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4th DTFF puts spotlight on films promoting environmental awareness

Nov 18, 2012

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Doha, Qatar; November 18, 2012: The fourth Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF), the annual cultural celebration of Doha Film Institute (DFI), is showcasing films that put the spotlight on environmental sustainability.

Four films, screened in various segments of the festival, highlight the evolving trend across the world of committed filmmakers leveraging the power of cinema to raise awareness about environmental sustainability and climate change.

The festival has also joined hands with Ernst & Young’s ‘Clean Energy and Sustainability Services’ (CEaSS) group to evaluate the festival’s carbon footprint. The findings of the study will enable DTFF to take adequate measures as it progresses to becoming carbon neutral.

Ernst & Young’s CEaSS endeavours to help organisations prepare for seamless transition to carbon neutral and energy efficient operating models. Through the collaboration, DTFF and Ernst & Young aim to raise awareness on how businesses and establishments can work towards reducing their overall carbon footprint.

Matthew Farren-Handford, Senior Manager, Clean Energy and Sustainability Services, Ernst and Young MENA, said: “DTFF’s collaboration with Ernst & Young to bring about a carbon neutral film festival is a leading example of the actions we can take to become more aware of our impacts on the environment. As Qatar and the MENA region develop at unprecedented rates, we believe that clean energy and reducing our carbon footprint is key to sustainable growth.”

Among the ‘green films’ that highlight the sustainability narrative is Jehane Noujaim and Mona Eldaief’s Rafea: Solar Mama, which competes in the Arab Film Competition. The film documents the story of a Jordanian Bedouin mother, who leaves her desert home to travel to India to attend the Barefoot College, which trains women in the technology of solar energy. Hoping that this education will mean a better life for her family and the village, Rafea finds herself battling against traditional values.

More Than Honey by Markus Imhoof, screening in the Contemporary World Cinema line-up, is a meticulously researched documentary, which 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, the film aims to instil the respect for one of nature’s most dynamic creatures, to avoid complete eradication.

Also placing immense emphasis on environment sustainability is Lucy Walker’s The Tsunami and The Cherry Blossom, in the Special Screenings segment, which narrates the story of survivors in the areas hardest hit by the recent tsunami in Japan, and their search for courage to rebuild their shattered lives and community when the cherry blossoms come into bloom. Symbolising human ambition and nature’s healing power; the film is a stunning, moving visual poem about the ephemeral essence of the environment.

Akihito Izuhara’s Li.Li.Ta.Al, also part of the Special Screenings, uses animation to depict a meaningless poem contrived based on the nature and the beauty known by humanity.

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.