Former Dune exec to help Qatari group pick film projects

Qatari media group Alnoor Holdings has tapped Dune Entertainment chairman and chief exec Greg Coote to its board as a non-exec director.

Dune Entertainment, which is allied with hedge fund Dune Capital Partners, most recently co-financed James Cameron’s “Avatar” with 20th Century Fox and Ingenious.

Coote will work closely with Alnoor execs to identify potential projects to finance and produce.

In October last year, Alnoor announced it was launching a $200 million film fund to invest in up to 15 feature films for the international market in the next five years.

“The studios recognize that the business of producing filmed entertainment outside of the U.S. is an important growth area of this worldwide industry,” said Coote. “I look forward to helping expand Qatar as a creative base in the Middle East and beyond.”

Coote previously served as the founding president of Village Roadshow Pictures and headed up international theatrical for Columbia Pictures.

His appointment is the latest sign of Alnoor’s ambitions — as well as those of the state of Qatar — to become a global film biz player.

Alnoor also has announced it will be financing a $150 million feature project about the Prophet Mohammed. Barrie Osborne (“The Lord of the Rings,” “The Matrix”) is onboard as exec producer.

An announcement on the creative team behind the project will be made in coming weeks, possibly in time to coincide with the two-day confab on the business of film that Alnoor is organizing with the Financial Times. Confab unspools March 22-23.

The Qatar Foundation, which is headed up by the emir of Qatar’s wife, Sheikha Mouza, is financing a planned $30 million-$40 million biopic of Sufi Muslim poet Rumi.

Qatar also inked a deal with Tribeca co-founders Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff to launch the Doha Tribeca Film Festival last year. Fest’s second edition will take place in October.

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