Amanda Palmer has been appointed executive director of the new Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF).
Palmer had been head of entertainment for Al Jazeera English, creating such shows as film programme The Fabulous Picture Show. Palmer also serves on Qatar’s National Film Committee.
In the new post, she will work with Tribeca Enterprises Chief Creative Office Geoff Gilmore to shape Doha’sprogramme.
The local team includes Regional Programs Advisor Mohamed Maklouf and Community Outreach Programmer Scandar Copti. Maklouf is a British national of Libyan origin who has been a filmmaker and film journalist since 1983, working as a consultant on shorts and documentaries, founding the Arab Screen Independent Film Festival, and previously working a a programmer for Dubai.
Copti is a Palestinian filmmaker born in Jaffa who has made several short films and won a Camera d’Or special mention for 2009 Cannes selction Ajami.
The festival, previously called Tribeca Film Festival Doha, will run October 29-November 1. The Qatar Museums Authority is producing the event in collaboration with the Tribeca Film Festival.
“Our vision is to create a festival that genuinely engages the Qatari people and supports regional filmmakers,” said Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of QMA. “This team is going to impact the way this region experiences film.”
“When Her Excellency and I started talking about this possibility it was always clear that the festival vision was to create an authentic film event that truly serves the community,” Palmer added. “Film is such an amazing equalizer and we felt Tribeca was unique in how it creates an event where filmmakers and film-goers can equally celebrate film.”
Jane Rosenthal, co-founder of TFF, said of Palmer: “Her relationships and her understanding of the region will bean enormous asset.”
Gilmore added that he wanted the festival to nurture new filmmakers in the area and create “a sustainable foundation for the growth of a film industry in Qatar.”
Tribeca has already welcomed a group of Qatari nationals to New York to see how April’s Tribeca Film Festival is organised.
Palmer and Gilmore will programme works from established filmmakers and emerging talents - aiming to appeal to the Qatari population, with a majority of people under age 30. Meanwhile, Copti and Maklouf wll work to uncover local and regional talent.
The inuaugural festival will screen about 30 films in addition to hosting special events.
DTFF’s official website will launch August 18 at dohatff.com.