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2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

5 items from 2016


James Schamus: Gulf can learn from China's box-office boom

5 March 2016 11:53 PM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

James Schamus delivers masterclass in Doha, touching on the need to build a movie-going culture in the Gulf and how Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon established the modern international blockbuster.

James Schamus said the Gulf region could learn from China’s theatrical growth, during his masterclass at the Doha Film Institute’s Qumra festival on Saturday.

The American producer, writer, distribution executive and director was asked about last week’s deal for Doha-based beIN Media Group to acquire Miramax and said it “could be a great deal” depending on the price paid.

He noted that much of the 600-plus films in the Miramax library would be locked into licensing deals already around the globe, but depending on when those deals are up for renewal and what other rights can be exploited, “if the price point was right, it’s a great way to get into the game because you are sitting on top of so much intellectual property »

- wendy.mitchell@screendaily.com (Wendy Mitchell)

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Schamus at Qumra: Gulf can learn from China's box-office boom

5 March 2016 11:53 PM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

James Schamus delivers masterclass in Doha, touching on the need to build a movie-going culture in the Gulf and how Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon established the modern international blockbuster.

James Schamus said the Gulf region could learn from China’s theatrical growth, during his masterclass at the Doha Film Institute’s Qumra festival on Saturday.

The American producer, writer, distribution executive and director was asked about last week’s deal for Doha-based beIN Media Group to acquire Miramax and said it “could be a great deal” depending on the price paid.

He noted that much of the 600-plus films in the Miramax library would be locked into licensing deals already around the globe, but depending on when those deals are up for renewal and what other rights can be exploited, “if the price point was right, it’s a great way to get into the game because you are sitting on top of so much intellectual property »

- wendy.mitchell@screendaily.com (Wendy Mitchell)

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Doha Film Institute Selects 33 Projects from 19 Countries to Participate in Second Edition of Qumra

24 February 2016 1:28 PM, PST | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

Directors and producers from 19 countries are attached to 13 narrative feature films, 10 feature documentaries and 10 short films participating in the 6 day program of industry sessions designed to progress their projects and prepare them for international markets. The emphasis is on supporting first-and-second-time filmmakers with projects in development and post-production.

The Doha Film Institute's second edition of Qumra will be taking place in Doha, Qatar from March 4-9. 15 projects are from Qatar-based filmmakers, 12 from the Middle East North Africa (Mena) region and 6 from the rest of the world. 11 of the 33 projects are features films in development, 12 are in post-production and 10 are short films in development.

Twenty of the feature projects are alumni of the Institute’s grants program and 3 are by independent filmmakers from Qatar. Of the 10 short projects, 7 are by Qatari filmmakers and 3 are by Qatar-based filmmakers identified through the Institute’s ongoing engagement with local industry.

Doha Film Institute CEO Fatma Al Remaihi said: “We are very excited by the diverse slate of projects selected for Qumra 2016, representing emerging talent from Qatar, the Arab region and around the world.”

“We have prepared an intensive program for our project delegates which is designed to inspire them creatively and support them in navigating the evolving landscape of the film industry. I look forward to welcoming each of our project delegates to Qumra for what promises to be a productive exchange of ideas, culture and creativity.”

New to this year’s edition is the Qumra Shorts Programme, a dedicated strand designed to address the unique requirements of short films in development, during which 10 Qatar-based filmmakers will present their projects to a group of international industry professionals, including script consultants, producers, lab representatives, programmers and buyers, all of whom are experts in the short form.

The ten short filmmakers have been supported by the Doha Film Institute in various ways throughout their careers and many are alumni of its educational initiatives, workshops and funding programs. "Kashta" by Aj Al Thani has been supported by the Institute’s grants program and "Amer: The Arabian Legend" by Jassim Al-Rumaihi is supported by the Qatari Film Fund, the newly established funding and development program for Qatari filmmakers which was announced last year.

Directors and producers attached to each of the 33 projects will attend the sessions in Doha where they will be linked with more than 100 seasoned industry experts from all facets of the film industry including representatives from leading international film festivals, funding bodies, sales, production and distribution companies along with development specialists and script consultants.

The program is specifically tailored to each project’s needs and is divided according to their stage of development. Projects in development will participate in group and individual sessions for script consulting, legal, sales, marketing and co-production advice along with one-on-one match-made meetings and tutorials.

