Fest expands to eight days in November

After opening Venice, Mira Nair’s “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” will have its Middle East premiere in November at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, which has also announced the appointment of Issa M. Al Mohannadi as its vice chair and its new expanded dates.

The Doha Film Institute entirely financed Nair’s $15 million political thriller, which turns on 9/11 and tackles complex related issues of morality and personal identity.

“I think this film can help bridge the different opinions and points of view between East and West around a very important event,” Al Mohannadi said. “That is the kind of dialogue we are hoping to create with our festival.”

Al Mohannadi said his role will be to help the local community engage more with the fest, which aims to lay the foundations for a strong local film industry in the region.

To this end, DTFF has expanded from five days to eight, running Nov. 17-24.

It will spotlight Algeria’s50 years of independence from France with a showcase of classic and more recent Algerian pics, a way of fostering increased awareness of the region’s cinematic heritage.

Al Mohannadi specified he is not the replacement for Doha Film Institute’s exec director Amanda Palmer, who stepped down in July to launch a talent agency and production shingle for Arab talent.

Palmer set up the fest, ran its first three editions and launched several local film training programs and film financing initiatives.

“We are in the process of replacing the previous director,” Al Mohannadi said.

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