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DFI Cinema celebrates the collaboration of film and music with 2nd edition of ‘A Symphony of Films’ from Sept. 21 to 26

Sep 19, 2017

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  • Seven films that highlight the power of music in film to be screened
  • Titles include Score: A Film Music Documentary and classics Batman, Bicycle Thieves, Stalker, Pather Panchali and Metropolis
  • Film lovers can also enjoy a free screening of Azur & Asmar: The Princes’ Quest followed by a masterclass with Dr. Deborah Mollison
  • A special concert will highlight music from Britain and Qatar, featuring compositions of Dr. Mollison as well as Qatari composers Dana Al-Fardan, Nasser Nasseb and Wael Binali
  • Metropolis to be presented with live accompaniment by Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra as part of the cultural year Qatar Germany 2017.

Doha, Qatar; September 18, 2017: A week-long celebration of film and music awaits audiences as the Doha Film Institute Cinema (DFI Cinema) presents the second edition of the thematic series, ‘A Symphony of Films’. The series will take place from September 21 to 26 at Katara Drama Theatre and Opera House.

Honoring the collaboration of film and music legends, and underpinning the value that music – and silence – brings to movies, ‘A Symphony of Films’ this year will feature seven films including Score: A Film Music Documentary, Batman, Bicycle Thieves, Stalker, Pather Panchali and Metropolis.

The specially curated programme will also include a masterclass by British composer and songwriter Dr. Deborah Mollison on ‘Becoming a Film Composer.’ The masterclass is presented in collaboration with the British Council and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

On Friday, Sept. 22, ‘A Symphony of Films: Music from Britain and Qatar’ will see a special performance at 7:30 PM by Dr. Mollison, Dana Al-Fardan (Necromancer and Intertwined), Nasser Nasseb (Four Seasons) and Wael Binali (Earth and Niramaya. The concert will be accompanied by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra and are presented by the British Council and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

A selection of works from Dr. Mollison’s career spanning two decades will be the highlight of the evening, with an array of epic and microscopic forms of composition. Among the pieces to be performed are the opening titles from The Boys of Sunset Ridge, The Irish Empire, East is East, Infinite Justice, Tied to a Chair, Wild Weather and the end theme from Heather’s Painting.

Fatma Al Remaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute, said: “Great films are marked by outstanding music where composers lend soul and spirit to the movies through their enchanting compositions. After the success of the first edition of ‘A Symphony of Films’, we are delighted to bring to film enthusiasts a second series of some all-time great films that depict music’s relationship to the seventh art. This is part of our awareness and film education initiative to bring different facets of cinema to audiences in Qatar and nurturing home-grown talent. The event will be wonderful for all members of the family as they have the opportunity to watch captivating films and enjoy spectacular music compositions.”

Dr. Frank Fitzpatrick, Director British Council in Qatar, said: “We work with young people in arts, education and society, supporting them to realise their own potential and contribute to building sustainable knowledge-based economies with the aim of fostering collaboration and knowledge for the long-term benefit of individuals and communities where we work. We are honored of our existing strong and long strategic partnership with Doha Film Institute. We do hope that Dr. Deborah Molison’s masterclass and her music that is going to be performed by Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra will inspire local Qatari composers. We are thrilled to see three active Qatari composers participating in the Music from Britain and Qatar concert and we do hope that this will contribute to the music and film industry in Qatar”.

Dr. Gabriele Landwehr, general manager of the Goethe-Institut Gulf Region that is presenting together with the German Embassy and Qatar Museums the film Metropolis as part of the program for Qatar Germany 2017 Year of Culture: “The 1927 expressionist drama Metropolis is a pioneering work of the science-fiction genre in feature length. With Gottfried Huppertz’ original score music played by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, the Goethe-Institut is delighted to support DFI to present an outstanding experience to the Doha film and music audience.”

The masterclass on Sept. 23, 5:30 PM, will see Dr. Mollison investigating the journey needed to become a film composer. She will reflect on how her own career took shape and the evolution of her work. She will discuss the impact of musical processes and techniques used in film composition, with regards to the language of film music in general and in her own film compositions.

