AlDana Mohamed al-Dosari, a 14-year old Qatari girl, has won the Doha Tribeca Film Festival’s (DTFF) story writing contest.
The winning writer, along with her mother, father and brother, will attend a variety of events hosted by DTFF that take place at the Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) in New York City from April 21 – May 2.
Among the events al-Dosari and her family will have the chance to experience is a special screening of the long-awaited film Shrek Forever After, which will make its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 21.
DTFF had asked contestants to answer the question “If Shrek were to come to Qatar, what adventures would he have?” Al-Dosari’s submission portrayed Shrek, a world-renowned fictional character, encountering three popular fictional characters from the Gulf region: ‘Humarat Al Gayla’, ‘Bu Diryah’ and ‘Jammoul’. The story depicted the virtues of love and friendship, and concluded with the triumph of good over evil.
“I thought it would be great to talk about our own mythical characters from the Gulf. This way, we would share our culture with the world, so I used the adventures and characters that children in Qatar know and love,” said al-Dosari.
“The Doha Tribeca Film Festival hopes to inspire Qatari storytellers of all ages to get involved year round with our educational opportunities and challenges,” said Amanda Palmer, DTFF’s executive director.
“Judging from AlDana’s winning submission, which we now know she wrote in just two hours ahead of the 24-hour deadline, we’re confident we’ll be hearing a lot more from this highly creative and resourceful storyteller. And all of us at DTFF are thrilled that the al-Dosari family will be joining us in New York for the Tribeca Film Festival.”
Other events that DTFF will present at TFF include the official screenings of the films Just Like Us and Budrus. Just Like Us is a documentary by Arab American comedian Ahmed Ahmed who goes on tour throughout the Middle East with the mission of disrupting common stereotypes in the region.
Following the screening, DTFF will host “Comedy Night,” where Ahmed will present a night of stand-up comedy featuring members of the cast.
In Budrus, award-winning documentarian Julia Bacha captures the power of ordinary people to peaceably fight for extraordinary changes in one of the most contested parts of the world, the West Bank. Following the movie, Bacha, joined by film producers Ronit Avni and Rula Salameh, Ayed Morrar (the subject of the film) and Kobi Snitz, will participate in a panel discussion with moviegoers.
Al-Dosari is an avid DTFF fan. “I love films and I love the idea of bringing films to Qatar and giving Qatari citizens the opportunity to enter this field. I have known about the Doha Tribeca Film Festival since last year, but ever since the Qatar Career Fair last month, I have become obsessed with DTFF. I would love to become a filmmaker when I grow up,” beamed al-Dosari, upon learning that she would be going to New York.
“Our happiness is indescribable. Everything happened so fast, we barely had time to get used to the excitement of it all. AlDana always talks about DTFF and New York and now she has the chance to do something she likes. We never take time off from work for anything, but we all decided to go on this trip to help our daughter realise her dreams,” stated al-Dosari’s parents.
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