IMDb > Lebanon (2009) > News
Lebanon
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Connect with IMDb


News for
Lebanon (2009) More at IMDbPro »


2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

12 items from 2016


Cannes Today: New Talent Emerges

5 hours ago | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

Halfway through the Cannes Film Festival, buzz is hearing about “Jackie”, now in post-production, an account of the days of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the immediate aftermath of John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963, directed by Pablo Larraín whose Directors’ Fortnight contender “Neruda” is receiving raves here.  Another hot Directors’ Fortnight film “Mean Dreams” with Bill Paxton is praised by one important film buyer as “Mud” meets “Cold in July” in a tense coming-of-age drama about a 15-year-old boy.  And Sony Pictures Classics has snatched U.S. rights to the German Competition comedy, “Toni Erdmann”.

This year in the Cannes Film Festival’s Official Competition Section, there are no first time film directors, only established masters, some praised and some panned.  However, Cannes Official Un Certain Regard specifically shows emerging filmmakers who are considered to be the next generation of master auteurs of cinema. Out of its 17 films, seven were first features from Romania, France, Israel, USA, Argentina, Finland and the Netherlands. Three of the seven are by women: Stéphanie Di  Giusto’s “La Danseuse” (“The Dancer”) is about Loïe Fuller, the toast of the Folies Bergères at the turn of the 20th century and an inspiration for Toulouse-Lautrec and the Lumière Brothers. 

Maha Haj From Israel debuted on the first day with “Personal Affairs”, about an old couple in Nazareth and their son and daughter who live on the other side of the border.  Other first films are the much-anticipated “The Red Turtle”, a dialogue-free animated feature from Studio Ghibli but made in France and directed by Dutch-born, London-based animator Michael Dudok de Wit, the Finnish-German-Swedish “The Happiest Day In The Life Of Olli Mäki” and Bogdan Mirica’s “Dogs”.  The debut So. Korean film, “Train to Busan”, showed in the Official Midnight Screening section and featured a zombie-virus breaking out in South Korea, and a couple of passengers struggling to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan – enough to make me want to stop traveling.

Fool Moon” by France’s Gregoire Leprinr-Foret had a Special Screening within the Official selection and received mixed reviews.  In Critics Week, three of ten films selected and judged bycritics as the best films of the year thus far are first features: K. Rajapal’s drama “A Yellow Bird” from Singapore and France about a Singaporean Indian man trying to reconnect with his estranged family after he is released from prison, Mehmet Can Mertoglu’s “Albüm” from Turkey, France and Romania (See the trailer here)  and Alessandro Comidin’s “Happy Times Will Come Soon” from Italy. The Acid sidebar of eight very independent features has two first films.

Also noticeable this year is the high number of films co-financed by the Doha Film Institute. Asgaard Farhadi's  " The Salesman" will have its world premiere in the Festival’s Official Competition where it competes for the coveted Palme d’Or.  “The Salesman” is about a couple who is forced out of their apartment due to dangerous works on a neighboring building.  It is one of two Iranian films this year.  The other, “Inversion” will play in Un Certain Regard.” Newly established Doha Film Institute lent financial support to two films showing in Un Certain Regard section – “Apprentice” (Singapore, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Qatar) written and directed by Boo Junfeng; and debut feature “Dogs” (Romania, France, Bulgaria, Qatar). Directors’ Fortnight is screens “Divines” (Morocco, France, Qatar) and three Dfi grantee films compete for top honors in the Critics Week: “Mimosas” (Spain, Morocco, France, Qatar) by Oliver Laxe; “Tramontane” (Lebanon, France, UAE, Qatar) by Vatche Boulghourjian; and “Diamond Island” (Cambodia, France, Germany, Qatar) by Davy Chou touted as poetic and beautiful, a part of what might be a Cambodian New Wave. This New Wave from Cambodia is being helped along by the Doha Film Institute whose CEO, Fatma Al Remaihi says:

“At the very core of Dfi’s film funding mandate is to contribute to World Cinema and ensure that great stories continue to be told. These projects will also inspire the young Qatari film professionals to create compelling content that will gain international acclaim.”

