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39 Films from 30 Countries including 29 MENA Premieres to Be Showcased in DTFF’s Contemporary World Cinema and Special Screenings Programme

Oct 28, 2012

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  • Titles include Toronto International Film Festival’s 2012 Audience Award Winner “Silver Linings Playbook” and a Tribute Screening of Legendary Filmmaker Yash Chopra’s Swansong “Till I Breathe This Life”
  • Festival to close with “Rise of the Guardians 3D” by Peter Ramsey

Doha, Qatar; October 28, 2012: Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF), the annual cultural event of the Doha Film Institute (DFI), will showcase 21 films in the Contemporary World Cinema section and 12 Special Screenings at its fourth edition to be held from November 17 – 24, 2012. With representation from 30 countries, this year DTFF’s Contemporary World Cinema and Special Screenings programme will feature 29 MENA (Middle East and North Africa) premieres.

The films have been drawn from across the world with representation from both established markets such as France, Germany, India, Iran, United Kingdom, China and the USA and Festival debutants including Kazakhstan, Senegal, Ethiopia and Iceland.

His Excellency Mr Issa Bin Mohammed Al-Mohannadi, DTFF Vice Chair, said: “The selection of films from around the world this year underlines our commitment to bringing the best of local, regional, and international cinema for our community. Through this powerful showcase, audiences can access some of the most sought-after movies in one destination. The films will also appeal to the multicultural population of Doha, further reiterating our mandate to create a truly community-centred festival.”

Under the Special Screenings programme, DTFF will show Toronto International Film Festival’s 2012 Audience Award winner, David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook (USA) featuring Robert De Niro. Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths (USA) is set to play amongst other great titles including the late Yash Chopra`s parting gift to lovers of Bollywood cinema Till I Breathe This Life (India). The week long Festival comes to a close with the screening of Peter Ramsey’s Rise of the Guardians 3D., an animated fantasy adventure based on William Joyce’s The Guardians of Childhood book series.

DTFF 2012 will also host complimentary beach screenings for the local community including the first title selected by Martin Scorsese for restoration by the World Cinema Foundation, Ahmed El Maanouni’s Trances, in addition to The Brave Hearted Will Take the Bride by Aditya Chopra, Guiseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso, Steven Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Majid Majidi’s Children of Heaven (Iran).

Underlining the top-notch programming of the Festival, six of the selected Contemporary World Cinema titles are official country selections for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film 2013 including Children of Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Just the Wind (Hungary), Kon-Tiki (Norway), The Deep (Iceland), Myn Bala – Warriors of the Steppe (Kazakhstan) and White Tiger (Russia). The section also includes works by acknowledged filmmakers such as Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt, Ken Loach’s The Angels’ Share Matteo Garrone’s Reality, and Markus Imhoof’s More Than Honey.

The Contemporary World Cinema line-up brings some of this year’s most poignant tales to Doha including Malik Bendjelloul’s Searching for Sugar Man, winner of ‘The World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary’ at this year’s Sundance Film Festival; Umut Dağ’s Kuma which opened the Berlinale’s Panorama section this year; Valentino’s Ghost by Michael Singh, which premiered at the 2012 Venice International Film Festival; Dominga Sotomayor’s Thursday Till Sunday, winner of the ‘Tiger Award’ at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and ‘*Everybody in our Family*’ by Radu Jude; Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg’s Kon-Tiki .

Rounding out celebrations of the 40th year of diplomatic relations between Qatar and Japan, DTFF 2012 will present ‘Japanese Snapshots’, a curated programme including Trace by Naomi Kawase and Lucy Walker’s The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom; in addition to a year-round Museum of Islamic Arts Programming handover between Japan and UK.

Ludmila Cvikova, Head of International Programming at DFI, said, “We are very pleased with the final selection of international films at DTFF 2012 which we think includes the right balance of auteurs and acknowledged filmmakers like Ken Loach, Chen Kaige, Thomas Vittenberg, Bence Flieghauf, with upcoming directors like Radu Jude, Dominga Sotomayor, Bendejloul and many more. The themes and genres vary from challenging subjects to light-hearted family entertainers. From independent and art-house films to studio projects, the creative approaches of all the directors truly reflect trends and developments of the modern language of cinema. It is a great opportunity for local audiences to see rare films that have not screened in this part of the world.”

