Nine films supported by the Doha Film Institute (DFI) have been selected to the 74th Cannes Film Festival, scheduled from July 6 to 17.
DFI also achieved a first for a regional film organisation with its fifth co-financed film selected for the official ‘In Competition’ segment.
Memoria (Thailand, Colombia, Mexico, France, Germany, Qatar) directed by Qumra Master and Palme d’Or winning Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, co-financed by DFI, joins 23 other films in the In Competition section vying for the prestigious Palme d’Or. Starring Tilda Swinton and Elkin Diaz, it is also the first Spanish-language film by the director.
DFI CEO Fatma Hassan Alremaihi said: “We are truly honoured that films supported by our Grants and co-financing initiatives have been selected to the prestigious festival, which showcases the very best in global cinema today.”
She added: “We are exceptionally proud of Memoria, which marks the collaboration of two Qumra Masters, Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Tilda Swinton, who mentored our emerging talents in 2018.”
The festival’s Un Certain Regard segment includes three films supported by DFI: Freda (Haiti, Benin, France, Qatar), directed by Gessica Généus, and the recipient of the Spring Grants 2020; Fall Grants 2019 recipient and Qumra 2020 project Noche de Fuego (Mexico, Germany, Brazil, Qatar), directed by Tatiana Huezo; and Spring Grants 2020 recipient Rehana Maryam Noor (Bangladesh, Singapore, Qatar), Bangladesh’s first-ever film in Official Selection, directed by Abdullah Mohamed Saad.
Two films supported by DFI are part of the 2021 Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (The Directors’ Fortnight) segment: Lebanese director Ely Dagher returns to Cannes with his first feature The Sea Ahead (Lebanon, France, Belgium, US, Qatar), a Qumra 2021 project and 2018 Spring Grant recipient, following the success of his 2015 short film Waves ’98, also supported by DFI, which won the short film Palme d’Or.
Also selected is Fall Grants 2019 recipient A Brighter Tomorrow (France, Qatar) by Yassine Qnia, whose first short film Don’t Be Tight was screened at many festivals. He lives in Aubervilliers (France) which also serves as the setting of his film.
The 2021 Semaine de la Critique (International Critic’s Week) programme includes these DFI-supported films: Spring Grants 2020 recipient Amparo (Colombia, Sweden, Germany, Qatar), the debut feature by Simón Mesa Soto, whose graduation film Leidi had won the short film Palme d’Or in 2014 and his subsequent short film, Madre was nominated for the Palme d’Or in 2016.
The other selection is The Gravedigger’s Wife (Finland, Germany, France, Qatar), a recipient of the DFI Spring Grants 2020, the feature film debut by Khadar Ayderus Ahmed.
The ACID Programme in Cannes 2021 will screen DFI Qumra Project, a feature documentary, Little Palestine, Diary of a Siege (Lebanon, France, Qatar) directed by Palestinian human-rights activist Abdallah al-Khatib.
The film had its world premiere at the 2021 Visions du Reel documentary film festival in Switzerland.