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Unusual Russian war film, slick thriller from Hong Kong and ‘Doha Talks’ on Khaleeji cinema and Bollywood at 4th DTFF on Wednesday

Nov 20, 2012

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Doha, Qatar; November 20, 2012: A selection of films set in epic canvases as well as panel discussions on how Khaleeji films overcome stereotypes and Indian cinema’s global cross-over ambitions are among the highlights of the fourth Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF), the annual cultural event of Doha Film Institute (DFI) on Wednesday (November 21, 2012).

‘Khaleeji Films: Overcoming stereotypes,’ a part of Doha Talks, to be held at 2 PM at Katara Opera House, will feature four film professionals from the Gulf region discuss contemporary Khaleeji storytelling and the international influences on it. Director of Qatar’s Minister of Culture, Arts & Heritage Marzook Bin Marzook; filmmaker and juror of DTFF’s Made in Qatar programme Haifaa Al Mansour; producer and filmmaker Bassam Al Thawadi and author-scriptwriter Mohammed Hassan will address the panel.

Another engaging industry discussion is ‘Going global: Can Bollywood films really cross over,’ to be held at 4 PM at Katara Opera House. The panel will trace the journey of commercial Hindi films into the global arena and address key issues such as why Bollywood is unable to appeal to a wider global audience unlike smaller independent Indian films. The panelists include actor Anupam Kher; filmmaker and juror of the Arab Film Competition Ashutosh Gowariker and Yash Raj Films Vice President Avtar Panesar.

Among the selection of films screened on Wednesday across DTFF’s different venues include the unusual Russian war film, ‘White Tiger’. Directed by Karen Shakhnazarov, the film is about Ivan, a Soviet tank-man who is nearly killed by an indestructible German tank. His recovery is accompanied by memory loss and the ability to understand the language of tanks. The film eschews finding glory in battle in flavor of examining the eternal struggle between good and evil. It will be screened at 3.30 PM at DFI Cinema – Museum of Islamic Art Park.

The Austrian film, ‘Kuma’, directed by Umut Dag, is a wonderfully accomplished first feature about love, trust and family obligation. It is brave 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. It will be screened at 3.30 PM at Katara Drama Theatre.

From Hong Kong is ‘Motorway’, directed by Soi Cheang, to be screened at 10.30 PM at Katara Opera House. The film is about a young cop Cheung who 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.

The winner of the prestigious ‘Heart of Sarajevo Award’ at the Sarajevo Film Festival, ‘Everybody in Our Family’, directed by Radu Jude, is a true reflection of Romania’s contemporary cinema. Excellent camera work and stand-out performances capture the absurd results of a darkly hilarious family get-together that goes terribly wrong. It will be screened 3.15 PM at Katara 12- Theatre B.

In the Arab Film Competition Documentary section is ‘The Lebanese Rocket Society’, screening today at 3 PM at the Museum of Islamic Art Auditorium. Directed by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, it is about Lebanon launching the first rocket in the Middle East in the 1960s, and how the nation celebrated its involvement in the international space race. In bringing this forgotten episode to light, the film revives Arab dreams buried since the Arab-Israeli conflict of 1967 – a reflection of the reawakening of hopes in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Screening at 3.45 PM at Katara 12- Theatre A is the Qatar-French production, ‘Playground Chronicles’. Directed by Brahim Fritah, it is set in the summer of 1980, when 10-year-old Brahim is becoming aware of the complexities of the world around him. By setting the simple trials and jubilations of youth against a backdrop of social turmoil, the director imagines what childhood treasures Brahim will take with him into the future.

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.