With an expanded Festival format this year, DTFF 2012 will showcase over 87 films from across the globe under distinct themed sections including Arab Film Competition, Made in Qatar, Contemporary World Cinema, Special Screenings and Tribute to Algerian Cinema.

DTFF 2012 provides audiences a comprehensive and enriching cultural experience with new screening venues across Doha. Indoor and outdoor screenings will take place at Katara Cultural Village, Museum of Islamic Arts (MIA), and Souq Waqif. Public participation will be central as the Festival is hosting an array of large community events, including Family Days, panel discussions, networking events and educational filmmaking programmes including Doha Talks and Doha Projects.

Contemporary World Cinema Section

The Angels’ Share
Director: Ken Loach
MENA Premiere | Feature Narrative| United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Italy | 2012
Internationally acclaimed British filmmaker Ken Loach’s latest social-realist drama shines an optimistic light on the problems of unemployment and delinquency among British youth. A group of young offenders hatch a plan to steal a very rare treasure in this engaging, sprightly caper flick.

Children of Sarajevo (Djeca)
Director: Aida Begić
Gulf Premiere| Feature Narrative| Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, France, Turkey | 2012
In the aftermath of war in the Balkans, Sarajevo remains battle-scarred in this affecting family drama. Rahima, a 23-year-old orphan whose parents perished in wartime, struggles to keep her delinquent younger brother on the right side of the law, her force of will strengthened by her staunch faith in Islam.

The Deep (Djúpið)
Director: Baltasar Kormákur
MENA Premiere | Feature Narrative | Iceland, Norway | 2012
In 1984, a fishing boat capsized in the frigid North Atlantic waters off the coast of Iceland. Gulli, one of the crew, miraculously survived and became an Icelandic national hero. ‘The Deep’ recounts this true modern myth, and Gulli’s struggle with celebrity and the lingering trauma of his misadventure.

Everybody in our Family (Toată lumea din familia noastră)
Director: Radu Jude
MENA Premiere | Feature Narrative | Romania, Netherlands | 2012
Marius is a divorced man in his late thirties. His ex-wife, Otilia, remarried an accountant. Their 5 years Winner of the prestigious Heart of Sarajevo award at this year’s Sarajevo Film Festival, Radu Jude’s clever ‘Everybody in Our Family’ is the latest offering from the powerhouse of contemporary Romanian cinema. Excellent camerawork and standout performances capture the absurd results of a darkly hilarious family get-together gone terribly wrong.

Full Circle (Fei Yu Lao Ren Yuan)
Director: Yang Zhang
MENA Premiere | Feature Narrative | China | 2012
An infectious energy permeates this moving tale of a group of irrepressible senior citizens who decide to put together a performance to enter a TV contest. Despite illness, senility, a lack of acting ability and a no-nonsense nurse, they charge toward the competition with the stubborn fervour of youthful dreamers.

The Hunt (Jagten)
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Gulf Premiere | Feature Narrative | Denmark| 2012
When a young girl falsely accuses Lucas of sexual abuse, rumours and lies spread like wildfire, and he becomes the town pariah. Thomas Vinterberg’s ‘The Hunt’ shows us that fear is sometimes more powerful than truth – and that a man’s reputation is a small price to pay to keep up appearances.

Just the Wind (Csak a Szél)
Director: Bence Fliegauf
MENA Premiere | Feature Narrative | Hungary, Germany, France | 2012
Between 2008 and 2009, in a series of shocking acts of racially motivated violence, six Hungarian Romani families were murdered by unknown assailants. Director Bence Fliegauf sets his heartrending film shortly after the fifth of these incidents, following one Romani family as they make their way through their ordinary days.

