An impressive slate of 39 projects by first-and-second-time filmmakers from around the world and established names from the Arab world have been selected for the Doha Film Institute’s (DFI) Spring 2020 Grants cycle.
With 30 projects from the Mena region, including six helmed by Qatari filmmakers, the programme continues in its mission to nurture a new generation of creative talents and support the development of original and compelling content.
Highlighting the central role of women in cinema, 18 of the chosen projects are by talented female directors.
Out of the nine projects from beyond the Mena region, Diane Bouzgarrou and Thomas Jenkoe’s The Last Hillbilly, was confirmed at Cannes parallel section France’s Association for the Diffusion of Independent Cinema (ACID) earlier this year for its special 2020 programme.
Moreover, four first-time grantee countries entered the programme this year – Colombia, Haiti, Bangladesh, Tanzania – and one Virtual Reality (VR) short project - Razan AlSalah’s The Greatest Wait (After the Last Sky), which masterfully explores a virtual return to Palestine and an aesthetic of land reclamation within virtual space – was granted for the first time.
Underlining the programme’s role as a key contributor to the region’s creative industries, three projects are by established Mena filmmakers: Adil El Fadili’s My Dad Is Not Dead; Shawkat Amin Korki’s The Exam; and Dalila Ennadre’s Jean Genet, Our Father of Flowers.
“Over the last nine years, DFI’s Grants Programme has supported powerful stories and moving storytelling across a broad spectrum of issues and perspectives and has evolved into a key initiative for the next generation of filmmakers from the Arab world and beyond.
The programme echoes our core mission to amplify important voices of our time and help talent realise their creative aspirations, to develop and support world cinema while fostering cultural diversity,” DFI CEO Fatma Hassan al-Remaihi said in a statement.
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