DFI’s One-Minute Films Screening
Oscar®-nominated filmmaker and DFI's head of education Scandar Copti and award-winning DFI mentor Ben Robinson launched the Qatar based One Minute Films in June 2009. Since then, almost 100 Qataris from 11 to 45 years old have learned to make their first film (from scriptwriting to directing to editing) in less than a week. Every year, a star-studded jury judges these One Minute Films, awarding the winning director a prize, such as a camera or editing suite. This year's films touch on everything from football to Spider-Man. Don't let the length fool you - a creative mind can pack emotion and intelligence into the 60-second format, and these quick clips may deliver an early glimpse of tomorrow's feature film talent. Take a sneak peek at this year's One Minute Films at www.dohafilminstitute.com. This event is open to the public and Arabic interpretation headsets will be available. Tickets can be purchased at any box office location.
Head of Education/Programmer, Doha Film Institute
A Palestinian, Copti was born and raised in Jaffa. Graduating as a mechanical engineer from The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, he decided to leave his profession and pursue his childhood dream of becoming a filmmaker. After studying acting and scriptwriting, Copti made a 12-minute mockumentary, “The Truth.”
Since then, Copti has written, directed, and edited several short films. His first full-length feature, “Ajami” (co-written and co-directed by Yaron Shani), also won the Caméra d'Or Special Mention at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Oscar as Best Foreign Language Film at the 2009 Academy Awards.
Copti is currently developing his next project as well as heading the Doha Film Institute’s education department, where he launched several programmes, and he is part of the programming team of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival.
Robert De Niro
Actor, Co-Founder, Tribeca Enterprises
De Niro is a two-time Oscar-winning actor, as well as a film producer and director. In addition to his prolific film career, he is co-founder of the production company Tribeca Productions, the global media company Tribeca Enterprises, the Tribeca Film Festival, and the Tribeca Film Institute. He also works as a restaurateur and hotelier.
Filmmaker and Founder, Maisha and Mirabai Films
Nair entered the world stage with her debut feature, “Salaam Bombay!” in 1988. It went on to win the Camera D’Or and Prix du Publique at the Cannes Film Festival, and was nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe.
Equally at home between independent films and Hollywood studios, Nair directed four features within a decade: “Mississippi Masala,” “The Perez Family,” “Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love,” and “My Own Country.” In 2001, her “Monsoon Wedding” became one of the Top 15 highest-grossing foreign films of all time. It was also nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA, and won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
Her subsequent films include “Hysterical Blindness,” “Vanity Fair,” “The Namesake,” and “Amelia.” In addition to her filmmaking work, Mira founded the Salaam Baalak Trust, which provides a safe environment for street children in India, as well as Maisha, a filmmakers' training program based in Uganda.
Writer/Director, Ustura Films
Writer/ Director Najjar received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science/Economics, and her Masters of Arts in Film/Video Production. Her 2009 debut feature film, “Pomegranates and Myrrh,” picked up 10 international awards including the Audience Award for Best Arab Film at Doha Tribeca Film Festival 2009, sold worldwide, and was released theatrically.
She previous worked on several other award-winning films shown at festivals in Berlin, Cannes, Locarno and the Hamptons, including “Yasmine Tughani,” “Naim and Wadee’a,” “Quintessence of Oblivion,” “Blue Gold,” “A Boy Called Mohamad,” and “They Came from the East,” the latter shown at the 2004 European Academy Awards. Najjar recently produced “Gaza Winter,” a collection of short films by international filmmakers, and is working on her second feature, “Eyes of A Thief.”
A speaker on cinema panels and a member of international film festival juries, Najjar has also reviewed books, and has published articles on Palestinian cinema. She was a reader for the Rawi Sundance Lab for Arab scriptwriters, and organized a seminar for Palestinian filmmakers titled “Idea to Script to Screen.” Najjar lives in Ramallah, Palestine.