Directors: Joachim Roenning, and Espen Sandberg
MENA Premiere | Feature Narrative | Norway, Denmark, United Kingdom | 2012
In 1947, Norwegian ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl built a raft and travelled across the open seas from Peru to the Tuamotu Islands to prove his theory of emigration across the Pacific. ‘Kon-Tiki’ captures all the danger, excitement and sheer natural beauty of a true man-versus-nature

Director: Umut Dağ
MENA Premiere | Feature Narrative | Austria | 2012
A brave, moving look at the complications and generational challenges faced by immigrant families as they attempt to maintain traditional values while living in a world of unfamiliar social norms.

More Than Honey
Director: Markus Imhoof
MENA Premiere | Feature Documentary | Germany, Austria, Switzerland | 2012
This meticulously researched documentary takes a new look at the now well-publicised plight of the world’s bee population. Featuring breathtaking cinematography that takes the audience right inside the hive, ‘More Than Honey’ suggests that we must learn to respect this fellow creature if we are to avoid its complete eradication – and therefore our own.

Director: Soi Cheang
MENA Premiere | Feature Narrative | Hong Kong | 2012
Cocky young cop Cheung is paired up with soon-to-retire veteran Fung on Hong Kong’s top-secret, high-speed car-chase squad. The rookie learns a thing or two from the old-timer when the two must hunt down a legendary getaway driver in this slickly shot, high-octane action thriller.

Myn Bala – Warriors of the Steppe
Director: Akan Satayev
World Premiere | Feature Narrative | Kazakhstan | 2012
Marauding Dzungars have swept across 18th-century Kazakhstan and the people have been abandoned to fend for themselves. Driven by a desire for vengeance and the love of a woman, young Sartai assembles a legion of teenage boys and leads his troops into a historic battle against the Dzungar invaders.

Director: Matteo Garrone
MENA Premiere | Feature Narrative | Italy, France | 2012
A dark, clever and at times hilarious take on society’s addiction to celebrity, ‘Big Brother’ and the trappings of cheap glory, Matteo Garrone’s ‘Reality’ brilliantly captures the impact of contemporary fame on those bent on achieving it for all the wrong reasons.

Searching for Sugar Man
Director: Malik Bendjelloul
MENA Premiere | Feature Documentary | Sweden, United Kingdom | 2012
Rodriguez: the greatest 70s US rock icon who never was. His one album went nowhere and he disappeared into obscurity. Bootleg copies of his record made their way to South Africa, and a phenomenon was born. This investigation is a resonating story about hope, inspiration and the power of music.

Tall as the Baobab Tree (Grand comme le baobab)
Director: Jeremy Teicher
MENA Premiere | Feature Narrative | Senegal, United States of America | 2012
Coumba and her 11-year-old sister Debo are the first girls to leave their family’s remote Senegalese village to go to school in the busy city. When unexpected events threaten the family’s survival, the girls’ father arranges a marriage for Debo – and Coumba hatches a plan to rescue her.

Thursday Till Sunday (De jueves a domingo)
Director: Dominga Sotomayor
MENA Premiere | Feature Narrative | Chile | 2012
On Thursday, 10-year-old Lucía, her parents and her brother set out from Santiago for a holiday in the north of Chile. By Sunday, the familial bonds are broken and the beach vacation becomes an emotional farewell journey. An affecting look at a family in crisis from a child’s point of view.

Town of Runners
Director: Jerry Rothwell
MENA Premiere | Feature Documentary | Ethiopia, United Kingdom | 2012
Bejoki is a small, impoverished town in Ethiopia – and it also happens to be the training ground for many of the world’s best long-distance runners. ‘Town of Runners’ is an inspiring portrait of Coach Sentayehu Eshetu and the potential gold-medallists who blossom under his strict training regime.

Valentino’s Ghost
Director: Michael Singh
MENA Premiere | Feature Documentary | United States of America, India | 2012
This courageous documentary looks at the historical, political and social context in which simplistic representations of Arabs, Muslims and Islam have come about in the US media. The film inspired much discussion after its premiere; lively dialogue is sure to follow its first appearance in the Middle East.

