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Submissions Open for Doha Film Institute 2013 MENA Grants

Jan 27, 2013

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Spring Session MENA Grant recipients to be announced at the 66th Cannes Film Festival

Doha, Qatar; January 26, 2013: The Doha Film Institute (DFI) announced today that submissions are now open for its MENA Grants 2013 Spring Session.

The deadline for applications is January 31st, which has been extended to February 4th for Gulf citizens. Qatari citizens who have a short fiction idea in development can also submit their projects to to be considered for funding.

With no restriction on story genre or overall budget, projects eligible for funding include fiction and documentary feature films, experimental and essay films and short films. Films are eligible for funding at all stages of production – from development, production, postproduction to P&A (Prints & Advertising).

To reinforce and expand support to grantees, DFI is also committed to providing industry networking and matchmaking opportunities to provide recipients access to industry expertise at whatever stage of production their project is.

Applications can be made by directors, screenwriters and/or producers who are nationals or descendants of the MENA region. Applications are also welcome from non-MENA directors if the subject matter of the project is related to and/or shot in the MENA region and if a MENA producer and/or screenwriter is/are attached to the project.

The aim of the MENA grants is to support a diverse range of culturally authentic stories and to help new and more established filmmakers within the MENA region get their films made and their stories heard which in turn helps to build a dynamic film industry in Qatar and the Gulf region.

The MENA (Middle East & North Africa) region includes 22 Arab countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

DFI is also proud to announce that two recipients of MENA Grants in 2012 have had their films selected for the 42nd edition of the Rotterdam Film Festival (January 23-February 3 2013). The recipients are:

  • Die Welt – Alex Pitstra, Netherlands (screening in Bright Future section)
  • Though I Know The River Is Dry – Omar Robert Hamilton, UK/Palestine (Nominated for a Tiger Award for Short Film, World Premiere screening)

DFI provided funding for 27 new MENA projects in November 2012 as part of its Fall Grants session. Grants were awarded to films which contribute in fostering creative and innovative cinematic experience, showed original and compelling Arab language projects and can develop know-how in the Qatari local industry. The selected recipients reflected a wide range of nationalities with projects from more established filmmaking cultures including Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon and Morocco as well as from Jordan, Syria and for the first time, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. DTFF 2012 fall grants included auteur driven projects for established filmmakers such as Merzak Allouache’s Terraces, Ibrahim Al Batout`s Ali, the Goat & Ibrahim, Ghassan Salhab’s The Valley, as well as projects by emerging talents that handle serious themes in an illuminating and sympathetic way including Amin Matalqa’s Red Valantine, the Iraqi/Kurdish feature Memories on Stone by Shawkat Amin Korki Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf by Susan Youssef.

Eleven feature films, five short fiction films, nine feature documentaries and two experimental feature films from a combination of both new and established filmmakers were awarded grants to support Arab storytelling. Many creative, innovative and challenging projects that would struggle to be produced otherwise have also received financial support to fund their works.

Since 2010, 117 film projects have received funds from the DFI MENA Grants many of which have been screened and won awards at local and international film festivals.

For complete information about the DFI MENA Grants, please visit our website at

DFI is committed to identifying, nurturing, and promoting talent that will further enrich Qatar’s cultural scene and reinforce its position as the cultural and artistic hub of the region.