About DFI & Gulf Film Development

Doha Film Institute

Doha Film Institute (DFI) is an independent cultural organisation established in 2010 to incorporate Qatar’s film initiatives under one banner. Located at Qatar’s new cultural hub, Katara Cultural Village, DFI’s initiatives include funding for MENA and international film and television productions, year-round film screenings, education and training, and an annual film festival. DFI has established a number of strategic cultural partnerships with local and international organisations, including the Katara Cultural Village Foundation, Tribeca Enterprises, the World Cinema Foundation, the Giffoni Film Festival and Maisha Film Labs.

Gulf Film Development

DFI’s education and training arm, the Gulf Film Development (GFD) division was established to support filmmakers in Qatar and the GCC region, to identify, monitor and develop the region’s creative and technical talents, and to contribute to a vibrant, self-sustaining filmmaking community. Its objective is to build a strong foundation for Qatar’s emerging film industry through a series of workshops and labs that provide training in each aspect of the film production process. Facilitated by seasoned local and international experts, GFD sessions are conducted in consultation and partnership with local educational institutions and visiting professionals.



Addasha is a group of introductory workshops for aspiring filmmakers that provide a supportive, structured and creative foundation in the core skills of filmcraft. Both technical and artistic topics are explored in these sessions.

Tahadi – 7-Day Filmmaking Challenge

The filmmaking process from start to finish in just seven days. A professional experience in an informal, fun and supportive environment that encourages participants to find their filmmaking feet.

Qoul Qasa – Creative Writing Workshop

A starting point for new screenwriters, Qoul Qasa provides a safe forum in which to explore ideas, and introduces the core tools and techniques required for dramatic writing.

Akkas – Cinematography Workshop

Professional cinematographers lead five intense evenings of practical, hands-on experience to provide budding directors of photography with a comprehensive introduction to the craft.

Athwaq – Film Appreciation

A quarterly private screening and discussion of a classic film where guest speakers introduce favourite films and host a post screening discussion with the audience.

Montage – Editing Workshop

Participants learn some of the basic techniques of digital editing and explore the crucial role the editor plays in creating a short film.


After exploring Addasha, filmmakers can deepen their understanding of filmmaking, turning the techniques they have absorbed toward expressing their own filmmaking voice and bringing their ideas to the screen.

Doha Film Lab

A hands-on experience where participants create a short film while developing skills in scriptwriting, directing, pre-production planning, camerawork, lighting, on-set production and editing.

Documentary Lab

An intensive, hands-on introduction to the process of documentary filmmaking.

Hezayah Screenwriting Lab

Hezayah focuses on the rapid development of the skills needed to write a viable screenplay.

Professional Hezayah Lab

A lab for established Qatari writers who have had some limited film training and wish to develop the specific skills required to write for the screen.

Producers’ Lab

The lab brings together international and Gulf producers to hone their creative skills, develop the unique selling points of their projects, and discuss business strategies and action plans.

Professional Directing Workshop

Storytelling techniques and the skills required to direct a film are covered. An ideal experience for first-time filmmakers or more experienced directors looking to gain new perspectives on their work.

Transmedia Storyworld Workshop

As online storytelling develops, opportunities to engage audiences in multi-platform narratives become more complex. This workshop series builds and develops participants’ understanding and mastery of cross-platform world-building.

Acting for the Camera

Aspiring actors are guided through the specifics of acting for film and come away with improved confidence about working in front of the camera, as well as a professional standard showreel.

Professional Programmes

Once participants have developed their skills to the point where they are ready to make their own projects, GFD offers ongoing creative, professional development, financial, production and networking assistance to help ensure projects are launched with the best possible support.

Hazawi Short Film Programme

The programme supports emerging GCC directors and producers by providing funding for making short, live-action film projects. Films must be shot in Doha, but may be edited elsewhere.

GFD Feature Film Production

GFD aims to produce a first feature by the end of 2014.