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Friday, June 18, 2021

Doha Film Institute appoints new permanent CEO

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DFI CEO Fatma Al-Remaihi.
DFI CEO Fatma Al-Remaihi.

The Board of Doha Film Institute (DFI) has appointed Fatma Al-Remaihi as its new chief executive, as the organization hopes to enter a new phase following a turbulent year.

Al-Remaihi had been serving as acting CEO since August this year, following the resignation of Abdulaziz Al-Khater less than two years into the role.

The new leader has been tasked with promoting a strong film culture in Qatar through film appreciation, education and financing initiatives. She will also remain Director of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival and the upcoming Qumra event for aspiring young filmmakers from Qatar and the wider region.

In a statement, Al-Remaihi said:

“I am honored to be appointed as the CEO of the Doha Film Institute. It is a privilege to work with the filmmakers in our local and regional community and I look forward to continuing to support them in telling their stories, and to expand further our objective to build a vibrant and sustainable culture of film appreciation in Qatar.”

Film fund ended

The CEO announcement comes shortly after DFI and an American media group announced the dissolution of their partnership after less than a year.

In February, DFI teamed up with US-based Participant Media to launch a $100 million film fund, with ambitious plans to finance more than a dozen feature films.

The projects under discussion at the time the partnership was announced during the Berlin Film Festival 2013 included:

  • Establishing a distribution channel for DFI’s projects, particularly in the US;
  • Collaborating on programming for Participant’s new TV channel, which launches in August;
  • Creating an Arabic-language version of Participant’s online division; and
  • Forming a Middle East branch of Participant set at DFI’s headquarters in Katara.

The plan was that recipients of the five-year revolving fund would also receive production help and assistance with worldwide distribution.

However, reactions to the tie-up were mixed, and several Qataris and expats took the partnership as an insult, saying the institute should do more to support homegrown talent.

The fund has been ended without a single film being made, due to changing priorities on both sides, according to US industry website Variety.

The Prophet
The Prophet

Separate to the fund, the two organizations had collaborated on the highly-successful animation film Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, which had its regional premier at the Ajyal Film Festival in Doha earlier this month.

And Al-Remaihi told Variety that she would consider working Participant again, project-by-project.

“They are a great company that has great vision, but I think we’ve decided together that we’re in a time and place that for us we’ve been focusing on regional filmmakers and regional projects, so together we’ve decided to dissolve the partnership,” she said.

The end of the deal, which had been signed under Al-Khater’s tenure, could herald a new direction for the institute as it concentrates on supporting and developing local and regional talent.

Also recently, a new date for Qumra has been announced, from March 6 to 11, 2015 – a year after it was postponed due to DFI “realigning objectives.” At the time, some said the decision may partly have been due to budgetary issues with running the event alongside the well-received Ajyal Youth Film Festival.

At the time the postponement was announced, in January this year, DFI had just laid off around 40 staff, with one former staffer saying that entire departments had gone and others were significantly streamlined.

Thoughts?

12 COMMENTS

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A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

maybe film making isn’t our thing.. how about we just stop trying all together… enough money has been placed in this sinking ship

filmingindoha
filmingindoha
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

You are probably right, but, hey, Dubai has Film Festival and Institute, Abu Dhabi has it too, so we have to have it also. No matter how much it is ridiculed worldwide, how much money it had wasted and how many wannabes and pretenders it enriched.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  filmingindoha

not sure if you are being serious or sarcastic…

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

He’s probably joking, Anyway i don’t think this necessarily is a sinking ship but more like a boat that needs strong winds to take path, I mean we need more inspired people, More start up’s and it could go somewhere, Patience is key.

SullyofDoha
SullyofDoha
6 years ago

Doha News,
How about a little follow up reporting. Who is Fatma Al-Remaihi? What is her vision for the organization? What are her qualifications and expertise?

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  SullyofDoha

She stated her vision and plan in the quote “I look forward to continuing to support them in telling their stories, and to expand further our objective to build a vibrant and sustainable culture of film appreciation in Qatar.””

Coco
Coco
6 years ago

Have no idea who she is or know anything about her background but I salute the choice. She’s gorgeous!!! Best of luck to her, she has my support 🙂

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

Amanda Palmer did a good job too, probably because she was also gorgeous. Being gorgeous is, after all, the most meaningful measure of a woman’s ability to do her job competently.

Coco
Coco
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

Amen, brother! 🙂 That’s the way you hire women too? I thought I was a dying breed.

agenius
agenius
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

Lol

Smile
Smile
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

LOL… i like the sentence “that’s the way you hire women too” on point and a beautiful reply.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

Amanda gorgeous? LOL! Good one.

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