Doha Film Institute (DFI) yesterday announced at the Cannes Film Festival it would expand its grants programme, allowing film projects from all nations eligible for funding from the Institute.
Applications are accepted from three regions: the Middle East and North Africa (Mena); the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee list of countries (DAC); and the rest of the world.
The expanded programme is open to first- and second-time filmmakers only and different submissions criteria apply for each region.
DFI Grants will retain its emphasis on supporting filmmakers from the MENA region, while at the same time opening its programme to emerging talent from around the world.
Under the new criteria, all projects by directors and screenwriters from the Mena region are eligible for submission. Any narrative features from DAC countries are also eligible. All other submissions are by invitation only.
“The expanded DFI Grants programme 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’. This will further establish Qatar as a global hub of filmmaking,” said DFI CEO Abdulaziz Al Khater.
Filmmakers from 22 countries in the MENA region and some 94 DAC nations stand to benefit from the new initiative, which will also foster ongoing exchange among filmmakers, especially through the new DFI Grantee Alumni Programme, a network that provides support for filmmakers during and beyond the grant phase.
In total the programme 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. There are two grant cycles per annum.
Further details on the eligibility criteria will be available on DFI’s website (www.dohafilminstitute.com) from mid-June. Submissions for the next grant cycle will be accepted from July 15.
Meanwhile, in the final cycle of DFI’s Mena Grants programme, 19 new projects have been selected for the 2013 spring session, including 11 fiction and 8 documentary films selected from 236 applicants. A significant increase in applications from North Africa was noted this round, as well as a marked rise in co-production applicants.
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