Qatar sets up $100 million fund for movie productions (14/02/2013, Arabian Gazette)

A new USD 100 million fund has been setup by the Doha Film Institute (DFI) in Qatar to launch new movie productions in the Gulf.

Established in partnership with Beverly Hills-based entertainment company Participant Media, the five-year fund will finance the production and development of up to 12 to 16 feature films. The fund will be used not only to oversee production of the films, but also arrange their worldwide distribution.

Revealing details of the partnership, Abdulaziz Al-Khater, CEO of DFI, said that, “we are confident that this collaboration will be a catalyst for greater cross-cultural appreciation as we embark on a diverse and exciting set of projects. The partnership gives us the opportunity to reach and inspire broader audiences, and expand our platforms for the development, promotion and distribution of compelling storytelling”.

Participant Media and DFI are currently partnering to produce an animated feature film adaptation of Khalil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’. The film is expected to be released by next year after completion of its production. Further, Participant is also in discussion for the content creation to launch its new television channel in August. The joint venture will also establish a distribution outlet for DFI’s film production through Participant’s presence in the US and other countries.

Participant Media, which has previously produced the commercially successful film ‘The Help‘, may also open its local branch at DFI’s Qatar headquarters. Close association with the DFI will allow the company to better understand and engage with the Middle East audience by creating relevant content on digital and TV platforms.

The DFI was created in 2010 but rose to international recognition with its Doha Tribeca Film Festival. Its production, ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’, was screened for the first time at the 69th Venice Film Festival. The movie was also shown at fourth edition of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival last year.

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