The Doha Film Institute (DFI) has launched a US$100m fund to finance new feature movies.
The five-year fund, formed alongside Beverly Hills-based entertainment company Participant Media, will provide production and development funding for 12 to 16 productions. Both companies will work in collaboration to develop the films as well as oversee production and arrange worldwide distribution. “We are confident that this collaboration will be a catalyst for greater cross-cultural appreciation as we embark on a diverse and exciting set of projects. The partnership gives us the opportunity to reach and inspire broader audiences, and expand our platforms for the development, promotion and distribution of compelling storytelling,” said Abdulaziz Al-Khater, CEO of DFI.
Participant Media and DFI are currently co-financing an animated feature film adaptation of Khalil Gibran’s 'The Prophet', which is currently in production and expected to be released by next year. A joint venture to create content for Participant’s new television channel, which launches in August, is under discussion, as well as establishing a distribution outlet for DFI’s film production through Participant’s media interests in the US and other countries. Other initiatives being explored are the opening of a Middle East branch of Participant to be based at DFI’s Qatar headquarters and the creation of an Arabic version of TakePart.com. According to Berk, working with the DFI will give Participant the ability to extend its audience for socially-relevant storytelling to the Middle East and to create new sources of content for its digital and TV platforms.
Participant Media is the company behind the commercially successful film 'The Help', which took top honors at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Participant is also known for critically acclaimed Steven Spielberg production 'Lincoln'. The DFI was established in 2010 and gained international attention with its Doha Tribeca Film Festival. DFI production 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist' opened the fourth edition of the festival last year after being screened at the inauguration of the 69th Venice Film Festival, Biennale di Venezia.