The Doha Film Institute (DFI) has awarded four Qatari directors grants to produce short films about forced marriage, superheroes, a lunar eclipse and the relationship between a young woman and her hired help.
Some 12 aspiring directors applied for the Qatari Film Fund for Spring 2016, which was launched last year to promote a culture of film-making and content creating among the youth.
The four people chosen will be given equipment, support, pre- and post-production help and mentoring as they produce their short films, as well as funding of up to QR182,500.
Here are the winners and more information about their projects:
1. The World is Blue by Amna Al-Binali
This film tells the story of a 19-year-old Qatari named Hend who sees in blue and hears whispers that only stop when she reads.
Hoping that marriage will cure her daughter from this strange condition, Hend’s mother arranges her to be married.
At her engagement, Hend has to decide whether to go through with the marriage or continue seeing in blue at the risk of straining her relationship with her mother, who is the most important person in Hend’s life.
2. Elevate by Hamida Issa
Latifa, a young Qatari woman in her 20s, is always accompanied by her Filipino domestic worker, Rosie.
One day, the two get stuck in an elevator and, isolated from society’s expectations, realize they are liberated to learn more about each other.
3. Boy Meets World by Naif Al-Malki
Nine-year-old Jassim is sure that becoming a superhero is his destiny and is working hard to become one.
This film, set in a rapidly changing time, takes us through Jassim’s attempts to face his challenges as he tries to fulfill his goals.
It aims “open up the sky and allow their children to fly.”
4. Ya Hoota by Latifa Al-Darwish and Abdulaziz Yousef
A curious little girl wants to save the moon from a lunar apocalypse so she can find out what happens in the story her grandmother tells her.
She searches for the mythical creatures in her grandmother’s stories so they can use their magical powers to save the moon and avoid losing the moonlight forever.
Speaking about the films chosen, DFI CEO Fatima Al Remaihi said in a statement:
“The short films that have been selected for the grants presented compelling sketches of life in Qatar and demonstrate the creativity and talents of our emerging filmmakers.”
Which film are you looking forward to seeing post-production? Thoughts?