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Qatar’s H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa Launches the Doha Film Institute

May 16, 2010 — The Institute

CANNES, FRANCE, May 16: Marking a major step in expanding the scope of its international film ambitions, Qatar’s H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa has officially launched the Doha Film Institute (DFI), a new umbrella organisation established to bring all of Qatar’s film initiatives under one banner.

The Doha Film Institute (DFI) is the country’s first year-round international cultural film organisation dedicated to film appreciation, education, financing, production and to building a long term sustainable film industry in Qatar.
Under the new umbrella organisation, DFI provides funding for film production, year-round education programmes, and celebrates existing cultural partnerships with Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation, Mira Nair’s Maisha, and New York’s Tribeca Enterprises.

“The Doha Film Institute’s goal is to build a sustainable film industry in Qatar with strong links to the international film community. Film can do more than just entertain; it can educate, inspire and unite communities and we want to nurture and support filmmakers as we continue to grow Qatar as a cultural hub for film,” stated H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

As part of this expansion, Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation has signed a three year cultural partnership with DFI to restore and preserve international films of cultural significance.

The Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF), a cultural partnership between Doha’s DFI and New York’s Tribeca Enterprises also continues into its second year in 2010 following a highly successful launch in 2009. The festival recently announced its upcoming 2010 edition will have a juried competition featuring Arab films and filmmakers.

DFI has also extended a cultural partnership with renowned director Mira Nair’s Maisha Film Lab, with Qatari residents now taking part in this cross-cultural exchange with filmmakers and students from East Africa and South Asia to access professional training and production resources.

DFI’s year-round education programme has been developed locally to support Doha’s growth as an international cultural hub. These include the continuation of the hugely successful ‘One Minute Films’ programme launched in 2009 with Oscar nominated filmmaker Scandar Copti and the establishment of more international filmmaking labs in Doha in collaboration with Tribeca Enterprises’ Chief Creative Officer, Geoff Gilmore. In addition to its cultural and educational commitment to film in the region, DFI has also announced it will be allocating significant funds for film financing and co-production activity in Qatar with a goal to invest in 10 new Arab films a year.

“We’re really excited about announcing the launch of the Doha Film Institute,” said DFI’s Executive Director Amanda Palmer. “This new organisation reflects the core beliefs of Qatar to put education and a cultural commitment to film at the heart of our activity and lays a foundation for our future. I’d like to thank Martin Scorsese, Mira Nair and the Tribeca Enterprises co-founders for their enthusiasm and continued support, and we look forward to inviting local and international filmmakers to get to know the organisation and better access the cultural, educational and financial support DFI has to offer.”

“I’m extremely pleased by the new partnership between the World Cinema Foundation and the Doha Film Institute,” added Martin Scorsese, Chairman of the World Cinema Foundation. Their goals – to educate, to create awareness of cinema, to build a community of filmmakers within the region, to keep cinema’s past alive in order to ensure its future – align with our own.”

About the Doha Film Institute
The Doha Film Institute, founded in May 2010, is the umbrella organisation for film in Qatar. DFI is dedicated to film appreciation and education with the ultimate goal of making Qatar a cultural centre with a sustainable film industry. As a year-round organisation, DFI supports various cultural, educational and funding activities including film production and financing, cultural partnerships and education programming. DFI’s leadership includes Founder and Board Chair H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Vice Chair H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Fahad Al-Thani, Vice Chair H.E. Dr. Hassan Al-Nimah, and Executive Director Amanda Palmer.