Posted on May 19, 2015

Five emerging filmmakers from Qatar are currently in Cannes attending the 68th edition of the prestigious festival where they are participating in a series of workshops and meetings arranged by the Doha Film Institute to support them in furthering their filmmaking careers. Ali Al Ansari, Mohamed Al Mahmeed, Yousef Al Modhadi, Amal Al Muftah and Maryam Al Sahli are on the seventh day of their programme at the world’s most prominent gathering of international film industry and have so far participated in workshops, script development advisory sessions and one-on-one meetings, along with attending screenings of the latest discoveries in quality cinema from all over the world.

In discussing the development sessions attended by the group Ali Al-Ansari said: "I feel I've gained a lot throughout the meetings that the Doha Film Institute has arranged for us. We have met producers, distributors, people from all areas if the film industry. I've learned a lot of things about the film market, things like selling and distributing and also about producing. We have met with script advisors and supervisors who we pitched to. They gave us good, productive feedback on our scripts, how to deal and work with our characters and then how to actually start recruiting crew and producers to our script - the whole process from A to B."

Qatari filmmakers in Cannes 2 [].jpgYousef Al-Moadhadi, director of the short film ‘10%’ which won the Made in Qatar award at the Ajyal Youth Film Festival in December 2014, said: "Being in the middle of one of the biggest film festivals in the world is a huge experience for me. It's a big business hub and has given me a good understanding of the scale of the business end of this industry which generates millions of dollars. I have learned a lot about how to look at not just the creative parts of making a film, but also the other end of sales and distribution and how to find an audience for your work.”

Mohammed Al Mahmeed discussed the importance of sharing stories from Qatar with the world in international forums such as Cannes. He said: “Qatar is very undiscovered, there are so many stories and things that people don't know about our culture. It is our job as Qataris and as filmmakers to show the world what we have to offer in terms of good, honest stories from Qatar.” As part of Qatar’s presence in Cannes, the Doha Film Institute is presenting a special Made in Qatar showcase of short films at the Cannes’ Short Film Corner, a section of the festival dedicated to showcasing films from more than 90 countries to thousands of accredited industry guests, festival selectors and short film industry specialists.Qatari filmmakers in Cannes 3 [].jpg

In addition to the five filmmakers supported by the Institute, two young filmmakers from Northwestern University in Qatar, Menna Kamel and Jaser Ibrahim Alagha are also attending the Festival where their films are screening in the Short Film Corner. Five films supported by the Doha Film Institute’s grants programme are making their world premiere in several prestigious sections of the festival including the Official Short Film Competition, the Critics’ Week sidebar, Un Certain Regard and the Directors’ Fortnight.