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Doha Talks with Danny Boyle, Mira Neir and Ellia Suleiman

The inaugural Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF will run October 29 through November 1, 2009) has announced a new series of thought-provoking dialogues that will be held year round. As part of the organization’s overall efforts to foster an active cinema culture, these talks, panels, conversations and master classes will be free of charge. Doha Talks will feature events with filmmakers including Mira Nair (Amelia), Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), Elia Suleiman (The Time That Remains), R.J. Cutler (The September Issue) and industry executives Lynette Howell, Ken Kamins, Cassian Elwes and many more. DTFF, a partnership between Tribeca Enterprises and Qatar Museums Authority, will run October 29 through November 1, 2009.

Amanda Palmer, Executive Director of DTFF, said, “We’ve programmed a range of opportunities to engage Doha in the world of filmmaking like never before. These panels and master classes complement our year-round education.” Palmer continued, “These conversations will unite films, filmmakers and audiences together in a way that will evolve cinema culture.”

“This is what film festivals do best.” said Geoff Gilmore, Chief Creative Officer at Tribeca Enterprises. “They provide context and discussion to let films grow and evolve. This program will advance our goals in Doha, which include laying the groundwork for an industry and elevating the dialogue about film.”
Highlights from Doha Talks include a master class with Danny Boyle, a panel on the new wave of Arab filmmakers, “The New Arab Way,” and two Question & Answer (Q&A) sessions hosted by Palmer with Mira Nair on October 30 and Elia Suleiman on November 1.

Additionally, three Industry Conversations will explore the business of entertainment - tackling the topics of documentary filmmaking; film finance, and production and distribution in the global marketplace. Guests include Ken Kamins, who played a pivotal role in the financing of The Lord of the Rings and many other films; veteran independent film agent and financier Cassian Elwes; and Lynette Howell, producer of Half Nelson and Phoebe in Wonderland.

Events are free to DTFF badge holders. The Industry Conversations and master classes have limited seating and require an email RSVP in advance of the Festival. At all other Doha Talks seating is available on a first come first served basis. Further information on RSVP details and purchasing a Blue Badge can be found at

Mira Nair Master Class and Q&A
*This event will be taped live for Al Jazeera English’s Fabulous Picture Show
DATE: Friday 30 October
TIME: 14:00 (90mins)
LOCATION: Museum of Islamic Art, Gallery
INTERVIEWER: Amanda Palmer, DTFF Executive Director and host of Fabulous Picture Show.
DESCRIPTION: Following the opening night screening of Amelia, Al Jazeera English’s Fabulous Picture Show hosts this master class and Q&A. Nair’s 1988 debut feature, Salaam Bombay! won the Caméra d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award®. Since then, Nair’s internationally acclaimed films include Mississippi Masala; Vanity Fair; Hysterical Blindness; Monsoon Wedding and Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love. Nair’s masterful ability to juxtapose East and West will come to light in this master class.

Danny Boyle Master Class
DATE: Saturday 31 October
TIME: 15:00 (90mins)
DESCRIPTION: Before Slumdog Millionaire captured eight Academy Awards® in 2009, Danny Boyle was already one of the UK’s highly regarded directors. His second feature film, Trainspotting, was recently selected in the Observer newspaper as one of the best British films of the past 25 years. Directing films that are both smart and entertaining, Boyle combines the visually inventive with memorable soundtracks and talented ensemble casts. A director in command of all aspects of his craft, this master class will be an education on all levels of the filmmaking process.

Elia Suleiman Master Class: Screening and Q&A
*This event will be taped live for Al Jazeera English’s Fabulous Picture Show
DATE: Sunday 1 November
TIME: 10:00 The Time That Remains screening / 12:00 Master Class and Q&A (60mins)
LOCATION: Museum of Islamic Art, Gallery
INTERVIEWER: Amanda Palmer, DTFF Executive Director and host of Fabulous Picture Show.
DESCRIPTION: Director Elia Suleiman is the subject of a master class examining the influences that have shaped his characteristically deadpan humor, his exploration for identity, and his political and social consciousness. Suleiman also will discuss his DTFF premiere The Time That Remains, the final installment of a trilogy charting the Palestinian occupation and displacement over the past 60 years.

