Program supports emerging Arab filmmakers

The Doha Film Institute has launched Doha Projects to support and nurture emerging Arab filmmakers who have received its grants.

More than 100 international industryites will lead grantees through one-on-one meetings, plenary sessions, panels and networking events during the four-day Doha Projects program, which will unspool during the Doha Tribeca Film Festival at the end of the month.

Participants include Fortissimo Films topper Michael J. Werner, Egyptian producer and Film Clinic founder Mohamed Hefzy, Louverture Films topper Joslyn Barnes and producer and Wild Bunch head of acquisitions Rita Dagher.

The initiative will build on DFI’s film financing division, launched in May to bankroll Middle Eastern and North African filmmakers, and link projects with mentors and financiers for longterm support.

“We hope to take our relationship with regional filmmakers beyond finance, and into a realm where we can have longterm impacts on their development,” said DFI exec director Amanda Palmer. “There is no doubt that we believe in these filmmakers and their stories and as a financier we have a responsibility to ensure that films are not only made, but made to their full potentials — that means from creative, authentic and business perspectives.”

She said the initiative was not only the next step toward building a strong regional infrastructure to support Arab storytellers, but also would help to promote the region as a viable market for international film production and distribution.

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