Shahrbanoo Sadat’s debut feature “Wolf and Sheep”, in Directors’ Fortnight, is about Sadat herself, who lives in Kabul and Denmark.  It takes place in the isolated village in Central Afghanistan where she grew up and where young boys and girls are shepherds.  International coproductions are the engine driving the film business today and this one, a Denmark-France-Sweden-Afghanistan coproduction is a prime example.  Sadat was spotted previously when her 2011 short “Vice Versa One” screened at Directors’ Fortnight and was invited to develop “Wolf And Sheep” at Cannes Cinefondation Residency in 2010, which mentors emerging talent. Virginie Devesa of the international sales company Alpha Violet picked up the film here in Cannes. Alpha Violet is also selling ”A Yellow Bird” in Critics’ Week and is representing “Luxembourg”, the newest film by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, whose first film “The Tribe” played in Sundance and other top fests. »

- Sydney Levine

Permalink | Report a problem


Asghar Farhadi’s ‘The Salesman’ Among 7 Films Supported by Doha Film Festival Screening at Cannes

19 May 2016 2:28 AM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

"The Salesman" written and directed by celebrated filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, and co-financed by the Doha Film Institute, had its world premiere in the official competition of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Six other films supported by the Doha Film Institute Grants program have been screening in key sections at the prestigious global film event. 

"The Salesman" is produced by Memento Films Production and Asghar Farhadi Production, in coproduction with Arte France Cinéma and in association with Doha Film Institute, Memento Films Distribution and Arte France. Amazon and Cohen Media Group have recently picked up North American rights. 

Forced out of their apartment due to dangerous works on a neighboring building, Emad and Rana move into a new flat in the center of Tehran. An incident linked to the previous tenant will dramatically change the young couple’s life. "The Salesman" stars Shahab Hosseini ("A Separation") and Taraneh Alidoosti ("About Elly"). Farhadi won the 2012 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for "A Separation" and the Best Actress Award at Cannes 2013 for his last film "The Past."

Fatma Al Remaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute, said: “We are delighted that seven films supported by the Institute have been officially selected at Cannes this year. The selection of 'The Salesman' in the Festival’s official competition section is an achievement we are all very excited about, as it adds to our pride in partnering with international productions that set new benchmarks in excellence in filmmaking. Asghar Farhadi is one of the most recognized filmmakers working today, someone we have long admired for his talent and commitment to making films that tackle strong subject matters with enduring humanity.

“I would like to thank the entire team behind the film for sharing their vision with us and making us a part of their incredible journey, and wish them the very best. This has been a passion project for all involved and we look forward to audiences discovering this latest masterpiece”.

Among the six Dfi grantee films, two have been selected to the Un Certain Regard section - "Apprentice" (Singapore, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Qatar) written and directed by Boo Junfeng; and "Dogs" (Romania, France, Bulgaria, Qatar) by Bogdan Florian Mirica.

Showcased in the Directors’ Fortnight is "Divines" (Morocco, France, Qatar), directed by Houda Benyamina. The remaining three Dfi grantee films will compete for top honours in the Critics Week including: "Mimosas" (Spain, Morocco, France, Qatar) by Oliver Laxe; "Tramontane" (Lebanon, France, UAE, Qatar) by Vatche Boulghourjian; and "Diamond Island" (Cambodia, France, Germany, Qatar) by Davy Chou.

“At the very core of Dfi’s film funding mandate is to contribute to World Cinema and ensure that great stories continue to be told. We are committed to celebrating high-calibre talents, both emerging and established, to contribute to a growing roster of quality world cinema. Through our Dfi Grantee program, we are underling our commitment to support emerging talent and create a body of work that reflects the cinematic ambitions of the next generation. These projects will also inspire the young Qatari film professionals to create compelling content that will gain international acclaim,” added Al Remaihi.

As part of Qatar’s presence in Cannes, the Doha Film Institute is also presenting a special Made in Qatar showcase of short films at the Cannes’ Short Film Corner, a section of the festival dedicated to showcasing films from more than 90 countries to thousands of accredited industry guests, festival selectors and short film industry specialists.

The line-up includes winners of the Best Documentary Film and Best Narrative Film at Ajyal 2015, "The Palm Tree" by Jassim al Remaihi and "Asfoora" by Mayar Hamdan respectively, "Good as New" by Jasser Alagha, "Yellow Nights" by Abdullah Al Mulla, "The Notebook" by Amna Al-Binali, "Light Sounds" by Karem Kamel, "Veganize it" by Khalid Salim, "To My Mother" by Amina Ahmed Al Bloshi and "Inside Out" by Fahad Al-Obaidly.

Since premiering at Ajyal in 2015 the Miq package screened at Clermont Ferrand and Berlinale, and is also scheduled to screen in Sarajevo and several other festivals on the international circuit later this year.  »

- Sydney Levine

Permalink | Report a problem


Doha Film Institute awards grants to Lasri, Soueid and Khemir

14 May 2016 8:36 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Qatari Institution funds 26 projects from 14 countries. 

The Doha Film Institute has announced the latest recipients of its grants programme.

Six of the grantees premiere in Cannes this year: Apprentice and Dogs premiere in Cannes, Divines, in Directors’ Fortnight and Diamond Island, Mimosas and Tramontane in Critics’ Week.

The Dfi also backed Asghar Farhadi’s Palme d’Or contender The Salesman but not as part of grants programme.

