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Young Locals participate as Jurors for DFI’s Doha-Giffoni Experience

Oct 26, 2011 — Film Festival

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Over 100 Budding Jurors Aged 8-18 Join International Peers at DTFF 2011 to Select Winners for the Doha-Giffoni Film Competition

Doha, October 26, 2011 – Aspiring film critics, cinema lovers and filmmakers, aged 8-18, from Qatar and around the world have converged at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF) this week for the Doha-Giffoni Experience, an immersive series of screenings, workshops and panels in the presence of international industry guests and young counterparts from around the world.

The Doha-Giffoni Experience at DTFF 2011 is the latest initiative in a rich cultural partnership between DFI and Giffoni Film Festival aimed at promoting film appreciation, critical analysis and the exchange of culture through cinema.

The local jurors, selected based on their own reviews of films screened during earlier Doha-Giffoni Experience events and also from outreach to local schools, will team with 11 international jurors aged 15-18 from Turkey, Italy, South Africa and South Korea. They will be trained on how to critique a film and will weigh in with their final judgements: jurors aged 8-12 will vote for five short films, and jurors aged 13-18 will vote for one of two feature films and one of five shorts.

The impressive viewing lineup comprises two world premieres, seven Middle East and North Africa (MENA) premieres and four Qatar premieres, including Ways to Live Forever, which won Best Film in the 13+ category at this year’s Giffoni Film Festival, and How big is your love, which is also part of the 2011 DTFF Arab Film Competition. Screenings will be followed by Q&A discussions with the directors and talent attending the Festival.

Select jurors will also attend a panel entitled ‘Young Actors Leading the Scene’, moderated by Akin Gazi, star of epic new feature Black Gold, where four talents from the Doha-Giffoni film slate talk will discuss their experiences in front of the camera. The jurors will also attend ‘Doha Talks’ in-conversation sessions with Cat in Boots (Puss in Boots) star Antonio Banderas and The Adventures of Tintin visual effects artist Joe Letteri.

In addition, Qatar-based musician Ashwin Renju will take the jurors through the creative process of music videos, and an animation workshop with Freej Director, Mohammed Saeed Harib, and The 99 creator, Naif Al-Mutawa, will explore how to create animated superheros based on Islamic culture.

This year’s Experience will build on the last edition of DTFF, when DFI and Giffoni brought 60 pre-selected Doha children together with six international guests to adjudicate a select set of films.

Attending a press conference at DTFF on Wednesday, jurors shared their experiences of Doha- Giffoni.

Claudio Gubitosi, Founder and Managing Director of Giffoni Experience said: “I feel at home at DTFF because they have a section dedicated to young people that is sensitive and attentive to young people which is impressive for a festival that is only three years old. “

Gubitosi also explained Giffoni is expanding its outreach with Doha to include feedback and events from this year’s DTFF every day at Giffoni 2012.

Young jurors present at the press conference told the audience what they had learned from their experiences, including being exposed to different cultures, having the opportunity to judge and vote on films and learning the mechanics of filmmaking.

Actors Robbie Kay and Alex Etel from Giffoni 2011 winner Ways to Live Forever said it was an incredible experience having their film at the Festival, having the experience of being in Doha and seeing a lot of young people involved in film. “It feels good to get the recognition and makes all the hard work we put into the project pay off. It’s such a great honour to win an award and have the experience to be part of this festival. It’s made the experience of Giffoni and Doha even greater.”

Earlier this year, DFI sent Qatar’s first ever juror delegation of three teenagers to the Giffoni International Film Festival – the world’s oldest children’s film festival, for 11 intensive days of film viewing, education, analysis and critiquing to prepare them for their roles at this year’s DTFF. Two of those jurors will now act as presenters at this year’s Experience, presenting voting sessions and moderating Q&A sessions with directors. The three winners of this year’s Doha-Giffoni Experience will be sent to the 2012 Giffoni International Film Festival in Southern Italy.

About Doha Film Institute:

The Doha Film Institute (DFI) is an independent cultural organisation established in 2010 to incorporate Qatar’s film initiatives under one banner.

Located at Qatar’s new cultural hub, Katara, DFI’s many initiatives include film and television funding for MENA and international films, year-round education programs, film screenings, and the annual Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF).

In addition, DFI has established a number of strategic cultural partnerships with leading local and international organisations including Katara Cultural Village Foundation, Tribeca Enterprises, World Cinema Foundation, Maisha Film Labs and Giffoni Film Festival.

DFI was founded by H.E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. Along with Her Excellency, DFI leadership comprises DFI Board Vice-Chair and Festival Board Chair, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Fahad Al-Thani; DFI Board Member and Festival Board Vice-Chair, H.E. Dr. Hassan Al-Nimah; DFI Board Member, Mr. Mansoor Ibrahim Al-Mahmoud; Festival Board Member, H.E. Sheikh Jabor Bin Yousuf Al Thani; and DFI Executive Director, Amanda Palmer.