The New Arab Way
DATE: Sunday 1 November
TIME: 14:00 (90mins)
LOCATION: Museum of Islamic Art, Auditorium
HOST: Ali Jaafar, Variety International Editor
PARTICIPANTS: Amin Matalqa (Captain Abu Raed), Chadi Zenedinne (Falling From Earth), Swel Noury (Heaven’s Doors), Marwan Hamed (The Yacoubian Building)
DESCRIPTION: Across the Arab world, an unprecedented wave of new filmmakers is dramatically changing the identification of East, West, and everything in between. These young directors, many of whom grew up in the shadow of civil war and political strife in their native countries, imbue their filmmaking aesthetic with a mix of cultural influences that combine Arabic subject matter with Hollywood and Europe. The filmmakers will discuss the sources of their inspiration and the challenges that face them as they forge ahead with their careers.

Up for Debate: The Film Challenge
DATE: Sunday 1 November
TIME: 14:00 Team Qatar screening / 15:30 Debate (60mins)
LOCATION: Museum of Islamic Art, Gallery
PARTICIPANTS: QatarDebate students; comedians Dean Obeidallah and Maysoon Zayid and guests
DESCRIPTION: Team Qatar is a DTFF premiere which follows Qatar’s first national high school debate team during its training by QatarDebate Center, where the debate coaches come from around the world. Inspired by the film’s ability to create new conversation, this special screening will be followed by a debate around a cinematic topic chosen by the audience. Visiting DTFF guests will be tutored in the art of team debate by 15 to 17-year-old students from the QatarDebate Center.
Documentary Filmmaking: Non-Fiction, Reality and Beyond
Industry Conversation
DATE: Saturday 31 October
TIME: 11:00 (90mins)
LOCATION: Four Seasons Hotel, Garden
MODERATOR: Beadie Finzi, (Only When I Dance)
PARTICIPANTS: Julie LeBrocquy (Osama), RJ Cutler (The September Issue), Borut Strel (Big River Man), Giorgia Lo Savio (Only When I Dance), Liz Mermin (Team Qatar)
DESCRIPTION: The world of documentary production has transformed in the last decade. From the low-rent realm of reality television to the high-class world of theatrical features, there has been a revolution in nonfiction storytelling, emerging from the shadows of educational television and on display at film festivals and cinemas around the world. The trials and tribulations of the production of contemporary documentary, financing, various modes of distribution and opportunities in the current marketplace are the subjects for this symposium.

One Big World: Producing and Distributing Independent and International Films in the Global Market
Industry Conversation
DATE: Saturday 31 October
TIME: 13:00 (90mins)
LOCATION: Four Seasons Hotel, Garden
MODERATOR: Geoff Gilmore, Chief Creative Officer, Tribeca Enterprises
DESCRIPTION: Hollywood has dominated the international film arena for much of the past century. Changes afoot in countries across the globe, however, are affecting the position of film and national identity. Filmmakers far from the Hollywood hills capture the narratives of their people, their country and themselves in a language and style that is entirely their own. As the world of film undergoes its biggest transformation in 50 years, a panel of executives, distributors and exhibitors will give us their visions of the future of filmmaking.

Financing from Hollywood to Qatar: The New World of Global Production
Industry Conversation
DATE: Saturday 31 October
TIME: 15:00 (90mins)
LOCATION: Four Seasons Hotel, Garden
MODERATOR: Cassian Elwes, international distribution and financing agent
PARTICIPANTS: Ken Kamins (Executive Producer, Key Creatives), Frederic Sichler (President, Rotana Studios), Tarek Ben Ammar (Producer, Quinta Communications), Lynette Howell (Producer, Silverwood Films)
DESCRIPTION: The world of film financing experienced its Golden Age from the late-1990s until 2008. Equity investment was flowing and the number of films produced and seeking distribution reached record levels. Then, overnight, the world markets plunged, prominent institutions withdrew from entertainment and the financing that fueled global film production ended. An expert panel representing international agencies, productions funds, producers and equity financiers will discuss the new directions of film financing.

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