Projects in post-production are divided into two strands: the Work-in-Progress sessions will present a series of closed rough-cut screenings of 20-minute excerpts from the four narrative and four documentary Qumra projects in post-production followed by immediate, individual feedback from a panel of selected industry experts; and the Picture Lock Screenings will present exclusive 20 minute excerpts of four feature-length Qumra projects in the final stages of post-production for leading festival programmers, broadcasters, market representatives, sales agents and distributors.

The Qumra Projects delegates will also attend daily master classes and screenings presented by five Qumra Masters who represent some of the leading figures in world cinema today.

The 2016 Qumra Masters are Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey), Naomi Kawase (Japan), Joshua Oppenheimer (Us), James Schamus (Us), Aleksandr Sokurov (Russia). Each Master will be matched to a selection of Qumra projects to participate in dedicated mentoring sessions with the emerging filmmakers.

The 2016 Qumra Projects are:

Feature Films:

Feature Narrative, Development

"Bull Shark" by Mohammed Al Ibrahim (Qatar, Bahrain, USA)

An up-and-coming investment banker makes his mark in the Arab region’s most prominent Islamic investment bank, only to find he has been caught in the middle of the costliest embezzlement scheme in Arab history.

"Death Street" by Mohanad Hayal (Iraq, Qatar)

Tariq, the sniper of Haifa Street in Baghdad, kills Ahmed on the day he intends to propose marriage. While Tariq prevents anyone from approaching the corpse in the street, an intimate and telling drama unfolds.

"Evil Eye" by Sophia Al-Maria (Qatar, Morocco)

After inheriting the keys to an apartment in The City, country girl Dihya finds out that The Village she comes from has a reputation for witchcraft in this North African take on the teen witch film.

"The Pearl" by Noor Al-Nasr (Qatar)

A tech-obsessed Qatari teen, disconnected from his family, travels back in time to an era before his beloved technology existed, when the city’s main source of income was pearl diving. Alone on this journey, he must learn how to survive and communicate face-to-face in order to reconnect with his family.

"The Search for the Star Pearl" by Hafiz Ali Ali (Qatar)

Ali, a 17-year-old pearl diver from Doha, discovers a map to the Star Pearl of Abu Derya, the most valuable gem on Earth, and sets sail with three teenaged friends in search of it. Along the way, they face mythological beasts that challenge their skills and friendship.

"Stolen Skies" by Laila Hotait Salas (Lebanon, Qatar)

When a bomb is detonated in Cairo, one family feels it ricochet through the erased memories of three generations.

"Till the Swallows Return" by Karim Moussaoui (Algeria, France, Qatar)

This is the story of three characters who are a product of the conflicted Algeria of the 2000s. Their ideals shattered and their moral strength drained, each now faces a difficult life choice.

Feature Documentary, Development

"Agnus Dei" by Karim Sayad (Algeria, Switzerland, Qatar)

On the vacant lot where the confrontation takes place, the tension is at its peak. Foufa and his sheep King are getting ready for the fight...

"Behind the Doors" by Yakout Elhababi (Morocco, Qatar)

High in the Rif mountains of Morocco, the people survive by growing kif. Beneath the shadow of the ambiguous legality of the crop, ‘Behind the Doors’ tells the story of a family through its children and their mirroring games.

"The Great Family" by Eliane Raheb (Lebanon, France, Qatar)

In 1976, at the age of four, Marlene was put up for adoption
in Lebanon and raised in France. In delving into her past, she discovers she is a survivor of the massacre at the Tal Al Zaatar Palestinian refugee camp, and a family of survivors grows around her.

"To the Ends of the Earth" by Hamida Issa (Qatar)

A Qatari woman travels on an environmental expedition to Antarctica in search of hope, before returning to the Gulf and finding unity and inspiration for positive change.

Feature Narrative, Works-in-Progress

"Ali, The Goat and Ibrahim" by Sherif Elbendary (Egypt, France, Germany, USA, Qatar)

Ali and Ibrahim are two lonely and weird characters who are rejected by their society. Ali loves a goat called Nada, and Ibrahim is a sound engineer who is disturbed by strange voices that he alone can hear. When their paths cross, this odd pair embarks on a journey that will change their lives.

"Dede" by Mariam Khatchvani (Georgia, Qatar)

As Georgia fights for its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a young woman struggles to make a life in the remote, isolated villages high in the Caucasus Mountains, where ancient patriarchal laws threaten to separate her from her daughter.

"Poisonous Roses" by Fawzi Saleh (Egypt, Qatar)

The world has left nothing to Taheya apart from her brother Saqr. When he disappears, Taheya pursues him in desperation.

