DFI grant winners get honour of Cannes festival premiere.
Doha Film Institute (DFI) has announced the recipients of the Spring 2016 session of its Grants programme.
Two of these new grantees, along with four recipients of funding from previous sessions, will have their world premieres at this year's Festival de Cannes.
Twenty-six projects from 14 countries -- comprising 13 feature-length narrative films, six feature documentaries, three feature experimental or essay films and four short films -- will receive funding for development, production or post-production.
The Spring session marks the 12th session of the grants programme, which is dedicated to supporting new cinematic talent, with a focus on first and second-time filmmakers.
Two of the Spring 2016 grantees are also screening in key sections at this year's Cannes Film Festival -- Dogs in Un Certain Regard, directed by Bogdan Mirica (Romania/France/Bulgaria, Qatar), and Diamond Island in Critics' Week, directed by Davy Chou (Cambodia/France/Germany/Qatar).
Four other previous grantees selected for screening in official sections at Cannes this year are Divines (Directors' Fortnight), Apprentice
(Un Certain Regard), Mimosas (Critics' Week) and Tramontane (Critics' Week).
Twenty of the projects are from the Mena region, while six are from the rest of the world. Three projects from Qatari directors are among the 26 projects selected for funding, four from Lebanon, three from Palestine and two returning grantees.
Qatar-based directors Mohamed al-Ibrahim's Bull Shark, Sara al-Obaidly's Coming of Age feature narrative project and Abdulla al-Mulla's short Green Eyes received grants this session. Co-directors Jasmina Metwaly and Philip Rizk are return grantees with their new project On Trials after being previously granted in 2013 for their project Out on the Streets, and Kasem Khasra is also a second time grantee for I Dreamt of Empire, after his previous grant for the project Shelter in 2013.
Lebanese projects that have received backing include The President's Visit, Cyril Aris (Lebanon/Qatar), To the One Who Didn't Give Me Life, Wassim Geagea (Lebanon/Qatar), Summer of 2015, Angie Obeid (Lebanon/Qatar) and The Insomnia of a Serial Dreamer, Mohamad Soueid (Lebanon/Qatar).
The three Palestinian projects that are grantee recipients in this round are A House in Jerusalem, Muayad Alayan (Palestine/Qatar), Screwdriver, Bassam Jarbawi (Palestine/Qatar) and The Forgotten, Ghada Terawi (Palestine/Qatar).
Highlights from this session's grants include the strong presence of projects from established filmmakers in the Mena region with four projects as grantees this session -- Headbang Lullaby from Hicham Lasri (Morocco, France, Qatar), The Journey from Mohamed al-Daradji' (Iraq, Qatar), Whispering Sands from Nacer Khemir (Tunisia, France, Qatar) and The
Insomnia of a Serial Dreamer from Mohamed Soueid (Lebanon, Qatar).
Fatma al-Remaihi, CEO of DFI, said: "Our grantees represent the core of DFI's mandate to support emerging filmmakers and contribute to the development of the regional film industry."
Submissions for the next funding round open on July 14 and close on July 27.
For more information, one can visit http://www.dohafilminstitute.com/financing/grants/guidelines
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