'Amelia' to open Doha Fest

World premiere of Thamer Al Zedi's 'Assila' scheduled

The Doha Tribeca Film Festival has announced its inaugural slate, tapping Mira Nair's "Amelia" from Fox Searchlight as its opening night film.

The 33-picture slate will generally be populated by a mix of Western fest faves and Middle East-themed fare.

Among the films to screen at Doha are Sundance titles "An Education" and "The Greatest," Toronto selections "The Informant!" and "A Serious Man," Cannes pics "Bright Star" and "Coco Before Chanel" and Tribeca breakouts "About Elly" and "Racing Dreams."

Arab and Middle East-themed titles that will play the fest include Bahman Ghobadi's "No One Knows About Persian Cats," a story of Teheran's underground music scene; Raja Amari's Tunisian drama "Buried Secrets;" Elia Suleiman's Palestinian coming-of-age Cannes pic "The Time That Remains”; and Liz Mermin's "Team Quatar," a doc centering on the Quatari debate team from the director of "The Beauty Academy of Kabul."

The fest will also world premiere Thamer Al Zedi's "Assila" an Arab-language family pic about a racing filly rescued from death, and will screen a new restoration of Shadi Abdel Salam's Egyptian classic "The Mummy."

Doha Tribeca Film Festival exec director Amanda Palmer noted that programmers devised the slate “with the local audience at the forefront of our minds,” while Tribeca chief creative officer Geoff Gilmore said that the slate "reflects the genuineness of (the fest’s) cultural partnership and is embodied in the remarkable diversity and aesthetic range of the work.”

Doha is a collaboration between Tribeca Enterprises and the Qatar Museum Authority. The fest unspools October 29, primarily at Doha's Museum of Islamic Art.
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