Qatar welcomes Gotham sensibility

Expect to see the best of the West and the East congregating in Qatar for the inaugural Doha Tribeca Film Festival. In addition to Tribeca co-founders Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff making the trans-Atlantic trip, the likes of William Morris Endeavor powerhouse agent Graham Taylor, CAA’s Manny Nunez and indie distrib maven Bob Berney are all expected to attend. Once there, they’ll be able to mingle with some of the most exciting names in the Arab film world, including Elia Suleiman, Nadine Labaki and Amin Matalqa.

The fest kicks off with the Middle East preem of Mira Nair’s “Amelia,” starring Hilary Swank and Richard Gere. Patricia Clarkson starrer “Cairo Time,” Focus Features’ Coen brothers pic “A Serious Man” and Warners’ Stephen Soderbergh pic “The Informant” are also in the lineup. Fest will include features with roots in the region, including Iranian Bahman Ghobadi’s “No One Knows About Persian Cats,” Egyptian Yousry Nasrallah’s “Scheherazade, Tell Me a Story” and Palestinian Najwa Najjar’s “Pomegranates and Myrrh.”

Other fest highlights include a screening of Shadi Abdel Salam’s 1969 version of “The Mummy” and the world premiere of “Assila,” Iraqi helmer Thamer Al Zedi’s animated family feature.

Fest will also be hosting a number of panels looking at a range of industry issues, including the challenges facing the global distribution biz and how one forges a cultural partnership, plus there will be a confab on film financing.

A number of filmmakers, including Danny Boyle, Nair and Suleiman, will lead master classes.

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