"White Sun" by Deepak Rauniyar (Nepal, The Netherlands, Qatar)

A drama about life in a Nepali mountain village in the wake of the decade-long armed conflict.

Feature Documentary, Works-in-Progress

"Ghost Hunting" by Raed Andoni (Palestine, France, Switzerland, Qatar)

Director Raed Andoni assembles an eclectic group of Palestinians to rebuild the Israeli investigation centre in which they were imprisoned – a place they never actually saw because they were always blindfolded.

"My Uncle the “Terrorist” by Elias Moubarak (Lebanon, Germany, Qatar)

A film director seeks to uncover a 40-year-old family taboo: the controversial life of his Uncle Fouad, a poet and an engineer of the Munich massacre.

"The Silk Railroad" by Martin Dicicco (USA, Georgia, Qatar)

Wealth, opportunity, and discord collide along the route of a new railroad bridging Europe and Asia.

"Tondo" by Jewel Maranan (The Philippines, Germany, Qatar)

‘Tondo’ is a film about four people in different stages of life - birth, youth, adulthood and death - who are caught in the path of expansion of Manila’s busiest international port.

Feature Narrative, Picture Lock

"Bastard" by Uda Benyamina (Morocco, France, Qatar)

Fifteen-year-old Dounia lives with her mother in a rough

Parisian suburb, where she has been saddled with the nickname “bastard”.

"The Mimosas" by Oliver Laxe (Spain, Morocco, France, Qatar)

In the Atlas Mountains in the past, a caravan searches for the path to take a Sufi master home to die. Among the party is Ahmed, a rascal who eventually becomes inspired to lead the caravan to its destination. Along the way, Ahmed is assisted by Shakib, a man sent from contemporary Morocco to guide him on his journey.

"Beirut Rooster" by Ziad Kalthoum (Syria, Lebanon, Germany, Qatar)

While Syrian workers rebuild Lebanon, a country ruined by a lengthy civil war, their hometowns in Syria are destroyed during the brutal conflict there. Who will rebuild their houses?

"Those From the Shore" by Tamara Stepanyan (Armenia, Lebanon, France, Qatar)

Marseille, 2014. Dozens of Armenian asylum seekers are trying to survive while waiting for their applications to be considered. They live in an indeterminate space, wandering in limbo.

Short Films:

Development, Short Narrative

"I Want to Feel What I Feel When I Am Asleep" by Abdullah Al-Mulla (Qatar)

A man wearing a gas mask is on a journey to fulfil a selfless purpose. Among the people of a drugged and mesmerised society, he cleans up a ruined city in order to cover up the destruction that has taken place.

"Kashta" by Aj Al Thani (Qatar)

A father takes his two sons out on a trip to the desert to go hunting, but the results are not quite what he was expecting.

"Qafas" by Mayar Hamdan (Qatar)

A young man tries everything to escape the cage he is chained in. Only when he realises that the true obstacle to his release is not the chains, but rather his outlook on his situation, does he finally become free.

"A Ranged Marriage" by Nora Al Subai (Qatar)

After being stuck in an arranged married for a year, a desperate wife discovers the perfect gift for their anniversary: a romantic dinner that will kill her husband.

"The World is Blue" by Amna Al Binali (Qatar)

During her sister’s engagement party, Hend comes to terms with the contradiction between how she wants her life to unfold and the inevitability of how it has been drawn for her.

Development, Short Documentary

"Amer: The Arabian Legend" by Jassim Al-Rumaihi (Qatar)

Sent as a gift to the late Emir of Qatar in the 1980s, Amer seemed like an average purebred Arabian. After he was taken to the tracks of Umm Qarn to train other horses, however, he showed his class, changing the face of Arabian horseracing forever.

"Buqsha" by Fahad Al Obaidly (Qatar)

‘Buqsha’ strives to encourage people to go beyond their preconceptions and venture into the past to look to the future Throughout our journey, we demonstrate the importance
of learning from traditional culture while preserving our own, and that the balance between artistic heritage and the contemporary arts nurtures creativity.

"The Innocent Prisoner" by Amina Ahmed Al-Boluchi (Qatar)

The story of a man trying to wash away his history of being a prisoner, determining his destiny by becoming a better person, and finding himself a place in his own society.

"Love in the Middle East" by Mostafa Sheshtawy (Qatar)

Romantic love is very common, yet it can mean something completely different from one person to the next. Through a young man’s journey, this film looks at what it means to fall in love in the Middle East.