“I think it’s testament to the strength of our grants programme, the exciting new filmmakers emerging from our region and beyond, and the high quality of the films we are pleased to be able to support,” said said Fatma Al Remaihi, CEO of the Doha Film Institute.

A total of 26 projects from 14 countries – comprising 13 narrative features, six documentaries, three experimental or essay works and four short films – received funding for development, production or post-production in the spring 2016 funding round.

“The number of established film-makers applying has increased following the opening »

Permalink | Report a problem


Qumra, Arabic for Camera, Works to Help First and Second Time Filmmakers of Mena

23 March 2016 5:51 PM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

The second edition of Qumra, March 4 - 9, organized by the Doha Film Institute has wrapped. Through a series of one-on-one meetings, consultations and tutorials, delegates at Qumra - the producers and directors associated with the 33 projects from 19 countries selected for the industry program - are provided with deep insights on how their films can find their voice in the global film market.

Only 100+ people, all working hard and all meeting every day is especially appealing. Seen in light of mega-events as Berlin, Cannes, Tiff and Sundance, the intimacy of everyone sharing meals, attending the same party, staying at the same hotels within the famed souk and in walking distance to the incredibly beautiful Museum of Islamic Art, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect I.M. Pei where morning events, classes and screenings take place makes this event forever memorable.

Mentoring is a natural result of the rich mix of people from all levels of the industry sharing themselves along with their expertise.

In my closing conversation with Doha Film Institute CEO Fatma Al Remaihi, Qumra Deputy Director Hanaa Issa and Artistic Advisor for the Doha Film Institute, filmmaker Elia Suleiman, I had quite pointed questions to ask but in fact, they were too pointed because as Elia said, “While the Qatar film industry is still in its infancy, we are all discovering and learning about the region and Qatar, the power of the filmmakers’ voices. We have no target to hit, because that would be too confining.”

What is the objective of all the activity of Dfi?

Fatma : Qumra marks the beginning of new collaborations, new creative partnerships and new friendships. At its heart, the mission of this event is to support emerging filmmakers. The program has been designed with the constant goal of creating a supportive and productive space for projects by emerging filmmakers to be nurtured and to provide maximum opportunities for our filmmakers to benefit from the wisdom of the most experienced industry experts in the world.

“Last year, we launched Qumra and embarked on an ambitious journey to provide emerging talent with an industry platform to help them build their skills and foster meaningful industry connections. In its second edition, we are excited to see it define its own niche with experts from across the world taking part in the discussions and asserting their commitment to supporting young filmmakers. We thank them for being here in Qatar and sharing their experience with the spirit of generosity that has come to embody this event.”

The objective of supporting Arab voices is being met faster than expected as shown by the success of ‘ Theeb’.

Editor: “Theeb” has won numerous awards in festivals including its debut in Venice where director-writer Naji Abu Nowar won for Best Director, winning the U.K.’s top BAFTA Award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer by Naji Abu Nowar and Rupert Lloyd and reaching the level of nominee for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

This coproduction between Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and U.K. was funded by Doha Film Institute, Visions Sud Est and Anad of Abu Dhabi and it has been sold by top international sales agent Fortissimo to Australia (Jiff Distribution), Belgium (ABC), Middle East (Mad Solutions), Netherlands (ABC – Cinemien), Norway (As Fidalgo), Switzerland (trigon-film) U.K. (New Wave) and U.S. (Film Movement).

Hanaa Issa : “In many ways, Qumra is the culmination of the work we have been doing at the Doha Film Institute over the past five years. It builds on the existing support we give to filmmakers through our education and development programs, our funding programs, and our screenings and film appreciation initiatives. Our first edition showed us that the format worked and provided meaningful results to all those who participated, and we are confident that the second edition has contributed to extending further support to our talents.

I notice how many young filmmakers are here, and how shorts seem to be a strong suit right now for them. How does this objective apply specifically to Qatar?

Hanaa : The Dfi is making Qatar voices heard by traveling, bringing a package of films and selected participants to Berlin, Cannes, Dubai and Clermont-Ferrand, the world’s first and still most prestigious short film festival.

Elia: Qumra is for the young filmmakers and to inspire them, especially at a time when fences and borders are being built all around, and new ones are springing everywhere in the world. The imagination and poetry of our young filmmakers serve as a resistance to these borders. The fact that we are here at Qumra shows our confidence in our filmmakers in breaking down these barriers.

Are you getting any feedback yet?

Elia : I mix among everyone and am hearing very positive things from the filmmakers, the experts and festival programmers.

I heard James Schamus say it is unique. I’ve had several conversations with young women filmmakers that go beyond the subject of filmmaking.

Elia: There are more women here than last year, perhaps because the doors are so recently opened.

