The Doha Film Institute (DFI) has expanded its grants programme to include first and second-time filmmakers from outside the Middle East.

While the DFI will retain its emphasis on supporting filmmakers from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, it will also accept applications from the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list of countries; and the rest of the world.

Different submissions criteria apply for each region. All projects by directors and screenwriters from the MENA region are eligible for submission. From the DAC countries, only narrative features are eligible; and all other submissions are by invitation only.

DFI CEO Abdulaziz Al-Khater said: “The expanded DFI grants programme marks our commitment to developing a new talent pool of international filmmakers, regardless of location, and to creating a portfolio of what we call ‘global films’. This will further establish Qatar as a global hub of filmmaking.”

In total the programme will support up to eight narrative and four documentary features from all regions and up to eight further projects from the MENA region in each grant cycle. There are two grant cycles per annum. Submissions for the next grant cycle will be accepted from July 15, 2013.

Meanwhile, DFI also announced the 19 projects selected in the final cycle of its MENA grants programme, including 11 features and 8 documentaries selected from 236 applications.

“It’s fantastic to see the originality and range of themes and topics that our 19 recipients have shown in this round of submissions, as well as the large number of female and first and second-time directors,” said head of DFI Film Financing, Paul Miller.

Grantees for the Spring 2013 session:

Feature Narrative – Development Grants:

Honey Cigar (Kamir Aïnouz, Algeria)

James Dean and Me (Sameh Zoabi, Palestine)

Nawara – The Light Blue Satin Robe (Hala Khalil, Egypt)

Son of a Dog (Alain Sauma, Lebanon)

Feature Narrative – Production Grants:

2 Rooms and a Parlor (Sherif El Bendary, Egypt)

Tramontane (Vatche Boulghourjian, Lebanon)

Wooden Rifle (Alfouz Tanjour, Syria)

Feature Narrative – Post-Production Grants:

Ghetto Child (Guillaume Tordjman and Uda Benyamina, Tunisia/Morocco)

Theeb (Naji Abu Nowar, Jordan)

Short Narrative – Production Grants:

Mariam (Faiza Ambah, Saudi Arabia/France)

Survival Visa (Nadia Rais, Tunisia)

Feature Documentary – Development Grant:

Ahmed in Wonderland (Erige Sehiri, Tunisia/France)

Feature Documentary – Production Grants:

The Coming Attraction (Nidal Al Dibs, Egypt)

Executioners Never Tell Their Stories (Ali Essafi, Morocco)

The Foreign Son (Abdallah Badis, Algeria/France)

Jeanne d’Arc Masriya (Iman Kamel, Egypt)

My Uncle The “Terrorist” (Elias Moubarak, Lebanon)

Out/In the Streets (Jasmina Metwaly and Philip Rizk, Egypt)

The Rise of the Gulf/Beyond Black Gold (Frederic Compain, UAE/France)