Qatar filmmaking is blooming: DFI CEO

Doha: The filmmaking industry in the country is “blooming,” and films produced in Qatar are being selected to major festivals and winning international accolades, said Doha Film Institute (DFI) CEO, Fatma Al Remaihi.

“We are very proud of our filmmakers, not just making films as a hobby, they are taking it very seriously,” said Al Remaihi on the sidelines of the Qatar Creates Press Launch on Sunday at M7 in Musheireb Downtown Doha.

She explained that films supported by the institute have gained international recognition and praise. “It’s really very rewarding to see all the hard work that has been done and the grounds that have been building over the years, step by step, to see now this result.”

The CEO is hopeful that there will be more to come. She also revealed that filmmakers who finished their short films are now working on their full feature films, which she stressed is the next step for Qatar on producing full length movies.

Al Remaihi mentioned Sudanese filmmaker Suzannah Mirghani who bagged the ArteKino Award at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival’s L’Atelier. Her DFI-granted film is entitled Cotton Queen. “We are very proud to be behind all of these filmmakers and supporting them all of this time.”

“Now we want to focus on the feature films that we have, the series that we have. DFI opened its grants for the series and web series, all of these – it’s the new generation; it has a lot of influence also on communities and audiences and this is where we want to put our trend,” she explained. 

Moreover, she said that once the feature film starts rolling, they will be out to commercial cinemas. Currently, short films are only being screened at film festivals. 

The DFI CEO stressed that the influence of film is crucial. 

“Influencing is very important because as an image for the Middle East, the Islamic world, for the Arab, it’s been damaged over the years, and we have to do a lot as this is not the truth; we have to show the truth.”

She also revealed that plans are in place to screen DFI films during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. 

“There will be a lot of screening for a lot of the films that have [been] shown before especially the local films. We will celebrate them in this building (M7) and you will see local shows. We will see a lot of them more.”

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