How do you evaluate all that has happened here?

Fatma: Very soon after the event, all together, every person involved in the event reviews every step and we forecast trends from what we see has taken place so far. We plan how to fulfil the needs of the filmmakers as we grow.

How do you see the future?

Hanaa: Many more people want to come and some want to come at their own expense. We want to meet the demands and also to keep the integrity of Qumra and insure that projects develop with follow up by all participants. We want to keep the format and avoid getting too big, to keep it relevant…We want to see the evolution of the projects here.

I myself love the intimacy and fear its loss as more people become aware of how great this program is. As press, I hesitate to write to tell more people about it because I want to keep it small as a participant.

Elia: In ten years perhaps one of the Masters will be someone who began here.

Fatma: The returnees from the first year are here with passion. And yet we need to guard the windows for new comers.

Hanaa: I would say Qumra is “elastic”.

Those are good closing words. “Elastic” defines Qumra now. Thank you for this look at what has happened so far at Qumra. I hope to remain a part of the Qumra family now that I have participated with the short filmmakers myself and have experienced the people’s warm hospitality!

From the official press notes:

Doha Film Institute CEO Fatma Al Remaihi said: “Qumra offers audiences highly engaging film experiences presenting new insights into the language of cinema and the process behind the creation of compelling films. They will also be educational and inspirational, underlining our commitment to strengthening film culture in Qatar by promoting access to and appreciation of world cinema.”

Masters and master classes with James Schamus, Joshua Oppenheimer, Naomi Kawase, Aleksandr Sokurov and Nuri Bilge Ceylan interested all participants and much of the public.

The Masters screenings, accompanied by Q&A sessions with the visiting Qumra Masters linked to each film were “The Look of Silence” (Denmark, Indonesia, Finland, Norway, UK / Indonesian, Javanese /2014) by Qumra Master Joshua Oppenheimer, “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia” (Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina / Turkish / 2011) by Qumra Master Nuri Bilge Ceylan; “Russian Ark” (Russian Federation, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan / Russian / 2002) by Qumra Master Aleksandr Sokurov; “The Mourning Forest” (Japan, France / Japanese / 2007) by Qumra Master Naomi Kawase; and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (Taiwan, Hong Kong, USA, China / Mandarin / 2001) by Ang Lee, co-written and produced by Lee’s longtime collaborator and Qumra Master, James Schamus.

The ‘New Voices in Cinema’ screenings included two feature films granted by the Doha Film Institute: “ Mediterranea” (Italy, France, Germany, Qatar/ Arabic, English, French, Italian; 2015) by Jonas Carpignano being sold internationally by Ndm and Wme; “ Roundabout in my Head”/ “Fi rassi roun-point” (Algeria, France, Qatar/Arabic/2015); and two award-winning short films “Waves 98” by Ely Dagher (Lebanon, Qatar / Arabic / 2015), winner of the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and “The Palm Tree ” (Qatar, No Dialogue, 2015) by Jasim Al Rumaihi, winner of the 2015 Ajyal Youth Film Festival Made in Qatar Award for Best Documentary.

Many of the industry guests included returnees as well as the new guests which count Bero Beyer, Rotterdam; Tine Fisher, Cph Dox; Christophe Le Parc, Director’s Fortnight, Cannes; Vincenzo Bugno, World Cinema Fund, Berlinale; Cameron Bailey, Tiff and Carlo Chatrian, Locarno here for their second time; Sundance for its first year; Matthijs Wouter Knol, European Film Market; Mike Goodridge, Protagonist; Memento Films, Arte; Michael Werner, Fortissimo; Alaa Karkouti, Mad Solutions and Selim El Azar, Gulf Films.

Also attending for the first time was Netflix who picked up “Under the Shadow” an elevated horror/ thriller partially funded by the Doha Film Institute, Film Movement and the Ford Foundation.

The closing night party was a sumptuous affair held in the desert, an homage to the tent dwellings of the Doha Bedouins, grandparents of those who are now forging a new urban and international identity.

  »

- Sydney Levine

Permalink | Report a problem


See Angelina Jolie Pitt's Heartfelt Reunion with Teen Syrian Refugee Hala and Her Family

15 March 2016 12:25 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

While visiting refugees in Lebanon as special envoy for the Unhrc, Angelina Jolie Pitt reunited with Hala, a 13-year-old Syrian refugee she befriended during previous visits. In these exclusive photos, Jolie Pitt has an affectionate reunion with Hala's family, whom she previously saw in last summer. Many hugs were shared, a source tells People. Hala, who lost her parents, lives in Lebanon with her sisters and brothers: Rauhaf, Morhauf, Ahmed, Nemer and his wife, Fatima, and their baby daughter Hamida, whom she helps raise. The actress and director sat on the floor and had dinner with the family and colored with the children. »

