A scene from Green Line.
Doha: A new shortlist of 35 film projects by emerging and emerging filmmakers has been selected by the Doha Film Institute for its Fall 2021 grant round, the funding program that aims to promote and nurture emerging voices in the movie theater. Among the winners are 12 women and 10 former winners as well as eight Qatari talent projects, highlighting the continued evolution of an independent film body in the region, supported by the Institute.
Awarded in two cycles – fall and spring – the program has to date supported more than 650 film projects from around the world, which are in various stages of production.
Representing the diversity of film projects chosen for the grants, the winners come from countries in the Middle East and North Africa region with the largest representation from Algeria, Egypt and Lebanon as well as projects from Mauritania, Palestine, Yemen and Syria. The nine international projects in this cycle come from Costa Rica, Croatia, Djibouti, France, Indonesia, Iran, Myanmar and Serbia. Grants cover projects including feature and short films, documentaries and experiments as well as television series.
Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Director General of the Doha Film Institute, said: “Given the considerable challenges facing emerging filmmaking talent in the current environment, we believe it is our responsibility to further intensify our support to ensure the realization of their cinematic aspirations. . The grants program, through its two cycles, serves not only to elevate original cinematic voices, but also to ensure that first- and second-time filmmakers receive the support they need – from funding to mentorship and networking. .
A scene from Hamelt’s slums.
The Fall 2021 grant recipients are:
MENA – Narrative – Development
Délit de Solidarité (Algeria) by Mounia Meddour presents the story of Ariane, who lives in the Roya valley, a strategic point for migrants to cross the border between Italy and France.
Anas Khalaf’s The Photographer (Syria) is about a photographer in a unique position in the Syrian government during the 2011 revolution, who decides to defect.
MENA – Feature Documentary – Development
My Dream to Fly (Egypt) by Asmaa Gamal is an immersive portrait of a group of young people from the crowded slums of Cairo who escape their daily hardships on motorbikes at night.
Those who watch over (Morocco) by Karima Saïdi speak of people buried in their host country but also of their relatives, who have established a new relationship with them, in Brussels, in a unique cemetery.
MENA – Feature Documentary – Production
Hamad Al Hajri’s When the News Break You (Qatar) is about Arab journalists who have been in the eye of the storm for decades because interstate and intrastate conflict has been an enduring and poignant feature of the region.
Broken Dreamland (Morocco) by Khalid Laboudi and Hannu-Pekka Vitikaine tells the story of three young Moroccan men who were best friends in Finland until their lives took a dramatic turn when one of them perpetrated a deadly attack in the city of Turku.
The Missing Camel (Mauritania), directed by Cheikh N’diaye, tells the story of Cheikh, who wants to prove that he is the descendant of a Senegalese king who fought against French colonists.
MENA – Feature film narration – Production
Maged Nader’s All That the Wind Can Carry (Egypt) depicts the story of Susana, whose sick memory becomes moving fragments and collages of images, home videos and everyday encounters.
Oum (Morocco) by Sofia Alaoui is a mystical journey in contemporary Morocco, between social drama and science fiction.
Hamlet from the Slums (Egypt) by Ahmed Fawzi-Saleh presents the story of Sufi Ahmed, who must confront the rigid patriarchal world of his slum and challenge the status quo after his deceased father appears to him.
Mint Scented (Egypt), directed by Muhammed Hamdy, shows a band of old friends reuniting in a nightmare. Mint sprouts from their bodies, while photographs of people who once lived there are strewn everywhere.
MENA – Feature documentary – Post-production
The Mother of All Lies (Morocco) by Asmae El Moudir tells the story of a young Moroccan woman’s search for the truth who becomes embroiled in a web of lies in her family’s history.
MENA – Feature experimentation – Post-production
The Outlandish (Algeria) by Tahar Kessi follows the journeys of three characters through Algeria and meeting its people, questions the country, the territory and the history.
