Sarajevo Forms Strategic Alliance With Doha Film Institute

Abdulaziz Al Khater, head of the Doha Film Institute

The partnership with the Qatari cultural institution follows a similar deal with Italy's Giffoni Film Festival and aims to strengthen links between Arab and European cinema.

LONDON – The Sarajevo Film Festival and Qatar's Doha Film Institute are set to partner on a range of initiatives to increase and strengthen links between Arab and European cinema.

The strategic alliance, announced Sunday on the third day of the 16th edition of the Sarajevo festival, will include screenings of films at their festivals from their respective territories and collaboration on fostering co-productions.

The Doha Film Institute (DFI) is curating a selection of films from the Arab world at the Sarajevo festival's Partners Present sidebar, including Mahdi Fleifel’s A World Not Ours (U.K.-Lebanon-Denmark, 2012) and Ahd’s Sanctity (Saudi Arabia, 2012).

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The DFI is also funding a recipient to take part in Sarajevo's CineLink Co-Production Market, and in March three films from this year's Sarajevo lineup will be screened at the Qumra Film Festival, Doha.

The DFI will curate three recent works by Arab filmmakers at next year’s Sarajevo Film Festival and again invite recipients of DFI grants to participate in the CineLink market.

Abdulaziz Al Khater, CEO of the DFI who is in Sarajevo this week, said: "As we at DFI continue to shape our two new festivals -- the Ajyal Film Festival for the Young and the Qumra Film Festival, Doha -- we are focusing attention on forming new partnerships with like-minded organizations."

"DFI and the Sarajevo Film Festival share common goals of cultural exchange. This new partnership will allow us to continue our support for emerging Arab filmmakers by providing them with an international festival platform to show their work, giving recipients of DFI grants greater industry experience and exposure," he elaborated. 

Mirsad Purivatra, director of the Sarajevo festival, said the partnership would help develop the festival's aim to "discover young film talents and help them step into the world of the film industry."

He added: "We hope that the partnership with Doha Film Institute will open a new horizon, allow us to experience the unknown and bring new inspiration to both our audience and our filmmakers."