The Doha Film Institute (DFI) is launching two film series to celebrate the best of independent US cinema this month as part of the 2021 Qatar-USA Year of Culture.
The ‘Indie Hits’ programme will be screened on October 21-22 and will feature a selection of independent films from the international film festival circuit. The ‘Year of Culture Series’ will run from October 26-30 and showcases five films that have helped shape the trajectory of US independent cinema. Both series will be held at Building 16, Katara Drama Theatre.
The 2021 Qatar-USA Year of Culture is the latest in Qatar Museums' (QM) annual cultural exchange initiative, which was established in 2011 to deepen ties with countries around the world through events such as festivals, exhibitions, screenings, competitions, workshops and talks. Through these activities, QM aims to bring people together using different creative mediums to explore their similarities and celebrate their differences.
Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Chief Executive Officer of DFI, said: “Beyond typical associations of US films with Hollywood blockbusters and studio titles, America and Qatar share an important past and present culture of independent cinema where unheard voices are amplified and celebrated. By screening classic genre-defining films alongside ground-breaking recent productions, we take audiences on a journey through the evolution of U.S. independent film, demonstrating the crucial role that it has played in raising awareness of social and cultural topics, and emphasising the unifying power of cinema across borders and cultures.”
Samantha Jackson, U.S. Embassy Doha’s Public Diplomacy Officer said: “The Qatar-US Year of Culture encourages dialogue on our bilateral relationship and shared ideals of tolerance and diversity. These discourses via film promote cultural engagement and authentically allows for creatives to comment on contemporary issues, while allowing a global audience to reflect on their own heritage and lives. Filmmaking is an important medium celebrating freedom of artistic expression.”
The ‘Indie Hits’ programme features eight films released over the past five years that have played a significant role in shaping the dynamics of independent cinema. It includes Nine Days (2020) by Edson Oda, and Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari (2020)
The ‘Year of Culture Series’ complements the ‘Indie Hits’ programme by providing audiences with the opportunity to view five of the most iconic films, dating from 1973 to 2017. It opens with Terrence Malick’s Badlands (1973), with other titles including Elephant Man (1980) by David Lynch; Jared Hess’ Napoleon Dynamite (2004): Amreeka (2009) by Charien Dabis and The Rider (2017) by Oscar Award-winning filmmaker Chloe Zhao.