DFI backed the project; Nair kicked off inaugural Doha festival with Amelia.

Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, which opened Venice yesterday, will open the fourth Doha Tribeca Film Festival on Nov 17. It will mark the film’s Middle East-North Africa premiere.

The film’s inclusion in Doha’s programme is no surprise as its majority financier was the Doha Film Institute. Last year’s DTFF opened with another DFI-backed project, Black Gold.

Nair has been a supporter of the Doha festival since its inception, opening the inuagural event with Amelia, and collaborating with DFI on her Maisha Film Lab.

Adapted from Mohsin Hamid’s bestselling novel, the dramatic thriller stars Riz Ahmed as a young Pakistani man who chases success on Wall Street but becomes disillusioned with the American dream. The cast also features Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber, and Om Puri.

Nair said: “We are thrilled with the honour of The Reluctant Fundamentalist opening the Doha Tribeca Film Festival - made all the sweeter after the five-year odyssey it has been making this film. A lovely send-off for a tale that couldn’t be more timely for the world we live in today. It is rare to be able to make a global film that is both political and personal. DFI provided instrumental support from the beginning, their unstirring faith in this timely story made it happen against all odds.”

His Excellency Issa Bin Mohammed Al-Mohannadi, DTFF Vice Chair, said: “As a Festival committed to promoting cultural understanding and appreciation through cinema, we are excited to open with Mira’s latest creative work that will connect with our audiences, is topically relevant and complements our mandate to support meaningful cinema. Films are a medium to bring together diverse views to promote the spirit of dialogue and discussion. DTFF provides a platform to support the development of a grassroots film culture in Qatar and will contribute to shaping a vibrant film industry in the region.”

Doha, which is now expanded to eight days — Nov 17-24, also announced plans to spotlight filmmaking in Algeria at this year’s festival, to celebrate Algeria’s 50th anniversary of independence.