LONDON - The Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF), the annual event organized by the Doha Film Institute (DFI) in Qatar's biggest city, will this year put the spotlight on more than a dozen homegrown talents.
Organizers said Wednesday that there would be a selection of 19 movies - three features and 16 shorts - from filmmakers based in the country, including nationals and expatriates, in the festival's "Made in Qatar" sidebar - the largest such showcase yet.
The sidebar will open with Lyrics Revolt, a documentary directed by Shannon Farhoud, Ashlene Ramadan, Melanie Fridgant and Rana Khaled Al Khatib.
The feature-length project began life as a student project at Northwestern University in Qatar and explores the Arab Spring through hip hop artists from the Middle East. The screening will be followed by a hip hop concert for the local community.
Also programmed for the section is Lockdown, a zombie thriller directed by Mohammed Al-Ibrahim and Ahmed Al Baker. Jan Xavier Pacle's Angel in June, the story of a young girl based on real-life events and set in the Filipino community of Doha, will also be screened.
The films will compete for the sidebar's development award of $10,000, which will be decided by an independent jury.
DTFF vice chair Issa Bin Mohammed Al-Mohannadi said: "One of the founding mandates of Doha Film Institute and DTFF is to promote a culture of filmmaking in Qatar. "Made in Qatar," the largest so far, demonstrates the success of the concerted efforts in creating a robust filmmaking industry locally by identifying and nurturing talent."
Chadi Zeneddine, resident filmmaker and DFI programmer, said: "The diversity in content and narrative styles demonstrates the strong evolution of local filmmaking over the past few years. Talented youngsters as well as experienced professionals are screening their films in the Made in Qatar program. The common thread in all these movies is the creativity of the filmmakers to push beyond the obvious and create heart felt moments from ordinary situations."
With an expanded festival format this year, DTFF 2012 will showcase more than 87 films from across the globe under themed categories, including an Arab Film Competition, Made in Qatar, Contemporary World Cinema and Special Screenings.
The festival runs Nov. 17-24.