Fidai Film (Palestine), directed by Kamal Aljafari, is a sabotage film in response to the looting of Palestinian memory.
MENA – Narration of the feature film – Post-production
Ali Cherri’s The Dam (Lebanon) is about Maher, a seasonal worker, toiling in a traditional brickyard downstream of a dam in Sudan.
Non-MENA – Documentary feature – Post-production
In A Year of Endless Days (Croatia), director Renata Lučić returns to her village to visit her father, who is, like most men in his town, abandoned by his wife and trying to reinvent himself at the end of the fifties.
Another Spring (Serbia) by Mladen Kovacevic depicts the 1972 smallpox epidemic in Yugoslavia, which remains one of his most inspiring chapters.
Green Line (France) by Sylvie Ballyot documents the story of Fida, who decides to meet these fighters who scared her as a child.
Khmerica (France) by Antoine Guide is about Sokha, a Khmer American. The son of Cambodian refugees, he grew up in the United States. He was sent back to Cambodia seven years ago, where he still feels like a foreigner.
Midwives (Myanmar) by Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing tells the story of two midwives – a Buddhist and a Muslim – who defy strict ethnic divisions to work side by side in a makeshift clinic in western Myanmar, providing medical services to Rohingyas in Rakhine State.
A scene from the Autobiography
Non-MENA – Feature Narrative – Post-Production
Makbul Mubarak’s Autobiography (Indonesia) tells the story of a shy housekeeper who diligently obeys her master until a seemingly minor slight sets off a violent chain of events.
Domingo and the Mist (Costa Rica) by Ariel Escalante Meza is about Domingo, whose house must be expropriated to make way for the construction of a highway. But his land hides a secret: the ghost of his deceased wife visits him in the mist.
Until Tomorrow (Iran) by Ali Asgari is about the courage of a single mother, who is tested when she resorts to desperate measures to hide her illegitimate child from her parents.
TV Series – Development
Out of My Mind (Djibouti) by Mo Yusuf tells the story of a struggling Somali writer living in Dubai who decides to become the comedian he always wanted to be.
Why Bluesman Cross the Road? (Lebanon) by Meedo Taha tells the story of a pair of Latino-Arab mechanics escaping the truck yards of Dearborn to seek their fortunes as bluesmen in Detroit.
MENA – Short projects – Development
The Line (Qatar) by Hitmi Alhitmi is a call to choose happiness when you are undecided.
I Wished for Solitude (Qatar) by Hamad Al-Fayhani tells the story of a mother struggling with the loss of her identity as she takes on the arduous task of caring for her sick son.
MENA – Short projects – Production
Mary (Qatar) by Abdulaziz Khashabi and Abdulla Al-Janahi, tells the story of a 65-year-old housewife who lives with her beloved 70-year-old husband, Robert, and their lazy cat. Mary tries her best to be the perfect wife before something bad happens that reveals a sad, unexpected truth.
Nay Tabbara’s Ebb and Flow (Lebanon) is about 14-year-old Loulwa, who plans to meet her school crush Sharif, when a bomb explodes nearby, Loulwa is forced to put a stop to her plans.
Sea Salt (Lebanon), directed by Leila Basma, about Nayla, a young seaside waitress in Sour, southern Lebanon, who has to deal with what her future projects will be once the summer is over.
Fariha (Yemen), directed by Badr Yousef, is a 74-year-old former Yemeni music star, Fariha, who attempts a musical comeback to bring hope to the hearts of those around her.
Pacific Club (Lebanon) by Valentin Noujaïm is the story of the first music club opened in the basements of La Défense, the business district of Paris, to welcome Arabs from the suburbs.
Lost Memories (Lebanon, Qatar), directed by Aya Al Blouchi, is about alienated souls trying to discover themselves.
MENA – Short projects – Post-production
A Proposal (Qatar) by Nadia Alkhater tells the story of a young Qatari who seeks approval from a council to marry his foreign fiancé.