The Doha Film Institute has selected 20 projects for its first global film grants programme, including post-production support for Benjamin Naishtat’s debut feature History of Fear, which premieres in Berlin in Competition.

The grants go to projects (mostly first or second features) from Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region; the 20 are selected from 396 applications.

This is the first global round of the grants, which were previously only available to MENA projects.

The funding is used for development, production and post-production. The next round of applications are open April 1-21.

The Narrative features backed are:

Men in the Sun directed by Mahdi Fleifel (Palestine/United Kingdom/Greece/Denmark/Qatar);

The Returning directed by Ehab Tarabieh (Syria/Qatar);

Burning Birds directed by Sanjeewa Pushpakumara (Sri Lanka/France/Qatar);

By The Time It Gets Dark directed by Anocha Suwichakornpong (Thailand/Qatar);

Hedi directed by Mohamed Ben Attia (Tunisia/Qatar);

House Without Roof directed by Soleen Yusef (Iraq/Germany/Qatar);

Lamb directed by Yared Zeleke (Ethiopia/Qatar); Land directed by Babak Jalali (United Kingdom/Italy/France/Qatar) ;

Mountain directed by João Salaviza (Portugal/France/Qatar);

The Wounded Angel directed by Emir Baigazin (Kazakhstan/Russia/Qatar);

History Of Fear directed by Benjamin Naishtat (Argentina/Uruguay/Germany/France/Qatar).

Documentaries include:

Holy Cow directed by Imamaddin Hasanov (Azerbaijan/Germany/Qatar);

Memory Exercises directed by Paz Encina (Paraguay/Argentina/Qatar);

Sidi Amar directed by Mohamed Ouzine (Algeria/France/Qatar);

The Siren Of Faso Fani directed by Michel K. Zongo (Burkina Faso/France/Qatar);

The Stopover directed by Laurent Aït Benalla (Morocco/France/Qatar);

Where Were You (During the US Invasion of Panama)? directed by Abner Benaim (Panama/Argentina/Qatar).

Abdulaziz Al Khater, CEO of DFI, said: “The Doha Film Institute global grants were launched with a vision of fostering creative cultural exchange among MENA and international filmmakers.

The strong response to the first submission cycle is a testament to the Institute’s goal of supporting global storytelling and nurturing upcoming talent.

“We have seen tremendous success over the past three years with our MENA Grants programme, through which we have supported more than 130 projects.

“We are committed to the expansion of our grants initiative to include talented filmmakers from all over the world. I welcome our newest grant recipients as they join DFI’s growing international community of filmmakers.”

Khalil Benkirane, head of grants of DFI, said: “Benjamin Naishtat’s History of Fear is an innovative project from an exciting new voice in world cinema.

“Our panel was deeply impressed with Naishtat’s daring approach to his debut feature, which examines and reconstructs notions of fear, and creates a tense, quietly disturbing experience for the viewer.

“This powerful film from an emerging South American talent is a prime example of the type of cinema ourglobal grants programme seeks to support.”