- Chancellor Agard, @chancelloragard

Permalink | Report a problem


See Angelina Jolie Pitt's Heartfelt Reunion with Teen Syrian Refugee Hala and Her Family

15 March 2016 12:25 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

While visiting refugees in Lebanon as special envoy for the Unhrc, Angelina Jolie Pitt reunited with Hala, a 13-year-old Syrian refugee she befriended during previous visits. In these exclusive photos, Jolie Pitt has an affectionate reunion with Hala's family, whom she previously saw in last summer. Many hugs were shared, a source tells People. Hala, who lost her parents, lives in Lebanon with her sisters and brothers: Rauhaf, Morhauf, Ahmed, Nemer and his wife, Fatima, and their baby daughter Hamida, whom she helps raise. The actress and director sat on the floor and had dinner with the family and colored with the children, »

- Chancellor Agard, @chancelloragard

Permalink | Report a problem


Arab film-making scene expanding and diversifying, says report

11 March 2016 4:24 AM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Study reveals France to be top producer of independent Arab cinema alongside Egypt and Lebanon with Qatar rising as a key funder.

A “robust independent film scene” is taking root across the Middle East and North Africa, according to a new study by Northwestern University in Qatar (Nu-q) and the Doha Film Institute (Dfi).

Based on data sets drawn from grant applications to the Dfi, the study is the one of the first attempts to quantify and analyse film production across the Arab world.

It revealed that while mainstream comedies and dramas produced out of Egypt continued to dominate the Arabic-language box office at home and across the Middle East, a network of alternative cinematic voices and forms of film-making are starting to emerge out of the region.

“Analysis of previously unreleased data compiled by the Doha Film Institute reveals a robust independent film scene in the Arab World, which reflects far greater diversity than the relatively »

Permalink | Report a problem


Over 100 Film Industry Experts Attend 2nd Edition of Doha Institute's Qumra

6 March 2016 12:58 PM, PST | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

Qumra, the annual industry event by the Doha Film Institute designed to nurture the development of emerging filmmakers, will welcome more than 100 industry professionals, including international film festival directors, producers, fund managers, script consultants, distributors and other experts during its second edition to be held from March 4 to 9, 2016.

A number of industry leaders who attended the inaugural edition last year have confirmed their participation for the second time alongside many new organizations represented for the first time at the annual gathering dedicated to supporting first- and second-time filmmakers on both a creative and practical level. The delegates come from as far afield as Argentina, Australia, India, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Egypt and the Us.

Fatma Al Remaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute, said: “Qumra presents a very important component in nurturing a film industry in Qatar and the Arab world and the participation of international industry experts is integral to this initiative. I would like to thank each of these seasoned professionals for lending their expertise to benefit the participating projects and for being part of the unique creative network that we have cultivated through Qumra.”

She added: “We have seen many productive and tangible outcomes for the projects that were developed in the first edition of Qumra and I am confident that the connections made between emerging filmmakers and industry mentors in the coming week will contribute to the growth of a more robust regional film industry and benefit the participants far into the future.”

The Qumra industry program is centered around 33 projects from Qatar, the Arab region and the rest of the world at various stages of development. The industry sessions are presented in two strands: tutorials, workshops, consultations and one-on-one meetings for projects still in development; and a series of work-in-progress and ‘picture lock’ screenings and feedback sessions for projects in post production. I am proud to be a part of the tutorials and one-on-one sessions with the filmmakers working on short films.

Among the leading industry names to attend the event this year are: David Parfitt, Academy Award-winning producer, Chairman of Film London and ex-Chairman of BAFTA; Christophe Leparc, Managing Director, Programmer at Director’s Fortnight Cannes Film Festival and recently appointed Festival Director of Cinemed; Cameron Bailey, Festival Director, Toronto International Film Festival; Carlo Chatrian, Artistic Director of Festival Del Film Locarno; Vincenzo Bugno, Project Manager of Berlinale World Cinema Fund and member of the Berlinale Competition Selection Committee; Matthijs Wouter Knol, Director of the European Film Market at the Berlin International Film Festival; Remi Burah, Senior Executive Vice President, Arte France Cinéma; Cara Mertes, Director of the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms; Mike Goodridge, CEO of Protagonist Pictures; Alexandre Mallet-Guy, President of Memento Films; Michael J. Werner, Managing Director & Chairman of Fortissimo Films; and first-time representatives from Netflix, AMC / Sundance Channel Global and the Sundance Institute.

