Cherien Dabis’s New Feature Competes for Top Honours in the Premiere Section
Doha, Qatar; December 5, 2012: The world premiere of acclaimed Arab-American filmmaker
Cherien Dabis’s latest feature, May in the Summer, co-financed by the Doha Film Institute (DFI),
will screen as the opening film for the US Dramatic Competition at the 2013 Sundance Film
Having won international recognition for her first feature Amreeka, Cherien’s follow-up film is
a dramatic comedy set in Jordan, where a bride-to-be is forced to re-evaluate her life when she
reunites with her family, only to be confronted with the aftermath of her parents’ divorce.
May in the Summer stars Palestinian actress and director Hiam Abbas (The Visitor, Lemon Tree,
The Syrian Bride, Munich) and American comedienne Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development,
Cedar Rapids, Amreeka, The Runaways) along with Cherien Dabis, Alexander Siddig amongst
others. The film is produced by Chris Tricarico and Alix Madigan, and was co-financed by DFI
underlining its commitment to nurture a strong Arab film industry by supporting regional
and international productions. Whitewater Films and Durga Entertainment are the Executive
Producers of the film. The project also received development support from the Time Warner
Storytelling Grant, part of the Sundance Grants and Fellowship Programme and a Production
grant from the Jordan Film Fund, Royal Film Commission of Jordan.
Abdulaziz Al-Khater, Chief Executive Officer, DFI, said: “One of the key objectives of DFI is to
foster and facilitate the evolution of a pan Arab film industry, whereby talented filmmakers
have the opportunity to tell their stories to the world. Cherien’s May in the Summer presents a
compelling portrait of Arab society, and we are honoured that our latest Middle Eastern project
is opening the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, reiterating the strong global inroads made by
Arab films and filmmakers.”
Paul Miller, Head of Film Financing, Doha Film Institute, said: “Co-financing is an important
component of our film financing initiatives, which also includes the MENA Grants and the Gulf
Development Unit. May in the Summer is a powerful addition to our portfolio of co-financed
projects, which demonstrates our long-term commitment to building the Arab film industry by
supporting talented filmmakers both regionally and from the Arab diaspora.”
Cherien Dabis has clinched numerous laurels for her previous project Amreeka in the global
film festival circuit including prizes at the Cannes Film Festival, Cairo International Film Festival,
and Sundance Film Festival. She said: “I'm very grateful to Doha Film Institute for their years of
involvement and their assistance in making this film possible."
Most recently, DFI had announced funding for 27 new MENA projects as part of its fall grants
session. The 27 projects supported include a diverse range of powerful and culturally authentic
stories reflecting the diversity of new and more established filmmaking voices within the MENA
DFI is committed to identifying, nurturing, and promoting talent that will further enrich Qatar’s
cultural scene and reinforce its position as the cultural and artistic hub of the region.
Following the opening of Venice Film Festival 2012 by The Reluctant Fundamentalist, financed
by Doha Film Institute (DFI), May in the Summer screening on the 17 of January 2013, is the
latest project co-financed by DFI to debut at an international Festival.
Launched in 1985, the Sundance Film Festival is one of the most prestigious film festivals
bringing the world’s most original storytellers together for a fantastic display of path-breaking
films selected for their ingenuity and narrative brilliance.
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