Picture Lock, Short Narrative

"More Than Two Days" by Ahmed Abdelnaser (Qatar)

Over the course of two days, two brothers go through critical moments that may change their lives. ‘More Than Two Days’ examines their relationship and how each of them is trying to face up to the new situation in their lives. »

- Sydney Levine

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Dfi reveals 33 projects for Qumra

24 February 2016 6:05 AM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

The directors and producers of the selected projects will participate in a six-day programme with industry figures including Joshua Oppenheimer and Aleksandr Sokurov.Scroll down for the full list of projects

The Doha Film Institute has revealed the projects that will participate in the second edition of Qumra (March 4-9).

There are a total of 33 projects from 19 countries involved, including 13 narrative features, 10 feature documentaries and 10 short films.

Of those, 15 are Qatar-based projects, and a further 12 are from the wider Arab region, with 6 international projects involved.

The directors and producers of the selected titles will participate in a six-day programme of industry sessions with leading industry figures, designed to progress their projects and prepare them for international markets.

This year’s Qumra masters are Joshua Oppenheimer, James Schamus, Naomi Kawase, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, and Aleksandr Sokurov.

The 2016 Qumra Projects are:Feature Narrative, Development:

Bull Shark by Mohammed Al Ibrahim (Qatar, Bahrain, USA)

An up-and-coming investment banker makes his mark »

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Doha Film Institute Announces Fall 2015 Grant Recipients: 30 Projects from 19 Countries to Receive Funding

5 January 2016 3:49 PM, PST | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

The Doha Film Institute has announced the recipients of the Fall 2015 session of its grants program following the Dubai International Film Festival, where 15 of the Institute’s previous grantees, 4 of which are world premieres, were showcased. Thirty projects from 19 countries – comprising 16 feature-length narrative films, 10 feature documentaries and 4 short films – will receive funding for development, production or post-production.

The Fall session marks the 11th session of the grants program, which is dedicated to supporting new cinematic talent, with a focus on first- and second-time filmmakers.

Twenty-four of the projects are from the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, while 6 are from the rest of the world. For the first time, filmmakers from Chile, Peru and Spain will receive funding from the program.

Stories of displacement, physical or spiritual journeys, tales of family life, the power of nature and the importance of protecting the environment are highlighted in the selections this Fall.

Four projects from Qatar-based filmmakers were awarded grants – Hafiz Ali Abdullah’s "The Search for the Star Pearl," about a young pearl diver from Doha who discovers a map to the most valuable gem on Earth, and sets sail with three teenage friends in search of it; Hamida Al Kawari’s "To the Ends of the Earth" – the first Qatari feature documentary to receive a grant from the Institute – which follows a Qatari woman on an environmental expedition to Antarctica in search of hope; A.J. Al Thani’s "Kashta," a family drama about a father who takes his sons out into the desert to teach them about hunting and survival; and Hend Fakhroo’s "The Waiting Room," about an Arab and a Western family who find themselves sharing a hospital room.

Among the 30 projects selected for funding, 5 are from Morocco – Fyzal Boulifa’s "Pagan Magic," the story of a poor youngster working as a maid for a middle-class family; second-time grantee Uda Benyamina’s "Bastard," about a 15-year-old girl who lives with her mother in a rough Parisian suburb; Yakout Elhababi’s "Behind the Doors," which looks at family life and childhood set high in the Rif mountains of Morocco; Hind Bensari’s "Weight Throwers," a documentary look at the struggles of two young athletes as they train for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro; and "Behind The Wall," by Karima Zoubir, a short film set in a Casablanca slum.

Also featuring strongly are three animation projects – established filmmaker Haifaa Al Mansour’s "Miss Camel," the story of a teenage Saudi camel who challenges the deep-rooted restrictions of her culture by travelling across the kingdom to compete in the Miss Camel beauty pageant in Doha; Mortada Gzar’s "Language," about a blind man on the streets of Baghdad who wakes up as a giant and reads the devastation of the city by touch; and Hafiz Ali Abdullah’s "The Search for the Star Pearl."

As in several previous sessions of the grants program, powerful projects from Argentina have also secured funding. Milagros Mumenthaler’s Swiss/Argentinian film "The Idea of a Lake" is about a photographer who undergoes a personal exploration of her past and the absence of her father while creating a book of her work, while Maximiliano Schonfeld’s "The Black Frost" is a drama set on a plantation where a pernicious black frost threatens to devastate the countryside until a mysterious woman arrives.