Strong representation from programmers and directors of the world’s leading film festivals and institutes includes: Cph:dox Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival; Morelia Film Festival in Mexico & San Sebastian Film Festival, Spain; International Film Festival of Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Busan International Film Festival, South Korea; Latin Arab International Film Festival in Argentina; Melbourne International Film Festival, Australia; Tribeca Film Institute, USA; International Istanbul Film Festival; Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival; Berlinale Shorts at International Film Festival of Berlin; Sarajevo Film Festival; and the Dubai International Film Festival.

High profile regional distributors and international sales agents and distributors include representatives from Wild Bunch of France; Film Movement of USA; Memento Films, France; Tricon Films, Canada; Urban Distribution International of France; The Match Factory of Germany; Gulf Films of UAE; Mad Solutions, Egypt ; Front Row Filmed Entertainment, UAE; Moving Turtle, Lebanon and Mc Distribution, Lebanon.

International film funds and commissions represented at Qumra 2016 include: Idfa Bertha Fund of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam; the Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival of Rotterdam; Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg; the Robert Bosch Stiftung, Berlin; The Royal Film Commission, Jordan; the Arab Fund for Arts & Culture; Screen Institute Beirut; the Netherlands Film Fund and Gulf funds Sanad Film Fund and Enjazz, UAE as well as regional financiers Image Nation and Mbc Group.

Qatar-based organizations are represented by Innovation Films and the Al Jazeera Media Training & Development Centre in Qatar along with 120 Qatar-based film, media and entertainment delegates who will also participate in the program, further building on the event’s aim to connect local, regional and international industry for the benefit of emerging talent.

Qumra has three main elements: Masterclasses by the Qumra Masters, which will be led this year by James Schamus (Us), Joshua Oppenheimer (Us), Naomi Kawase (Japan), Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey) and Aleksandr Sokurov (Russia); industry meetings and screenings. All projects selected by the Doha Film Institute will benefit from the industry meetings with the experts to take their work to the next stage.

The screenings are in two categories: Master Screenings & New Voices in Cinema. The Masters Screenings this year include "The Look of Silence" (Denmark, Indonesia, Finland, Norway, UK / Indonesian, Javanese /2014) by Joshua Oppenheimer,Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina / Turkish / 2011) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan; "Russian Ark" (Russian Federation, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan / Russian / 2002) by Aleksandr Sokurov;"The Mourning Forest" (Japan, France / Japanese / 2007) by Naomi Kawase; and " Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" Taiwan, Hong Kong, USA, China / Mandarin / 2001) by Ang Lee.

In the New Voices in Cinema segment, are: "The Palm Tree" (Qatar, No Dialogue, 2015) by Jasim Al Rumaihi; "Mediterranea" (Italy, France, Germany, Qatar/ Arabic, English, French, Italian; 2015) by Jonas Carpignano; "Roundabout in my Head" (Algeria, France, Qatar/Arabic/2015), and "Waves 98" by Ely Dagher (Lebanon, Qatar / Arabic / 2015).

All screenings will take place at the Museum of Islamic Art Auditorium and tickets are now on sale at www.dohafilminstitute.com

»

- Sydney Levine

Permalink | Report a problem


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

Permalink | Report a problem


Filmmakers James Schamus and Joshua Oppenheimer Unveiled as Final Two Qumra Masters

24 February 2016 12:03 PM, PST | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

The second edition of Qumra, March 4 - 9, the industry development event organized by the Doha Film Institute to nurture emerging voices in cinema with a focus on first and second-time filmmakers, will include as Masters, James Schamus and Joshua Oppenheimer along with Naomi Kawase, Aleksandr Sokurov and Nuri Bilge Ceylan participating in a series of master classes and one-on-one sessions with selected Qumra filmmakers and their projects along with screenings and Q&A sessions for Doha audiences throughout the week.

Read about previously announced Qumra Masters.

Held at the incredibly beautiful Museum of Islamic Art, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect I.M. Pei, and a cultural partner of the Doha Film Institute, Qumra supports the development of emerging filmmakers from Qatar, the Arab region and around the world. Dfi has arranged a “rainbow of colors in a bouquet of participants and masters”. Elia Suleiman, Artistic Advisor for the Doha Film Institute says, “each master is very different and the event looks like an edition of poetry.”

Due to unforeseen circumstances, previously announced Qumra Master Lucrecia Martel is no longer able to participate this year.

Directors and producers attached to up to thirty three projects in development or post-production are invited to participate in Qumra, named from the Arabic term ‘qumra’ popularly said to be the origin of the word ‘camera’ and used by the scientist, astronomer and mathematician Alhazen (Ibn al-Haytham, 965-c.1040 Ce), whose work in optics laid out the principles of the camera obscura.

Qumra includes a number of emerging filmmakers from Qatar, as well as recipients of funding from the Institute’s Grants Program. The robust program features industry meetings designed to assist with propelling projects to their next stages of development, master classes, work-in-progress screenings, matchmaking sessions and tailored workshops with industry experts. This creative exchange takes place alongside a program of public screenings curated with input from the Qumra Masters.