Venus and Serena
Directors: Maiken Baird and Michelle Major
MENA Premiere | Feature Documentary | United States of America | 2012
Venus and Serena Williams are two of the greatest tennis champions the world has ever known. This intimate look at their lives during 2011 – a year when both women battled life-threatening illnesses to get back on top of their game – is an inspiring story of strength in the face of adversity

What Maisie Knew
Directors: David Siegel and Scott McGehee
MENA Premiere | Feature Narrative | United States of America | 2012
A contemporary interpretation of the Henry James novel, ‘What Maisie Knew’ is a critique of a self-involved divorced couple who thoughtlessly manipulates Maisie, their young daughter. The story, told entirely from the clever six-year-old’s point of view, sees Maisie come to recognise who in her life really cares for her.

White Tiger (Beliy Tigr)
Director- Karen Shakhnazarov
MENA Premiere | Feature Narrative | Russia | 2012
When Ivan, a Soviet tankman, is nearly killed by an indestructible German tank, his recovery is accompanied by memory loss – and the ability to understand the language of tanks. This unusual war film eschews finding glory in battle in favour of examining the eternal struggle between good and evil.

Special Screenings Section

Asterix & Obelix: In Britain 3D
Director: Laurent Tirard
MENA Premiere | Feature Narrative | France | 2012
The indomitable Astérix and Obélix are back in a live-action adventure featuring a formidable cast. When Julius Caesar invades Britain, Queen Cordelia asks Jolitorax to seek assistance from Astérix. A barrel of magic potion is the sure solution, but getting it to Jolitorax’s village is easier said than done.

The Brave Hearted Will Take the Bride (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge)
Director: Aditya Chopra
Feature Narrative | India | 1995
One of the biggest Indian blockbusters of all time, Aditya Chopra’s 1995 debut film changed the face of Bollywood. The tale of a man’s attempts to win the hand of the woman he loves, this romantic comedy shines a light on the struggle of marrying traditional Indian values to modern individualism.

Children of Heaven (Bacheha-Ye aseman)
Director: Majid Majidi
Feature Narrative | Iran | 1997
When Ali loses his sister Zahra’s school shoes, this young pair dream up a plan to stay out of trouble: Ali and his family live in an impoverished quarter of Tehran. When he accidentally loses his beloved younger sister’s only pair of shoes, the children must devise ways to hide the loss from their parents. ‘Children of Heaven’ is internationally acclaimed as one of the best films for children ever made.

Cinema Paradiso (Nuovo Cinema Paradiso)
Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
Feature Narrative | Italy, France | 1988
When a film director’s childhood mentor – the projectionist in the village where he grew up – dies, he remembers his youth and the growth of his passion for the movies. A wonderful coming-of-age film and a love affair with cinema, ‘Cinema Paradiso’ was a smash hit on its worldwide release and remains one of the best-loved films ever made.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Director: Steven Spielberg
Feature Narrative | United States of America | 1982
Thirty years after its release, Steven Spielberg’s endearing story of a very special intergalactic friendship remains one of the most enduringly popular films ever made. When an alien scientist is abandoned on Earth, young Elliott and his siblings help him find a way to contact his fellow creatures and go home.

Director- Akihito Izuhara
MENA Premiere | Short Narrative | Japan| 2011
‘Li.Li.Ta.Al’ is a short animated film that depicts a meaningless poem that has been forged according to nature and the beauty known by humanity.

My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Feature Narrative | Japan | 1988
From ingenious director Hayao Miyazaki comes this enchanting tale that captures all the wonder, awe and gentle sadness of childhood. When Satsuki and Mei meet Totoro, the spirit who lives in a tree near their new home, they have a new friend to help them through times of trouble.

