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Doha Film Institute Introduces New Courses for Short Film Programme

Feb 09, 2011 — Education

Doha, February 8, 2011 – The Doha Film Institute (DFI) has launched new courses as part of its short film programme for 2011, offering fledging filmmakers an opportunity to participate in high-quality workshops and hands-on professional training.

During the course of the 5 month program students will attend evening and weekend sessions on scriptwriting, directing, cinematography and working with actor programmes, enabling them to produce ten minute films at the end of the workshop. They will learn about casting, location scouting and what needs to be done for pre-production. All films will be produced locally in Doha, using other students for crew and support.

The Short Film Workshop for 2011 includes Scriptwriting Workshop (February) hosted by Scandar Copti and Ritesh Batra, Storyboard Workshop (April) where students will learn under the guidance of Sabine El Chamma, Cinematography Workshop (May) guided by Ben Robinson, Justin Kramer and Thomas Hines and Directing Actors Workshop (May) conducted be celebrated Palestinian Actor Ashraf Farah.

“We offer a full range of high-level courses, from intensive film labs with internationally acclaimed directors to cultural partnerships with other leading film institutions around the world. DFI also engages the broader film community with informative panel discussions, animation classes, and weekend workshops. Educational support and resources are available to cinephiles of all ages, ensuring that anyone interested in film at any level can get involved — from toddlers who love cartoons to vintage movie enthusiasts who wish to seriously elevate their cinematic knowledge” said Scandar Copti, Oscar nominated Palestinian Director and Head of DFI Education.

Interested candidates had to submit a ten minute script on any subject as part of the selection process in November 2010. DFI received over 90 submissions from 25 nationalities including 18 Qatari applicants, representing a diverse mix of age groups (19-39) and cultural backgrounds. All entries were evaluated by a script reading committee and after various deliberations, 13 students have been selected for a hands on insight into the filmmaking process.

Over the year, nearly 200 students will get admissions to the full range of high-level courses offered at DFI. Participants will receive training in various aspects of filmmaking including story- telling, directing, camera techniques and acting. Last year, DFI educated 156 students in filmmaking, following an intensive community outreach campaign that helped further enhance the educational offerings from the institute.

DFI’s year-round educational programmes aim to inspire and support a new generation of Qatari, regional and international filmmakers. The institute in 2010 produced 40 short films, and had world-renowned instructors and mentors teach their students including sessions with Sandi Sissel, Shekhar Kapur, Ziad Doueiri, Danielle Arbid, Hisham Suleiman, Scandar Copti, Sabrina Dhawan, Geoffrey Gilmore and Ruba Nadda amongst others.

Notes to Editor:

February: Scriptwriting Workshop

  • Students will take part in a 7-day Scriptwriting workshop hosted by Scandar Copti and Ritesh Batra.
  • Between February and March Students will re-write their scripts with constant mentoring and support from DFI Education team.

April: Storyboard Workshop

  • Students will learn to the art of short narratives using still pictures under the guidance of Lebanese filmmaker and educator Sabine El Chamma .

May: Cinematography Crashcourse

  • Students will spend a week learning about framing, camera techniques and lighting

May: Directing Actors

  • With the help of celebrated Palestinian actor Ashraf Farah (Pomegranates and Myrrh, Miral) students will learn to direct their actors on set. Through group exercises and one-on-one mentoring, this workshop will explore: screenplay analysis, rehearsals and warm-ups, scene prep, monologues, visualization techniques, remaining in character, and many cinema-specific skills including following eye lines, finding marks and maintaining continuity.