Especially appealing about this event, seen in light of mega-events as Berlin, Cannes, Tiff and Sundance is the intimacy of everyone sharing meals, attending the same party, staying at the same hotel within the famed souk and in walking distance to the museum. Only 150 people, all working hard and all meeting every day as they work with 23 features, 11 of which are in development and 12 in post whose program has been guided by Elia Suleiman and Qumra Deputy Director Hanaa Issa. The Qumra team will also help us navigate the souk to find the best bargains in spices like saffron and sumac and tumeric, textiles and other middle eastern treasures from the silk road!

Qumra has come a long way in one year; where last year there was only one documentary, this year there are eight documentary features – four in development and four works-in-progress - and four short documentaries in development. Five of them are Qatari, five are from the Mena region and two international. There are 23 features of which five are from Qatar and 10 shorts, all from Qatar. Each Master will meet with four to five filmmakers formally but the collaboration among mentors and emerging filmmakers will extend far beyond such formal meetings.

There are also three great moderators of panels: Richard Pena, the longtime chief for the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York, Jean Michel Poignet and Paolo Bertolini of the Venice Film Festival.

Also included is a highly engaging selection of movies by the five Qumra Masters and from a selection of emerging talent during daily screenings and Q&A sessions. The selection includes Academy Award, Cannes Film Festival and Ajyal Youth Film Festival award winners.

Doha Film Institute CEO Fatma Al Remaihi said: “This year, the Qumra Screenings will showcase the work of five esteemed masters of cinema alongside some tremendously talented emerging filmmakers. By presenting these two spectrums of cinematic works, Qumra will offer audiences highly engaging film experiences that will present new insights into the language of cinema and the process behind the creation of compelling films. They will also be educational and inspirational, underlining our commitment to strengthening film culture in Qatar by promoting access to and appreciation of world cinema.”

The Masters screenings, accompanied by Q&A sessions with the visiting Qumra Masters linked to each film are “The Look of Silence” (Denmark, Indonesia, Finland, Norway, UK / Indonesian, Javanese /2014) by Qumra Master Joshua Oppenheimer, “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia” (Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina / Turkish / 2011) by Qumra Master Nuri Bilge Ceylan; “The Russian Ark” (Russian Federation, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan / Russian / 2002) by Qumra Master Aleksandr Sokurov; “The Mourning Forest” (Japan, France / Japanese / 2007) by Qumra Master Naomi Kawase; and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (Taiwan, Hong Kong, USA, China / Mandarin / 2001) by Ang Lee, co-written and produced by Lee’s longtime collaborator and Qumra Master, James Schamus.

The ‘New Voices in Cinema’ screenings include two feature films granted by the Doha Film Institute: “ Mediterranea” (Italy, France, Germany, Qatar/ Arabic, English, French, Italian; 2015) by Jonas Carpignano being sold internationally by Ndm and Wme; “Roundabout in my Head”/ “Fi rassi roun-point” (Algeria, France, Qatar/Arabic/2015); and two award-winning short films “Waves 98” by Ely Dagher (Lebanon, Qatar / Arabic / 2015), winner of the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and “The Palm Tree ” (Qatar, No Dialogue, 2015) by Jasim Al Rumaihi, winner of the 2015 Ajyal Youth Film Festival Made in Qatar Award for Best Documentary.

“We are privileged to have James Schamus and Joshua Oppenheimer participate as Qumra Masters this year,” said Doha Film Institute CEO Fatma Al Remaihi. “Both filmmakers, while very different in style, are truly ground-breaking in their fields and bring a wealth of experience to Qumra that will be invaluable for the young filmmakers participating.”

“We look forward to welcoming James and Joshua to the Gulf region for the first time and enabling our Qumra 2016 participants to establish a connection with these two leaders of independent filmmaking in the Us.”

Both Schamus and Oppenheimer were born in the Us and combine their acclaimed filmmaking careers with other roles within the industry: Schamus as a revered film historian and academic; and Oppenheimer as Artistic Director of the Centre for Documentary and Experimental Film at the University of Westminster in London.

Schamus, a multi award-winning screenwriter, director and leading Us indie producer, is best known for his long creative collaboration with Taiwanese director Ang Lee. He has worked with Lee on nine films, including “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000), which won four Academy Awards, including Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography, and remains the highest-grossing non-English-language film in the Us. He was the screenwriter for Lee's “The Ice Storm”, for which he won the award for Best Screenplay at the Festival de Cannes in 1997 and co-wrote “Eat Drink Man Woman” (1994), the first of Lee’s films to achieve both critical and commercial success.

