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Qatar puts film on the map in Middle East

Qatar has quickly emerged as a potential Middle Eastern film hub. The tiny Gulf state, which is hosting the FT Business of Film Summit this month, inaugurated the Doha Tribeca Film Fest last October.

Event, which came out a deal with Tribeca co-founders Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, is the brainchild of Sheikha Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, chair of the Qatar Museums Authority Board of Trustees and daughter of the emir of Qatar.

The Doha Tribeca Film Festival is expanding in size and scope in its second year.

Fest, which unspools Oct. 26-30 in Qatar this year, will be a day longer than the inaugural edition and will also launch two competitions for best Arab film and best Arab filmmaker. Both those prizes will be worth $100,000 each.

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

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