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CANNES – Qatar’s Doha Film Institute on Monday unveiled an expansion of its grants program, which will allow it to support new talent from around the world.
The organization said the new set-up will help further establish the Middle Eastern territory of Qatar as a filmmaking location.
The DFI Grants program will continue its emphasis on supporting filmmakers from the Middle East and North Africa, while also opening itself up to first- and second-time filmmakers from around the world. The announcement was made on the eve of the Cannes Film Festival.
Overall, the program will support up to eight narrative and four documentary features from all regions and up to eight further projects from the MENA region in each grant cycle. Each year has two such cycles.
The grants program will now accept applications from three regions: the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee list of countries; and the rest of the world.
Different submission criteria apply for each region. All projects by directors and screenwriters from the 22-countries-strong MENA region are eligible, while submissions from the 94 nations must focus on narrative features. Submissions from the rest of the world are by-invitation only.
“The expanded DFI Grants program marks our commitment to developing a new talent pool of international filmmakers, regardless of location, and to creating a portfolio of what we call global films,” said Doha Film Institute CEO Abdulaziz Al-Khater. “This will further establish Qatar as a global hub of filmmaking.”
Said Paul Miller, head of DFI Film Financing, said: “We have decided to expand our grants program to allow DFI to have a hand in discovering the next generations of film talent from around the world.”
Submissions for the next grant cycle will be accepted starting July 15.
Meanwhile, DFI’s latest MENA grants program picked 19 projects for the 2013 spring session out of 236 applicants. They include narratives from Algeria, Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Tunisia/Morocco.
Since 2010, DFI has supported 138 regional filmmakers with grants.
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