As a producer, Schamus co-founded the Us powerhouse production company Good Machine in the early 1990s, and then from 2002 to 2014 was CEO of Focus Features, the motion picture production, financing and worldwide distribution company whose films during his tenure included Wes Anderson's “Moonrise Kingdom” (2012), Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Roman Polanski's “The Pianist “(2002), Henry Selick's Coraline (2009) and Sofia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation” (2003).

In 2014, Schamus turned his hand to directing with the short documentary “That Film About Money” (2014), and in 2016 made his feature directorial debut with an adaptation of Philip Roth's “Indignation," which had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2016 and is screening at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival in the Panorama section.

Schamus is also Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where he teaches film history and theory, and is the author of 'Carl Theodor Dreyer's Gertrud: The Moving Word', published by the University of Washington Press.

Elia Suleiman , the Artistic Advisor to Doha Film Institute, recalls how he and James grew up together in New York as long-time friends. James introduced him to the Chilean master filmmaker Raul Ruiz. Schamus helped him with his short film while at Good Machine. He helped edit the script and was his guardian angel helping with his first contract. They even had a code for “urgent”. When Elia was in Jerusalem and James in London they used the code whenever Elia was overwhelmed by the paperwork needed. James would answer within 15 minutes. Now James has come full circle on his own, from being one of the most important producers of the decade to directing his own film. When asked by Qumra what was most important, he said first time filmmakers were the most important. And he has always been able to spot the most talented of emerging filmmakers.

Two-time Academy Award nominee Joshua Oppenheimer’s debut feature-length film, “The Act of Killing” (2012) was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature Film, named Film of the Year by The Guardian and the Sight and Sound Film Poll, and won 72 international awards, including a European Film Award, a BAFTA, an Asia Pacific Screen Award, a Berlin International Film Festival Audience Award, and the Guardian Film Award for Best Film.

His second film, “The Look of Silence” (2014) had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where it won five awards including the Grand Jury Prize, the Fipresci Prize and the Fedeora Prize. It was nominated for the 2016 Oscar for Best Documentary Film, and has received 66 international awards, including an International Documentary Association Award for Best Documentary, a Gotham Award for Best Documentary, and three Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking.

Oppenheimer is a partner at the Final Cut for Real production company in Copenhagen, and Artistic Director of the Centre for Documentary and Experimental Film at the University of Westminster, London.

Many of the industry guests include returnees as well as the new guests which count Bero Beyer, Rotterdam; Tine Fisher, Cph Dox; Christophe Le Parc, Director’s Fortnight, Cannes; Vincenzo Bugno, World Cinema Fund, Berlinale; Cameron Bailey, Tiff and Carlo Chatrian, Locarno here for their second time; Sundance for its first year; Matthijs Wouter Knol, European Film Market; Mike Goodridge, Protagonist; Memento Films, Arte; Michael Werner, Fortissimo; Alaa Karkouti, Mad Solutions and Selim El Azar, Gulf Films.

Also attending for the first time will be Netflix who picked up “Under the Shadow” an elevated horror/ thriller partially funded by the Doha Film Institute, Film Movement and the Ford Foundation.

Previous Qumra Masters include Mexican actor, director and producer Gael Garcia Bernal (“Amores Perros”; “No”; “Deficit”), Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako (Timbuktu - nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2015 Academy Awards); Romanian auteur and Palme d’Or winner Cristian Mungiu (“4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”; “Beyond the Hills”); and Bosnian writer/director Danis Tanović (“An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker”; “Tigers”, “No Man’s Land” - winner of Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2001). »

- Sydney Levine

Permalink | Report a problem


Berlin: Reel Suspects Rolls Out Sales on ‘Demon’ (Exclusive)

9 February 2016 2:21 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Paris – Making good on upbeat festival reception, Paris-based Reel Suspects has rolled out sales on “Demon,” a title made sadly all the more famous by the tragic abrupt death of its director, 42-year-old Marcin Wrona, a week after its screening at September’s Toronto Festival.

In early major-territory deals, Matteo Lovadina’s Reel Suspects has licensed Germany/Austria (Donau Films), Scandinavia (Njuta Films), Brazil (Supo Mungam), Australia (Sbs), and Central Europe (HBO).

ICM sold U.S. rights to the Orchard, which will release “Demon” Stateside in 2016. Donau Films will give “Demon” a theatrical run through the Drop Out Cinema Network in May 2016.

Starring Itay Tiran (“Lebanon,” “Beaufort”), Agnieska Zulewska and Tomasz Schuchardt, “Demon” turns on a man who is given a piece of land as a wedding gift from his bride-to-be’s father to build a house and raise a happy family. As he prepares the land, he unearths the »

- John Hopewell

Permalink | Report a problem


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

Permalink | Report a problem


2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

12 items from 2016


IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.

See our NewsDesk partners