One of Qatar’s bright young creatives, AlDana Mohammed AlDosari, the winner of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival’s writing competition, arrived in New York City and attended a special screening of the new film Shrek Forever After during the opening week of the Tribeca Film Festival.
Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who was the brainchild of the cultural partnership between Doha and New York’s Tribeca Film Festival, was also present at the event, and met the Fourteen-year-old AlDosari with her family.
The co-hosted event in New York is part of DTFF’s international activities designed to raise awareness of the growing cinema scene in Qatar and the wider Arab world. H.E. Nassir Al-Nasser, Ambassador Ext. & Plen and his family also attended the event.
AlDana Mohammed AlDosari, won a family trip to the Tribeca Film Festival and a place at the special screening for her fictional account of Shrek’s adventures in Qatar, which incorporated characters from local fairy tales.
Joined by her family and hundreds of children, AlDosari walked a green carpet on her way into the theater. Inside, all of the children present were given pairs of Shrek’s trademark ears to wear as they enjoyed treats such as green candy-floss. As a special treat, guests were able to take photos with Shrek character cut-outs, and actors Whoopi Goldberg and Tribeca Film Festival co-founders Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff also attended the family event.
Before the screening began, AlDana Mohammed AlDosari welcomed the audience to the event and told them about her winning essay and the wonderful opportunity she was given to attend the Festival. AlDosari encouraged New Yorkers to visit Doha and the 2010 Doha Tribeca Film Festival and taught the audience a few common Arabic phrases. The audience enjoyed seeing a trailer promoting DTFF called “Shared Memories” which featured Qataris sharing iconic lines from their favorite films.
Executive Director Amanda Palmer, who joined AlDana, her brother and her parents on the green carpet said, “We are very proud that Qatar’s community includes young, creative Qataris who reach out to us with their ideas, and we’re proud that Doha Tribeca Film Festival’s co-hosted event with our cultural partners, the Tribeca Film Festival, has enabled us to show some of the work and vision that is coming out of the Middle East.” Maggie Kim, Managing Director Tribeca Film Festival, said: “We’re very pleased to welcome our guests from Qatar, who were able to share their experiences and their love for film with others at the event. DTFF’s support for this children’s premiere, and their work promoting films from the Middle East at Tribeca, has added an important element to the festival’s vibrant cultural mix.”
The AlDosari family called their entire Tribeca Film Festival experience “unforgettable”.
“We had a great day at Times Square and the Shrek premiere, with its 3D technology, completed our joy,” she said. AlDana added that she couldn’t wait to get back to Doha and tell her friends of her adventures in New York, including a carriage ride around Central Park.
In addition to the hosting of the Shrek Forever After family event, DTFF will present a number of special screenings of films from the Middle East at TFF, including the West Bank-based Budrus and the comedy documentary Just Like Us.
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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.