×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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

  • Jermaine Fowler arrives at the 69th

    Jermaine Fowler Joins 'Coming 2 America' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jermaine Fowler is joining Eddie Murphy in Paramount’s sequel “Coming 2 America,” sources tell Variety. “Hustle & Flow” helmer Craig Brewer is on board to direct the pic with the studio planning an August 7, 2020 release. Plot details of “Coming 2 America” are unknown, as are the details of Fowler’s character. Kenya Barris, who [...]

  • Henry Golding attends the Fragrance Foundation

    Henry Golding Starts Long House Shingle With 'Inheritance,' 'Harrington's Greatest Hits'

    “Crazy Rich Asians” star Henry Golding has started Long House Productions in partnership with China’s Starlight Cultural Entertainment Group with two features in the works. Golding’s first feature under the Long House banner is action adventure “The Inheritance,” based on an original story idea by Alistair Hudson and Golding. Hudson is writing the script for [...]

  • Max Landis Entertainment Weekly party, Comic-Con

    Max Landis Accused of Rape, Assault and Psychological Abuse

    Screenwriter Max Landis is facing allegations of sexual abuse and psychological manipulation from eight women who told their stories to the Daily Beast. Two of the women spoke on the record, and another five were identified by pseudonyms. An eighth women confirmed that she filed a police complaint against Landis in 2008, in which she [...]

  • Michael Fassbender'X-Men: Dark Phoenix' film premiere,

    Michael Fassbender to Produce, Star in Lionsgate Spy Thriller 'Malko'

    Michael Fassbender will produce and star in the Lionsgate spy thriller “Malko,” based on Gerard de Villiers’ S.A.S. series, with the studio planning to launch a franchise with the project. Eric Warren Singer, who was nominated for an Academy Award for best original screenplay for “American Hustle,” will write the screenplay. Joe Drake, chairman of [...]

  • American Film Institute Hires Susan Ruskin

    Susan Ruskin Appointed AFI Conservatory Dean

    The American Film Institute has named producer and educator Susan Ruskin as dean of the AFI Conservatory, where she will lead AFI’s graduate film-training program. Ruskin, who will also carry the title of executive VP, will report directly to Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO, the organization announced Tuesday. She replaces producer Richard Gladstein, who left [...]

  • shanghai skyline China Placeholder

    Shanghai: Er Dong Pictures Adds to Web of Hollywood and Chinese Deals

    Chinese production and talent company Er Dong Pictures shed some light on its latest film investment slate and growing web of relationships in Asia and Hollywood. The company, which is in the process of establishing a joint venture with Hollywood talent firm The Gersh Agency, and has a 12-film co-funding deal with Starlight Culture Entertainment, [...]

  • Tony Hale Forky Toy Story 4

    'Toy Story 4': Tony Hale on the Joys of Voicing a Plastic Spork Named Forky

    The lastest plastic hero to join the “Toy Story” franchise is Forky, a disposable spork who has some serious qualms about being a toy. He comes to life in “Toy Story 4” alongside Woody and Buzz Lightyear, who teach him that he’s much more than trash. Tony Hale, the actor best known to audiences as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content