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Doha, Qatar: Outdoor Movies Play Part in Qatar as New Star of the Silver Screen
by Caleb Mitchell
More than 35,000 people, along with leading film personalities Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, Mira Nair, Sir Ben Kingsley, Patricia Clarkson, Youssra and Elia Suleiman, attended Qatar's first international film festival which concluded on Sunday night with fireworks. Tribeca Film Festival co-founder De Niro, who hosted the awards show and closing night screening of Cairo Time, described the Doha Tribeca Film Festival inspirational, full of promise and an important vehicle to discover and support emerging film-makers in Qatar.
The opening and closing ceremonies, held at the specially erected open-air theatre on the grounds of the Museum of Islamic Art, drew big crowds.
DTFF's executive director Amanda Palmer and managing director Maggie Kim, along with Tribeca co-founders Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff and Tribeca's chief creative officer Geoff Gilmore joined De Niro for the closing day.
The industry luminaries from around the world, who graced the DTFF, includedВ Jeffrey Wright, Jean-Jacques Annaud, Muna Wassef, Alexander Siddig, Hiam Abbass, Adel Emam, Haifa Hussein, Jassim Al Nabhan, Hayat Al Fahad, Saad Faraj, Dawood Hussain, Songul Oden and Kivanc Tatlitug.
Over the past four days and nights, we've seen that film can do more than just entertain; it can educate, inspire and unite communities, Palmer said.
The DTFF executive director hoped that in time, the festival can give Qataris a platform to tell their stories to the world through the universal language of film.
The festival's future is as bright as its vibrant, enthusiastic community, Gilmore said referring to the more than 1,000 volunteers who signed up and the thousands of people who attended the screenings.
The four-day festival included screenings of 31 films, 11 of which have roots in the Middle East, as well as a wide array of panel discussions, educational workshops, star-studded red carpets, eight free, open air screenings in some of Doha's most iconic locales, family-focused special events and more.
Thursday's opening evening crowd of more than 5,000 was nearly double the number expected by festival organisers, underscoring the community's enthusiasm and support for the festival.
On Friday, the more than 1,000 people who attended DTFF Family Day at the Museum enjoyed the chance to take a Bollywood dance lesson, saw jaw-dropping stunts and martial arts demonstrations, learned the basics of making an animated film, had their face painted and more.
The following evening, 1,500 people joined DTFF for a Halloween night under the stars. The Souq Waqif, an authentic Middle Eastern bazaar located in the heart of Doha, provided the dramatic back-drop for the Qatar premiere of The Mummy (Al-Momia), which was restored by Scorsese's World Cinema Foundation.
To enhance the public's engagement with the festival, DTFF's website, www.dohatribecafilm.com, provided everything from detailed day-by-day insider guides to interviews with film-makers.
The website also provided those unable to attend the festival a virtual ticket to DTFF through videos, blogs, social networking platforms, photo galleries and other original content.
The DTFF was formed through a strategic partnership by Qatar Museums Authority chairperson HE Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and CEO Abdulla al-Najjar and the Tribeca Film Festival Founders, Rosenthal, Hatkoff, and De Niro.
The arrangement was spearheaded by DTFF executive director Amanda Palmer. Uniquely Qatari in its identity, the festival is modelled on the success of Tribeca Film Festival's dedication to engage the local community and promote film-making talent.
DTFF's ongoing aim will be to inspire, engage and educate a new generation of cinema appreciation locally; discover, mentor and fund regional film-making talent; foster a community through art and entertainment; and encourage open discussion and debate.source-http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=324032&version=1&template_id=36&parent_id=16