DOHA, Qatar

Dozens of Qatari business leaders gathered Sunday afternoon at the St. Regis Doha for a Doha Film Institute panel on film financing, yet another installment in DFI’s long-term bid to build a sustainable, independent film industry from the ground up.

Hosted by Miramax and chaired by DFI head of film financing Paul Miller and media finance advisor Hal Sadoff, the panel, dubbed “Investment Strategies in the Global Film Industry,” featured six industry financers from the U.S., U.K. and France.

Sheikh Hamad Bin Faisal Bin Thani Al-Thani, one of Qatar’s most influential business figures, said in his opening remarks that by teaching local investors the particulars of film financing, they could change the region.

“I’m positive the panel will inspire businesses to invest in local, regional and global films but its not just about business,” he said. “Film can also inspire and drive social change and address important issues and subjects that can influence culture.”