The Doha Film Institute (DFI) has unveiled the projects to receive grants in its Spring 2015 funding cycle, including the first Qatari feature awarded a production grant.
Sahaabfrom Qatar’s Khalifa Abdullah Al Muraikhi recently participated in Qumra – the first edition of DFI’s new industry platform dedicated to the development of first- and second-time filmmakers.
“Our filmmakers are learning a lot through Qumra and attending other festivals where they can interact with filmmakers and producers from around the world,” said DFI CEO Fatma Al Remaihi. “Its encouraging to see them progressing from shorts to feature films.”
In total, 25 projects – including features, documentaries and shorts – were selected to receive grants, with 23 from first and second-time filmmakers.
Five projects from outside the MENA region received funding, including three features: Apprentice from Singapore’s Boo Junfeng; Slovenian filmmaker Ziga Virc’s Houston, We Have a Problem; and Road To La Paz from Argentina’s Francisco Varone.
DFI has also expanded its grants to include post-production funding for established filmmakers from the MENA region. In this cycle, funding was awarded to Palestine’s Mai Masri for 3000 Nights, about a newlywed Palestinian schoolteacher who gives birth to her son in an Israeli prison, and Algeria’s Merzak Allouache for Madame Courage, about a teenager living in an Algerian slum.
Several projects dealing with the ongoing Syrian war will receive funding, including Boutheyna Bouslama’s Seeking The Man With the Camera, Ziad Kalthoum’s Beirut Rooster and Noura Kevorkian’s Batata.
Several films to previously receive DFI funding are screening at Cannes this year, including Elie Dagher’s Waves ’98 in the official short film competition; Tarzan and Arab’s Dégradé and Jonas Carpignano’s Mediterranea, both in Critics Week; Yared Zeleke’s Lamb in Un Certain Regard; and Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Mustang in Directors Fortnight.
FULL LIST OF DFI SPRING 2015 GRANTEES: (FOR ONLINE)
Seeking The Man With The Camera – Boutheyna Bouslama (Tunisia, Switzerland, France, Qatar)
Stolen Skies – Laila Hotait Salas (Lebanon, Qatar)
Tin Hinan – Muhannad Lamin (Libya, Qatar)
1982– Oualid Mouaness (Lebanon, Qatar)
Alam, The Flag – Firas Khoury (Palestine, France, Qatar)
Paris the White – Lidia Terki (Algeria, France, Qatar)
Sahaab– Khalifa Abdullah Al Muraikhi (Qatar)
Aya– Moufida Fedhila (Tunisia, France, Qatar)
The Boss – Rzgar Huseein Ahmed (Iraq, Qatar)
One of Them – Fahad Al Kuwari (Qatar)
Under the Hat – Amal Al-Agroobi (United Arab Emirates, Qatar)
Batata– Noura Kevorkian (Lebanon, Qatar)
Ghosts Hunting – Raed Andoni (Palestine, France, Qatar)
SHORT EXPERIMENTAL OR ESSAY:
The Most Pretty Dudes – Mohammad Dibo (Syria, Qatar)
3000 Nights – Mai Masri (Palestine, France, Jordan, Lebanon, UAE, Qatar)
Apprentice – Junfeng Boo (Singapore, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Qatar)
Film Kteer Kbeer – Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya (Lebanon, Qatar)
Houston, We Have a Problem! – Ziga Virc (Slovenia, Germany, Croatia, Qatar)
Madame Courage – Merzak Allouache (Algeria, France, Qatar)
Road to La Paz – Francisco Varone (Argentina, The Netherlands, Germany, Qatar)
Beirut Rooster – Ziad Kalthoum (Syria, Lebanon, Qatar)
Between Sisters – Manu Gerosa (Italy, Qatar)
Liyana– Aaron and Amanda Kopp (USA, Swaziland, Qatar)
FEATURE EXPERIMENTAL OR ESSAY
In My Head, A Roundabout – Lahcene Ferhani (Algeria, France, Qatar)