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Posted On: 22 January 2018 03:07 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 01:59 pm

DFI Cinema introduces ‘Contemporary Releases’ programming series

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The Doha Film Institute Cinema (DFI Cinema) has unveiled its new ‘Contemporary Releases’ programme, which aims to bring a unique selection of the latest internationally and regionally acclaimed films for audiences in Qatar.

The programme debuts with Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki’s The Other Side of Hope (Finland, Germany/2017), a film that portrays the struggles of an asylum-seeker in a heart-warming manner, coupled with humour and the spirit of human kindness. Finland’s best-known screenwriter and film director, Kaurismäki debuted as independent director with Crime and Punishment (1983) and gained worldwide attention with Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989).

Winner of the 2017 Silver Bear for best director at Berlin International Film Festival, The Other Side of Hope was also selected to screen at the 2017 Toronto, New York and Telluride film festivals. It also won the FIPRESCI Film of the Year prize at the San Sebastián International Film Festival 2017. Audiences in Qatar will have multiple opportunities to enjoy the film with screenings taking place on January 25 at 4:30 PM and on January 26 at 4:30 PM and 7 PM, at the Museum of Islamic Art Auditorium.

Fatma Al Remaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute, said: “The DFI Cinema series provide an opportunity to local audiences to watch films that have set standards for their craft and narrative strength, and have pushed boundaries to turn stories into brilliant and inventive cinema. With our ‘Contemporary Releases’ programming series, we are presenting the latest works by regional and international filmmakers that have received critical acclaim, and offer our discerning audiences in Qatar with the opportunity to catch up with some of the most powerful films of our time.”

The story of two people searching for a place to call home, The Other Side of Hope is a heart-warming drama set in Helsinki, where displaced Syrian Khaled (Sherwan Haji) lands as a stowaway. Meanwhile, middle-aged salesman Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen) leaves behind his wife and job and buys a clearly unprofitable seafood restaurant. After Khaled is denied asylum, he decides not to return to Aleppo, and the paths of the two men cross unexpectedly.

Tickets to the screenings are available at or at the DFI Ticket Outlet at the MIA Auditorium, and are priced QAR 35 with a QAR 10 discount available for students and Culture Pass by Qatar Museums holders.

The screenings are part of Doha Film Institute’s year-round initiatives to offer varied cinema experiences, making a valuable contribution to the diversity of screen culture in Qatar, and provide cultural and creative discoveries for audiences in Doha. For more information, please log on to:

Cover image courtesy of DFI