Qatar's Tribeca looks to create regional film hub

Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:29am EDT
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By Tamara Walid

DUBAI (Reuters) - The Doha Tribeca Film Festival, Qatar's first film event, said on Monday it wants to create a hub for regional filmmakers in the Gulf Arab state, through education initiatives and community involvement.

New York's Tribeca Film Festival was founded by actor Robert De Niro after the September 11 attacks and Qatar is the first venue to host the event outside its home country.

The festival, which starts October 29, will host around 30 films, eight to ten of which will be Middle Eastern Arab films, Amanda Palmer, executive director of the festival, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"We want to create a hub where filmmakers can stay," she said, adding: "We are also aware that there's very different gradations of film making abilities at the moment."

While there is a large pool of local talent in Qatar and the region, who are interested in making films, it needs to be tapped into and educated, said Palmer.

"There are also existing filmmakers so we need to give them a higher level of engagement and education, workshops, scrip-writing developments, producer-investor networking and distribution," she said, adding that emerging, aspiring and established filmmakers need to be equally supported.

The United Arab Emirates has become a place for budding filmmakers in the region to showcase their creations, with Hollywood, Bollywood and Arab cinema stars arriving at its annual film festivals in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Dubai has also created a freezone for film establishments and production companies to set up office.   Continued...