budget and schedule, secure a creative and technical team to shoot the film and provide mentorship opportunities with industry specialists where required.

The Made in Qatar showcase is being screened on Thursday, Dec. 4, and Friday, Dec. 5. ‘Made in Qatar 1’ features several short films made as part of a collaboration between the Doha Film Institute and Seha, the National Health Insurance Scheme for the State of Qatar, through which the directors have made films about Qatar’s tradition of care.

The ‘Made in Qatar 2’ programme includes seven independent productions as well as six winners from the Tarsheed Short Filmmaking Competition organised in collaboration with Kahramaa in celebration of Earth Day 2014 to raise awareness about water and electricity conservation. Both screenings are free of charge but ticket reservations are required to secure a place.

The second annual Ajyal Youth Film Festival is being held until December 6 at Katara Cultural Village. The programme consists of daily public screenings of local and international films; family days; special events and exhibitions; the Sandbox interactive digital playground; school screenings; and the Doha Film Experience.

For more details on the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, please visit www.dohafilminstitute.com/filmfestival