No Entry for Men (Vorood Aghayan Mamnoo)
Director: Rambod Javan
MENA Premiere | Feature Narrative | Iran | 2011
The battle of the sexes has seen no greater playing field than one of the strictest all-girls’ schools in Tehran, where formidable headmistress Mrs Darabi rules with an iron fist. Wildly successful at the box-office in its native Iran, this charming, gentle romantic comedy will appeal to young and old alike.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Director: Mira Nair
MENA Premiere | Feature Narrative | India, Pakistan, United States of America | 2012
Based on Mohsin Hamid’s best-selling novel, Mira Nair’s dazzling new film is a timely, gripping thriller that explores the cultural divide between East and West through the story of Changez (Riz Ahmed), his relentless pursuit of corporate success on Wall Street, and the path that leads him back to Pakistan when his American dream begins to crumble after the events of 9/11

Rise of the Guardians 3D
Director: Peter Ramsey
MENA Premiere | Feature Narrative | United States of America | 2012
In this eagerly anticipated animated adventure based on the popular books by William Joyce, Santa Claus, Jack Frost and the Easter Bunny are more than just jolly, cheerful purveyors of candy and toys. Rather, they are champions of innocence and imagination; warrior guardians who protect the world’s children against fear itself.

Seven Psychopaths
Director: Martin McDonagh
MENA Premiere | Feature Narrative | United States of America | 2012
Director Martin McDonagh (‘In Bruges’) brings us a wry take on Hollywood’s passion for psycho-killer movies. Screenwriter Marty needs inspiration to complete his new script, ‘Seven Psychopaths’. Thanks to the enthusiasm of a friend, it’s not long before Marty is faced with more psychos than he knows what to do with.

Silver Linings Playbook
Director: David O. Russell
MENA Premiere | Feature Narrative | United States of America | 2012
Fresh out of jail, Pat (Bradley Cooper) moves in with his football-crazed parents (Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver) and sets about getting his life back, assisted by an odd young widow (Jennifer Lawrence). A pitch-perfect cast captures the hilarity and poignancy of director David O. Russell’s brilliantly idiosyncratic characters.

Storm Surfers 3D
Directors: Christopher Nelius and Justin McMillan
MENA Premiere | Feature Narrative | Australia | 2012
After a lifetime of seeking out the world’s biggest and most dangerous swells, two big-wave surfers set their sights on conquering a colossal, unsurfed breaker. Christopher Nelius and Justin McMillan were on hand with 3D technology to capture the breathtaking spectacle of the roiling seas and the death-defying ride.

Till I Breathe This Life (Jab Tak Hai Jaan)
Director: Yash Chopra
Feature Narrative | India | 2012
Marking Yash Chopra’s return to directing after eight years – and his five decades in the Indian film industry – ‘Till I Breathe This Life’ is classic Bollywood at its lavish best. Featuring superstars Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma in a story by Aditya Chopra, this highly anticipated Yash Chopra romance is not to be missed.

Trace (Chiri)
Director: Naomi Kawase
MENA Premiere | Feature Documentary | Japan | 2012
‘Traces’ is an unusual and very personal documentary focusing on the aging foster mother of extraordinary Japanese artist and filmmaker Naomi Kawase. Using images of the steadily approaching death of a person she greatly loves, the director contemplates the vulnerability of human existence. A deeply moving gem.

Trances (El Hal)
Director: Ahmed El Maanouni
Feature Documentary | Morocco | 1981
In the 70s, Nass Al Ghiwane’s melding of regional musical styles and political messages made them a major phenomenon. Unleashed on Moroccan audiences by ‘Trances’, they would influence musicians and filmmakers around the world, among them Martin Scorsese; ‘Trances’ was the first film ever restored by his World Cinema Foundation.

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
Director: Lucy Walker
MENA Premiere | Feature Documentary | United States of America | 2012
Survivors in the areas hardest hit by the recent tsunami in Japan find the courage to rebuild their shattered lives and community when the cherry blossoms come into bloom. A stunning, moving visual poem about the ephemeral nature of life and the healing power of Japan’s most beloved flower.

What The Day Owes The Night (Ce que le jour doit à la nuit)
Director: Alexandre Arcady
MENA Premiere | Feature Narrative | France, Tunisia, Algeria | 2012
In the 30s, Younes is taken to Oran to live with his uncle, who renames him Jonas. Years later, Jonas and Emilie, his childhood crush, meet again. Spectacular cinematography and precise performances capture this story of a love that cannot be, set against the near-boiling tension of French-Algerian relations.