Continuing the environmental theme, Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel’s "When Two Worlds Collide" is the story of an indigenous Peruvian man and his people, and of the fate of one of our planet’s most valuable natural resources – the Amazon rainforest. The film, which has its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January, is the first-ever Peruvian recipient of a grant from the Institute.

Fatma Al Remaihi, CEO of the Doha Film Institute, said: “Our Fall grantees cover a broad range of subjects and represent some powerful new voices in cinema, especially from Qatar and North Africa with several projects supported from Morocco and Algeria.”

“Animated films are very popular in our region so it is very encouraging to see an acclaimed filmmaker like Haifaa Al Mansour turn her skills to this important genre; we support two other animated projects in this grants cycle as well.”

“Our grantees represent the core of the Doha Film Institute’s mandate to support emerging filmmakers and contribute to the development of the regional film industry. We have supported more than 255 films since the inception of the grants program and we continue to seek out projects with a strong directorial vision that are challenging, creative and thought-provoking. Our new round of grantees is no exception and I am delighted to welcome this outstanding crop of projects to our growing community of grantee alumni.”

Submissions for the next funding round open January 6 and close January 19, 2016. Funding is available to projects by filmmakers from around the world, with an emphasis on support for filmmakers from the Mena region. Certain categories of funding reserved for Mena and Qatari filmmakers.

The fund is primarily for first and second-time filmmakers. Post-production funding is available to established filmmakers from the Mena region.

For more information about eligibility and submissions, please visit

http://www.dohafilminstitute.com/financing/grants/guidelines

A full directory of past grant recipients is available to view at

http://www.dohafilminstitute.com/financing/projects/grants

The Doha Film Institute Grants Program funding recipients for the Fall 2015 session are:

Feature Narrative / Development

"Death Street" by Mohanad Hayal (Iraq)

Tariq, the sniper of Haifa Street in Baghdad, kills Ahmed on his wedding day. While Tariq prevents anyone from approaching the corpse in the street, an intimate and telling drama unfolds.

"Miss Camel" by Haifaa Al Mansour (Saudia Arabia)

A teenage Saudi camel challenges the deep-rooted restrictions of her culture by traveling across the kingdom to compete in the Miss Camel beauty pageant in Doha.

"Pagan Magic" by Fyzal Boulifa (Morocco, France)

A young, poor and uneducated girl works as a maid for a middle-class family in contemporary Morocco. Her use of pagan rites to confront her entrapment and make sense of her world ultimately corrupt her.

"The Search for the Star Pearl" by Hafiz Ali Abdullah (Qatar)

Ali, a 17-year-old pearl diver from Doha, discovers a map to the Star Pearl of Abu Derya, the most valuable gem on Earth, and sets sail with three teenaged friends in search of the pearl. Along the way, they face mythological beasts that challenge their skills and friendship.

Feature Narrative / Production

"Cactus Flower" by Hala Elkoussy (Egypt)

A flood leaves three Cairenes homeless. As they journey across the city in search of shelter, they depend upon one another to survive and keep their dreams alive.

"Poisonous Roses" by Fawzi Saleh (Egypt)

The world has left nothing to Taheya apart from her brother Saqr. When he disappears, Taheya pursues him in desperation.

"The Return" by Meyar Al-Roumi (Syria, France)

A love story blossoms between Taysir and Lina, exiles from Syria, while they drive across their homeland to bury Taysir’s brother, a victim of the armed conflict.

"Till the Swallows Return" by Karim Moussaoui (Algeria, France)

This is the story of three characters who are a product of the conflicted Algeria of the 2000s. Their ideals shattered and their moral strength drained, each now faces a difficult life choice.

Feature Narrative / Post-production

"Bastard" by Uda Benyamina (Morocco, France)

Fifteen-year-old Dounia lives with her mother in a rough Parisian suburb, where she has been saddled with the nickname “bastard”.

"The Black Frost" by Maximiliano Schonfeld (Argentina)

Soon after a mysterious woman arrives on a plantation, a pernicious black frost ceases to devastate the countryside. Hope emerges. Might she might be a saviour?

"Blue Bicycle" by Ümit Köreken (Turkey)

Young Ali saves up all the money he can working at a tyre repair shop to buy a coveted blue bicycle. Meanwhile, at school, his love for his schoolmate Elif leads him to defend her dismissal as school president. A story of childish love, dreams and resistance.

