DFI co-financed projects “About Dry Grasses” and “Club Zero” join debut feature “Banel E Adama” in prestigious competition category.
The Doha Film Institute (DFI) has achieved a milestone in the Arab region with yet another official selection in the Cannes Film Festival.
The institution’s latest co-financed projects, “About Dry Grasses” by Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Jessica Hausner’s “Club Zero,” have been selected for the Official Selection, In Competition at this year’s esteemed Cannes Film Festival.
The festival is scheduled to take place from May 16 to 27.
Adding to the accomplishment, “Banel E Adama,” the debut feature by Senegalese filmmaker Ramata-Toulaye SY, who received the Spring 2023 grants, has also been chosen for the In Competition category.
This marks the first-ever project supported by DFI grants to be selected for this prestigious section, according to a statement.
With this nomination, DFI becomes the sole cultural organisation in the MENA region with a total of eight supported projects, including seven co-financed titles, selected for the Official Selection, In Competition.
Past nominees from DFI include Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman” in 2016, Nadine Labaki’s “Caphernaum,” and Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “The Wild Pear Tree” in 2018, Elia Suleiman’s “It Must Be Heaven” in 2019, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Memoria” in 2021.
DFI’s Grants program has backed a diverse range of projects, and several of them will be showcased to global audiences in key sections of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
This includes three projects in the Official Selection, Un Certain Regard; one in the Official Selection, Midnight Screening; four projects in the parallel section of Critics’ Week (Semaine de la Critique); one in Director’s Fortnight (Quinzaine des cinéastes); and one in ACID.
“The diversity of DFI-supported films at Cannes this year is a strong testament to the high quality of projects nurtured through the Institute’s funding and mentoring initiatives,” said DFI’s CEO Fatma Hassan Alremaihi.
Co-financed by DFI, “About Dry Grasses” by renowned Turkish director, screenwriter, and photographer Nuri Bilge Ceylan, and “Club Zero” by Austrian director and screenwriter Jessica Hausner, will have their world premieres in the competition category.
Additionally, Ramata-Toulaye SY’s “Banel E Adama,” a grantee project, will compete alongside 18 other global entries. Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s film “Winter Sleep” previously won the Palme d’Or at the 67th Cannes Film Festival, and he has received accolades such as the Best Director Award in 2008 for “Three Monkeys” and the Grand Jury Prize (Grand Prix) in 2002 for “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia.”
Jessica Hausner has made a return to Cannes after having three of her previous films, “Lovely Rita,” “Hotel,” and “Amour Fou,” selected for the Un Certain Regard section of the festival, and “Little Joe” competing for the Palme d’Or at the 2019 edition of the Festival.