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LONDON — Doha Film Institute executive director Amanda Palmer is stepping down from her role to launch her own talent agency and film transmedia production entity in the region.
Palmer is setting up her company after almost six years at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival and the DFI.
Her talent agency and production company promises to focus on providing the region’s “first true film and entertainment agency” designed to promote local talent both in front of and behind the camera.
Her work for the DFI has already birthed a number of movies and creative projects from the region including Ziad Doueiri’s The Attack and renowned Lebanese-American author Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet with Salma Hayek on-board as a co-producer alongside Participant Media.
Palmer was also instrumental in bringing Mira Nair‘s The Reluctant Fundamentalist to DFI to produce and finance.
“I have been passionate about bringing recognition and opportunity to Arab talent since I started my work here in Qatar,” said Palmer. “There is a wealth of talent in this region that, although in some instances have representation, don’t have a wider international reach or connection.”
She said the aim will be to “bridge that gap” and form a hub for talent.
“It will also create a one-stop shop for U.S. agencies looking to connect with Middle East filmmakers, actors and other relevant talent,” Palmer added.
Her new banner will act as an advisor to producers and studios looking to film in the region, providing assistance on contracts, laws, cultural systems and respecting the local customs and business mechanisms.
“Many talented filmmakers and actors from the Middle East have limited or no official representation. There is an expanding business here that needs structured support. We want this new venture to be the conduit between regional talent, the US and other international businesses looking to work here,” she added.
DFI chair Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Al-Thani said: “Amanda played an instrumental role in growing DTFF and positioning DFI as a recognized film entity over the past three years. Under her leadership, DFI has established many successful relationships with key industry professionals and other international organizations which we will continue to build on.”
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