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The sec­ond Doha Tribeca Film Fes­ti­val re­turns with more on of­fer.

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The sec­ond Doha Tribeca Film Fes­ti­val re­turns with more on of­fer.

YES­TER­DAY marked the start of the sec­ond Doha Tribeca Film Fes­ti­val (DTFF) in Doha, Qatar. The five-day event be­gan with the Mid­dle East pre­mière of the film Out­side The Law di­rected by Rachid Bouchareb. It tells the story of the Al­ge­rian strug­gle for in­de­pen­dence from France af­ter World War II.

The an­nual event – which is a cul­tural part­ner­ship be­tween Doha Film In­sti­tute (DFI) and Tribeca En­ter­prises (founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosen­thal and Craig Hatkoff) – fea­tures an im­pres­sive num­ber of films and doc­u­men­taries from around the world.

With the goal to build a sus­tain­able film in­dus­try in Qatar with strong links to the in­ter­na­tional film com­mu­nity and an ed­u­ca­tional fo­cus for the lo­cal com­mu­nity, DFI went in­ter­na­tional in Cannes, France, this year.

At Cannes, too, Martin Scors­ese’s World Cin­ema Foun­da­tion signed a three-year cul­tural part­ner­ship with DFI to re­store and pre­serve in­ter­na­tional films of cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance.

This year’s DTFF will be graced by 40 di­rec­tors from all over the world and cel­e­brated Hollywood film stars like De Niro, Kevin Spacey, Sharon Stone and Salma Hayek. It will show­case a whop­ping 51 films and 10 doc­u­men­taries, and 10 Arab films com­pet­ing for awards.

Fol­low­ing the trend set at its inaugural edi­tion, in­ter­na­tional art-house fea­tures are com­ple­mented by big Western fare. Hence, Robert Ro­driguez’s bru­tal Ma­chete, which is about re­venge, goes hand-in-hand with Hawi, a Qatari film that ex­plores hu­man loss and dis­place­ment.

Sim­i­larly, the doc­u­men­tary Benda Bilili! filmed in the streets of Kinshasa, Congo, may not be un­like the Amer­i­can doc­u­men­tary Wait­ing For Su­per­man as both carry a strong mes­sage about com­mu­nity.

While the evenings will be filled with the screen­ings of films and doc­u­men­taries, the days will be oc­cu­pied by a se­ries of meet­ings of the minds.

Among the more in­ter­est­ing topics that will be dis­cussed are “Un­char­tered Ter­ri­tory: The Fu­ture Of Sto­ry­telling And Dis­tri­bu­tion”, which takes a look at how dig­i­tal devel­op­ment is chang­ing ev­ery as­pect of film­mak­ing, from sto­ry­telling to mar­ket­ing, and “Do You Speak Com­edy? Hu­mour Cross­ing Bor­ders”, where per­form­ers talk about how come­dies cross all bound­aries.

It is no co­in­ci­dence that com­edy is cel­e­brated at this year’s event as it fea­tures Egyp­tian-Amer­i­can Ahmed Ahmed’s doc­u­men­tary Just Like Us, which shows him and other stand-up tal­ent trav­el­ling to Dubai, Beirut, Riyadh and New York, bring­ing their own brand of hu­mour.

On the fourth day of the fes­ti­val, there will be a spe­cial trib­ute to 70-year-old Adel Imam, an Egyp­tian comedic ac­tor who has more than 100 films un­der his belt.

Through­out the fes­ti­val, fans can check out French pho­tog­ra­pher Brigitte Lacombe’s work in a spe­cial photo ex­hi­bi­tion of iconic cin­ema fig­ures.

Ac­cord­ing to DFI ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Amanda Palmer, Lacombe’s work I Am Film: Work In Progress “is an on­go­ing project that stands as the first com­pre­hen­sive pho­to­graphic doc­u­men­ta­tion of this re­gion’s emerg­ing and iconic cin­e­matic sto­ry­tellers”.

DTFF draws to a close on Satur­day, with an awards show and the show­case of The First Grader, a film based on the true story of Ki­mani Maruge who holds the Guin­ness record for be­ing the old­est per­son to start pri­mary school. –

Fes­ti­val opener: Out­side­TheLaw (aka Hors-La-Loi), di­rected by Rachid Bouchareb, is the cur­tain-raiser to the sec­ond Doha Tribeca Film Fes­ti­val.

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