festival review - Doha Tribeca Film Festival
Written by Oryx
The Doha Film Institute celebrates all things film over a five-day event that showcases the best of Arab and international cinema. The third edition of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival runs from October 25 to 29.
Since it began in 2009, Doha Film Institute’s cultural partnership with Tribeca Enterprises has enabled it to create a uniquely Qatari, community-minded platform for the expression, exposure, and celebration of both Arab and international films.
The 2011 Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF), held at Katara Cultural Village, will showcase a tightly curated programme of around 40 films from around the world. The festival will feature competitive programmes for Arab and international films to compete in various categories including Best Arab Film, Best Arab Filmmaker, Audience Awards for Best Narrative, Documentary, and Arab Short Films, amongst others.
Public participation will be central to the festival, with an array of large community events, including the hugely popular family day, as well as panels, networking events, and educational filmmaking programmes.
DFI Executive Director Amanda Palmer believes that this year’s festival will resonate just as loudly with local audiences, who have repeatedly demonstrated their appreciation for both local and international cinema: “We are increasingly empowering local storytellers and working harder than ever to build a long-term film industry in Qatar, and I think festival attendees will see this reflected throughout this year’s festival in content, programming, and the various events that we hold.”
Another highlight of the festival will be Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Black Gold, co-produced by the Doha Film Institute and Tarak Ben Ammar’s Quinta Communications, which premieres in Qatar at the DTFF.
The 2010 edition of the festival featured 51 films from 35 countries including four world premieres. Nearly 42,000 moviegoers attended the festival screenings and events with over 13,000 attendees at the family day, and this year’s festival is expected to be even bigger and better.
Celebrities to grace the red carpet at last year’s event included Robert De Niro, Salma Hayek Pinault, Julian Schnabel, Freida Pinto, Hiam Abbas, Yosra, Adel Imam, Mira Nair, Kevin Spacey, and Rachid Bouchareb among many others.
The 2010 award winners included Hawi for Best Arab Film and Balls for Best Arab Filmmaker, selected by a jury comprising internationally acclaimed Egyptian actress Yosra, Academy Award nominated actress, producer, and director Salma Hayek, English actor, writer, and director Nick Moran, and Bosnian screenwriter and film director Danis Tanovic. The audience awards went to The First Grader and Grandma, A Thousand Times.
Headlining this year’s Doha Tribeca Film Festival, the Arabian epic Black Gold directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud will make its world premiere. Starring Antonio Banderas, Freida Pinto, Tahar Rahim, Mark Strong, Riz Ahmed, and Liya Kebede, the film is an epic adventure adaptation of Hans Reusch’s classic novel The Great Thirst.
The movie's prominent battle scenes were shot in the spectacular desert dunes of Mesaieed and Shamal in Qatar over a four-week period. Co-produced with Quinta Communications, Black Gold is the first major international co-production for DFI and Qatar.