Spotlight saved for homespun talent

This year’s Doha Tribeca Film Festival has saved a spotlight for homespun talent.

Made in Qatar, the fest’s annual showcase of local films, will feature the largest swath yet of Qatari pics, including three features: the hip-hop centric docu “Lyrics Revolt,” by Shannon Farhoud, Ashlene Ramadan, Melanie Fridgant and Rana Khaled Al Khatib; “Lockdown,” a zombie thriller from Mohammed Al-Ibrahim and Ahmed Al Baker; and “Angel in June,” a historical drama set in Doha’s Filipino community from Jan Xavier Pacle.

Expats and locals alike submitted more than 70 films for the contest. The Made in Qatar lineup will feature 19 screenings, 15 of which are world premieres. The selected filmmakers will also angle for a Made in Qatar development award of $10,000, to be selected by an independent jury.

This year marks the fourth installment of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, an annual weeklong celebration of both Arab and Western cinema that caps the yearly efforts of the Doha Film Institute, Qatar’s first independent organization devoted specifically to promoting film education and production.

Fest will open with Mira Nair’s DFI-funded “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” marking its Mena premiere. The 19 Made in Qatar films are part of a line-up of 87 pics set to unspool running Nov. 17-24.

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