×

Doha Film Institute Steps Up Documentaries and TV Series Grants

The Doha Film Institute, which is at Cannes as a co-financier of Elia Suleiman’s competition entry “It Must Be Heaven,” has announced the 37 projects receiving its Spring Grants, roughly half of them to be directed by women.

The latest batch of mostly Arabic fare set to tap into support from the DFI, a key driver for Middle East filmmakers, will comprise a slew of documentaries and two TV series, which “reflects the type of content currently in demand from streamers,” said DFI director of financing Hanaa Issa.

TV series represent a new strand of funding for the DFI, initiated with the previous grants cycle. The standout TV project is “Faraya,” a series presented by emerging Lebanese helmers Nadim Tabet (“One of These Days”) and Mounia Akl (“Beirut, I Love You”). It’s about “an inexperienced police officer investigating the death of a cleaning lady at a high-end ski Lebanese resort whose poor judgment triggers a series of violent events,” according to the synopsis. The production company is Beirut-based Abbout Productions.

DFI CEO Fatma Al Remaihi said plenty of submissions for TV projects have been coming in, prompting “a debate within our funding committee about how much should be allocated for TV series versus film,” adding that they will not set quotas for film and TV and that their philosophy of “quality and merit” will stay the same.

Issa noted that Netflix, MUBI, Amazon and Vimeo all attended the DFI’s Qumra workshop this year, adding that she hoped streamers would get involved in their TV projects during next year’s edition.

She also said that the volume of documentaries at this grants session – roughly half of the feature-length works – makes for congenial content for streamers, just like TV series. The docs include “Fouledh,” by young Tunisian directors Mehdi Hmili and Abdallah Chamekh (pictured), about working conditions in Tunisia’s biggest steel mill.

More Film

  • Joker

    Why 'Joker' Is About All of Us (Column)

    Take a look at the photo above. It’s the most poetic image to have emerged from Todd Phillips’ “Joker,” and the reason I say “poetic” isn’t just because the shot has that caught-in-action indelible vibe of a quintessential movie poster: graphic, hauntingly composed, a bit shocking (at least, the first time you see it). It’s [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Rules International Box Office With $117 Million

    Though Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” stumbled at the domestic box office, the Angelina Jolie-led sequel enjoyed a far stronger start overseas. The follow-up to 2014’s fantasy adventure inspired by the “Sleeping Beauty” villain took off with $117 million from 56 international markets. In North America, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” debuted with a meager $36 [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    Box Office: 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Dominates With Soft $36 Million

    Five years after Angelina Jolie’s “Maleficent” cast a spell over the box office, the villainous enchantress has returned to the top of domestic charts. Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” a sequel to 2014’s fantasy adventure based on the “Sleeping Beauty” sorceress, flew lower than the original and debuted to a disappointing $36 million from 2,790 [...]

  • MIA Wrap

    Rome MIA Market Wraps With Stronger U.S. Presence, Boosts Italy's Industry Standing

    Rome’s MIA market for TV series, feature films and documentaries wrapped positively Sunday with organizers boasting a bump in attendance just as some 2,500 executives departed in an upbeat mood after four days of dealmaking and presentations of mostly European fresh product, which elevated Italy’s global standing in the industry, especially within the TV sector. [...]

  • Film Republic Adds Further Sales for

    Film Republic Inks Further Deals for 'God of the Piano' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sales agent Film Republic has closed further territory sales on “God of the Piano.” Film Movement previously picked up North American rights to the film, as reported exclusively by Variety. Mont Blanc Cinema has taken the rights for Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay. Limelight Distribution is looking after the Australian and New Zealand releases, Hualu [...]

  • ‘Bears Famous Invasion’s Lorenzo Mattotti Brings

    Lorenzo Mattotti on MIA Title ‘Bears Famous Invasion of Sicily’

    Illustrator Lorenzo Mattotti is no stranger to film festivals. The artist – a long-time New Yorker cover artist and onetime Lou Reed and Michelangelo Antonioni collaborator – has designed posters for past editions of Venice and Cannes, and has contributed to films that played in Toronto and Rome. This year, however, he experienced the festival [...]

  • Dreamworks Abominable

    'Abominable' Release in Malaysia Abandoned

    Plans to release the increasingly controversial Chinese-U.S. co-produced animation film “Abominable” in Malaysia have been dropped after the distributor said that it would not be cut to cater to political sensitivities. The film includes a scene which depicts a map showing the South China Sea and the so called “nine-dash line” that China uses to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content