To highlight the achievements of the Qatari film industry over the past five years, the Doha Film Institute is hosting the inaugural ‘Focus on Qatar’ showcase from 30 September to 2 October at the Museum of Islamic Art.
Part of the ongoing Hekayat Khaleejiya screening series, the ‘Focus on Qatar’ showcase will put the spotlight on homegrown talent and key achievements that have contributed to the growth of film culture in Qatar.
The three-day event includes screenings and industry programmes that celebrate the birth of cinema in Qatar and will provide a snapshot of the filmmakers and production companies that are contributing to the Qatari industry’s growth.
Commenting on the initiative, Fatma Al Remaihi, CEO of the Doha Film Institute, said, “‘Focus in Qatar has been designed as a tribute to the nation’s talented filmmakers who have led the wave of change within our developing industry. Their achievements have paved the way for the next generation and created a talent pool that fuels future growth and development of our beloved art form.”
“Filmmaking in Qatar has become a reality due to our country’s visionary leadership and the combined efforts of individuals and organisations committed to supporting local talent, and promoting Qatar on the world stage. We at the Doha Film Institute are proud to have contributed to this vision. We look forward to welcoming the community in our celebration of our nation’s cinema and the people who make it possible,” she added.
The showcase launches with a special screening of Qatar’s first feature-length film Clockwise (Qatar, 2010) by Khalifa Al-Muraikhi on 30th September. The feature debut of Al-Muraikhi relates the folktale of how fijiri, the entrancing music of Khaleeji pearl drivers came to be.
Clockwise had its world premiere in Doha as part of Qatar’s Arab Capital of Culture celebrations in 2010 and screened at various regional and international film festivals. This screening will celebrate the fifth anniversary of Clockwise’s release and will be preceded by an overview on the history of cinema in Qatar.
In addition to the opening film, ‘Focus on Qatar’ also includes screenings as part of the ‘Next Generation Short Film Programme’ and ‘Innovation Films Showcase’.
The short film programme scheduled on 1st October, comprises films from independent filmmakers that have emerged in Qatar over the last five years and the Innovation Films Showcase on 2nd October highlights the achievements of Innovation Films, a company that has been at the forefront of Qatar’s cinematic rise.
The industry programme scheduled on October 1-2, brings together Qatari filmmakers and local industry professionals for two specially curated events; ‘Meet the Production Houses’ that introduces participants to key production companies in Qatar, with the objective to encourage future collaborations and a panel, ‘How to Distribute Your Film’, that explores the various distribution possibilities available to independent filmmakers for wider reach.