As the Doha Film Institute announces Qatari Film Fund Spring 2022 recipients, it invites new submissions

Projects by Khalifa Almarri, AJ Al-Thani, Bothayna Al-Mohammadi, Mohammed Al-Suwaidi and Noor Al-Nasr have been chosen for the DFI's Spring Cycle.
As the Doha Film Institute announces Qatari Film Fund Spring 2022 recipients, it invites new submissions

The Doha Film Institute has announced the recipients of the Qatari Film Fund Spring 2022 and opened calls for the new cycle, encouraging Qatari filmmakers to realise their dream projects through financing and mentoring support.

Designed to foster home-grown talent, the Qatari Film Fund offers two funding cycles per year to Qatari nationals and to date has supported 31 national projects including 10 features and 21 shorts. The Qatari Film fund is committed to the development of up to four feature films, in addition to up to eight short films annually.

Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute, said: “The Qatari Film Fund is our unique financing and mentoring initiative to identify and nurture homegrown talent. Over the years, QFF recipients have accomplished impressive works that have gained regional and global acclaim. With support that goes beyond financing, the Qatari Film Fund is an impactful talent incubator that enables more young Qatari Nationals to accomplish their dreams of making quality, independent cinema, be it short narratives, animations, documentaries, or feature films. Through this initiative, we are building a body of ‘Made in Qatar’ works that add to the pride of our creative community and the nation.”

Film projects by Khalifa Almarri, AJ Al-Thani, Bothayna Al-Mohammadi, Mohammed Al-Suwaidi and Noor Al-Nasr have received the 2022 Spring Cycle grants. Included are three shorts – one narrative and two animated works, and two narrative feature films, further underlining the Institute’s commitment to Qatari filmmakers to nurture their skills and support them in their script-to-screen journey.

All five filmmakers, including AJ Al-Thani and Khalifa Almarri, whose earlier projects were also supported by the Fund, have commenced work on their films. They receive development, production, and post-production support from the experienced team at the Institute.

The selected projects for the 2022 Spring Cycle include:

· Untitled (Feature narrative) by Khalifa Almarri about a loving father, who encounters his biggest fear when his daughter mysteriously disappears. He ventures into an investigative journey to get her back home.

· Arabnovela (Feature narrative) by AJ Al-Thani, which is set in Doha in 1997. It is a satirical story about how society and family can crush dreams. A young woman named Noor dreams of becoming a Khaleeji telenovela actress and lives a double life as she juggles being an actress under the alias of Reem Ahmed and her actual job as a resident doctor from her family.

· 4x4 (Short, animated) by Bothayna Al-Mohammadi, about Ella, a lonely and anxious child, who is visited by a wild parakeet who appears on her windowsill and wreaks havoc on her tiny room.

· Al-Aqiq (Short, animated) by Mohammed Al-Suwaidi in which under the duress of a maddening virus spreading through social media, five different people discover they inherited magical gems that give each one of them unique powers.

· Crossing (Short, narrative) by Noor Al-Nasr about a man navigating this high-paced world but is stuck in the memories left in his childhood home.

Submissions for the new cycle of the Qatar Film Fund will commence on August 1 and the deadline is September 1. This year, for consideration for the fund for short films, applicants must have made at least one short film in the past. Full guidelines and submission requirements can be viewed on DFI’s website.

Some of the completed projects from the fund include festival favourites And Then They Burn the Sea by Majid Al Remaihi, A.J. Al Thani’s Kashta, Nora Al-Subai’s Al-Johara, 1001 Days by Aisha Al-Jaidah, Kholoud Al-Ali’s Red, Amal Al-Muftah’s Sh’hab, Nasser Goes to Space by Mohamed Al Mahmeed, Amer: An Arabian Legend by Jassim Al Rumaihi and Khalifa Al Marri’s Olayan among others.

Each selected short project will receive up to QAR 182,500 in production funding that includes development, production and post-production funds, in addition to in-kind support in development, mentorship and the use of DFI’s equipment and production facilities. Successful applicants will receive support throughout the development, production, and post-production stages.

Feature film treatments and screenplays at any level of progress are eligible for development funding valued at up to QAR182,500 that includes development services, mentorship, equipment, and other support from the Institute. They will be provided bespoke development services, including research, script notes and feedback, script editors, writers’ fees, legal services, location scouting, budgeting, and scheduling, and casting, among others. They will also have mentorship opportunities with industry specialists as required.

Selected recipients will also receive creative and technical training and mentoring through the Doha Film Institute’s Learning Initiatives. Qatari screenwriters, writer-directors and producers can present their film ideas currently in the early stages of development. The Institute will assist with the development, production, and post-production of projects through filmmaking workshops and in-house development and help prepare applications for funding from the Qatari Fund as appropriate.

Qatari filmmakers can contact at any stage of their project or for further enquiries. All submissions will be evaluated by a selection committee of Institute staff and external deliberators. Once shortlisted, the team will be contacted for an interview.

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