"The Dark Wind" by Hussein Hassan (Iraq)

Radical Islamists attack a village in Iraq where two young Yazidis are preparing for their marriage. At that moment, their lives become a nightmare.

"The Idea of a Lake" (note: previously titled Air Pocket) by Milagros Mumenthaler (Switzerland, Argentina)

Inés, a photographer, is creating a book of her work. Gradually, the process becomes a personal exploration of her past and the absence of her father, who was disappeared during the military dictatorship in Argentina.

"The Mimosas" by Oliver Laxe (Spain, Morocco, France)

In the Atlas Mountains in the past, a caravan searches for the path to take a Sufi master home to die. Among the party is Ahmed, a rascal who eventually becomes inspired to lead the caravan to its destination. Along the way, he is assisted by Shakib, a man sent from contemporary Morocco to guide Ahmed on his journey.

"Rey" (King) by Niles Atallah (Chile)

In 1860, a French lawyer dreamed of becoming the King of Patagonia – and he did just that. Or so it seemed.

"Suspension" by Ala Eddine Slim (Tunisia)

N is a candidate for an illegal crossing of the Mediterranean from Tunisia. A supernatural voyage, during which N will confront Nature and himself, begins.

Feature Documentary / Development

"Agnus Dei" by Karim Sayad (Algeria, Switzerland)

In Algeria, Ali and his sheep, bought for slaughter on Eid Al-Adha, are getting ready for the fight. Once the bets are in, the referee invites the owners into the ring…

"Behind the Doors" by Yakout Elhababi (Morocco)

High in the Rif mountains of Morocco, the people survive by growing kif. Beneath the shadow of the ambiguous legality of the crop, ‘Behind the Doors’ tells the story of a family through its children and their mirroring games.

"The Great Family" by Eliane Raheb (Lebanon)

In 1976, at the age of four, Marlene was put up for adoption in Lebanon and raised in France. In delving into her past, she discovers she is a survivor of the massacre at the Tal Al-Zaatar Palestinian refugee camp, and a family of survivors grows around her.

Feature Documentary / Production

"The Colonel’s Stray Dogs" by Khalid Shamis (Libya, South Africa)

While director Khalid Shamis watched television in his suburban London home, his father was plotting the overthrow of Muammar Gadaffi in his study. When the regime fell, Shamis sought answers about Libya under Gadaffi and his father’s role in its failed liberation.

"Ibrahim" by Lina Alabed (Jordan)

‘Ibrahim’ uncovers the long journey of the director’s father as a young man, when he was a secret member of Abu Nidal, a militant Palestinian revolutionary organisation.

"Searching for Janitou" by Mohamed El Amine hattou (Algeria)

A journey to unravel love in past and contemporary Algeria by exploring the unique phenomenon of a Bollywood film that swept the country in the 1980s.

"To the Ends of the Earth" by Hamida Al Kawari ( Qatar)

A Qatari woman travels on an environmental expedition to Antarctica in search of hope, before returning to the Gulf and finding unity and inspiration for positive change.

"Weight Throwers" by Hind Bensari (Morocco)

‘Weight Thowers’ follows the struggles of Azzedine and Youssef, disabled members of Morocco’s unemployed and disillusioned young generation, as they struggle to train for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Feature Documentary / Post-production

"Tadmor" by Lokman Slim, Monika Borgmann (Lebanon)

A group of Lebanese men re-enact the ordeals they experienced as detainees in Syria’s notorious Tadmor prison. An ode to the human will to survive.

"When Two Worlds Collide" by Heidi Brandenburg, Mathew Orzel (Peru)

A story of a man and a people, and of the fate of one of our planet’s most valuable natural resources – the Amazon rainforest.

Short Narrative / Production

"Behind the Wall" by Karima Zoubir (Morocco)

Nadia, a little girl, lives in a Casablanca slum that is surrounded by a wall. One day, the municipality begins to paint the wall – but why this sudden interest?

"Kashta" by A.J. Al Thani (Qatar)

A father takes his two sons out to the desert to learn about hunting and survival, but the results are not quite what he was expecting.

"Language" by Mortada Gzar (Iraq)

An old blind man walks throught the streets of Baghdad, then falls asleep while reading a book in Braille. When he wakes up, he finds he has become a giant and reads the devastation of the city by touch.

"The Waiting Room" by Hind Fakhroo (Qatar)

An Arab family and a Western family find themselves sharing a hospital room; the only thing that separates them is a curtain. »

- Sydney Levine

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