The Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF) has entered into a partnership with filmmaker Mira Nair that enables aspiring Qatar-based filmmakers access to Maisha, an intensive 25-day course for ambitious aspiring directors.
Created by Nair, a celebrated filmmaker who screened Amelia at DTFF 2009, Maisha provides aspiring screenwriters and film directors from around the world with access to professional training and resources. 2010 will be the first year that participants from Qatar are considered for inclusion.
Speaking from New York, Maisha’s founder Mira Nair said, “Maisha is a boot-camp for cinema – it’s where we can find the ‘voices’ in filmmaking and refine them. I have great belief in the Qatari vision of bringing new perspective to our craft and am personally very excited about getting Qatar-based talent involved in the collaboration and dialogue that makes Maisha a success.”
Now in its 6th year, the Maisha Annual Filmmakers’ Lab attracts filmmaking talent from Asia, Africa, and other parts of the world. Participation in the course is highly coveted. To qualify for the intensive program, candidates must undergo a rigorous selection process that is overseen by a multicultural selection committee. Once selected, the participants are trained in the core elements of film-making and work closely with “mentors” who are experts from the film industry.
The course will be held from 25 July to August 16, 2010 in Kampala, Uganda and Qatar-based participants will vie for up to four spots. Amanda Palmer, Executive Director of DTFF commented, “The Maisha program will enable Qatar-based filmmakers to refine their vision and develop the hands-on expertise required to make quality films. It’s an unprecedented opportunity for aspiring talent and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with Mira Nair following her warm reception at DTFF 2009.”
Nair’s film Amelia was the opener at the inaugural DTFF, attracting a crowd of thousands to a purpose-built outdoor theatre. The director commented, “I felt embraced by the community in Qatar – it’s the first time that I had actually met people at a festival who had seen my film on-site and the level of interaction throughout DTFF with Qataris and Qatar residents was both unusual and rewarding. We’d love to bring the format of the Maisha program to DTFF at some point.”
Nair added that she plans to spend up to six months in East Africa after shooting her latest production, and said that participants in previous Maisha labs would help edit the rough cut of her next film – an example of the intensive training and mentoring which participants receive.
The application deadline for the forthcoming Maisha film lab is 30th April 2010 and the application form can be downloaded from the DTFF web-site, http://www.dohatribecafilm.com/workshops/maisha.
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Doha Tribeca Film Festival was launched in 2009. DTFF was Doha’s first international film festival to celebrate the best of Arabic and international cinema. Its ongoing aim will be to inspire, engage and educate a new generation of cinema appreciation locally; discover, mentor and fund regional filmmaking talent; foster a community through art and entertainment; and encourage open discussion and debate. The 2010 edition of DTFF will run from 26-30 October.