The second season of ‘A Symphony of Films’ will kick off on Thursday, Sept. 21, 7:30 PM with Score: A Film Music Documentary (2016/USA), directed by Matt Schrader, an American documentary filmmaker and three-time Emmy Award winning news producer. Score is an exploration in the power, influence and evolution of music in modern motion pictures and features some of cinema’s most recognized names in film music like Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, John Williams and Alexander Desplat.

Also on Sept. 21, at 10:00 PM, families can enjoy a screening of Batman (1989/USA, UK) directed by Tim Burton with music by Danny Elfman. The much-loved epic is set in Gotham City, where crime rates continue to grow as it approaches its bicentennial, driving the Mayor to order police commissioner James Gordon to take new measures in making the city safer. Their main concern is mob boss Carl Girssom, just as he ends up having a falling out with his right-hand man Jack Napier. Billionaire Bruce Wayne follows Gordon to investigate as his alter-ego, Batman.

On Saturday, Sept. 23, 3:00 PM, watch a free screening of Azur & Asmar: The Princes’ Quest (2006/France, Belgium, Spain, Italy), a delightful animation directed by Michel Ocelot, followed by the Deborah Mollison masterclass. With music by the legendary Gabriel Yared (Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, The English Patient, Amelia), the film is about two children nursed by the same woman, Jenane. Her son, dark-haired, dark-eyed Asmar, and Azur, the blonde, blue-eyed son of a nobleman, were as close as brothers. They grew up with Jenane’s tales of the Djinn-fairy awaiting release by a heroic prince, before Azur’s father brutally separated the boys. Still obsessed with the Djinn-fairy, grown Azur ventures to find Asmar years later.

At 8:30 PM on Sept. 23, catch the classic Bicycle Thieves (1948/Italy), directed by Vittorio Di Sica and with music by Alessandro Cicognini. The film is about Ricci, an unemployed family man in post-WWII Italy, desperate for a good job. He gets one hanging up posters across Rome, which he needs a bicycle for. Soon after, his bike is stolen and he and his son venture the streets of the capital in search of it. When the bike is finally located and the thief caught, Ricci, having no proof, is forced to let it and the thief go. Both Ricci and his family know that without a bike, he cannot keep his job. The film won the honorary Oscars, regarded as the precursor of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film category.

Stalker (1979/Russia), by the master director Andrei Tarkovsky and with music composed by Eduard Artemev, will be screened on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 7:30 PM. The film follows a mission led by a Stalker, a professional guide to a mysterious restricted site known as the Zone, along with his two clients, a gloomy writer seeking inspiration and a professor searching for scientific discovery. A seemingly normal journey into the Room, a place where a person’s deepest desires are fulfilled, turns into a crisis for the Stalker.

The classic Indian film Pather Panchali (1995, India) by auteur Satyajit Ray will be screened on Monday, Sept. 25, at 7:30 PM, with music composed by sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar. The film is set in a quiet, rural Indian village, where Sarbojaya looks after her daughter, Durga, and son, Apu, as well as her husband Harihar’s elderly aunt. While Harihar, a writer and a poet, dreams of a better life for his family, the daily hardships of their impoverished circumstances stack up against the family.

‘A Symphony of Films’ concludes on Tuesday, Sept. 26, with the screening of Metropolis (1927, Germany) directed by Fritz Lang and presented with live accompaniment by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. The story takes place in the future in the city of Metropolis, where the city is divided into two parts, the rich and powerful in the Upper Town and the slave-like workers who run their machinery in the Lower Town. This Cine Concert is presented as part of Qatar Germany 2017 Year of Culture and in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut, The Qatar German Embassy, Qatar Museums and Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.

Tickets to the musical performances are available at and are priced from QAR 75 to 200. Other than Azur & Asmar: The Princes’ Quest and the Deborah Mollison masterclass, which are free (subject to early reservation), all other screenings are priced QAR 35. Students and holders of Qatar Museums’ Culture Pass get a discounted rate of QAR 25. Tickets can be purchased from Katara Drama Theatre (Building 16) and Drama Theatre entrance from Sept. 22 to 25, 2017. Tickets are also available for purchase online at