Qatar’s young filmmakers have yet again proven their talents.
Another year, another selection! Five Doha Film Institute-funded films have wooed the judges and were selected to be part of the much-awaited Arab Film Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
The films, all of which were Qatar-made, include ‘And Then They Burn the Sea’ by Majid Al Remaihi, Al Sit or Cotton Queen by Suzzanah Mirghani, Don’t Get Too Comfortable by Shaimi Al Tamimi, When Beirut Was Beirut by Alessandra El Chanti, and Emsahar by Hassan Al Jahni.
The films have already received numerous awards both locally and internationally. Now, the crew will pack their bags and head to Europe to be part of the festival’s Shorts 2 programme.
Arab Film Festival Rotterdam
As an artistic platform, the Arab Film Festival Rotterdam is all about creating a safe environment for candid discussions on art, human rights, emancipation, and political independence.
It works closely with producers and partners in the MENA region to select each year films of the highest caliber and with the most substantial relevance to their audience, including those from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq.
This year, it is set to take place from 15-19 June.
A glimpse of Qatar’s chosen films
And Then They Burn the Sea: The short film, shot in a deserted fishermen’s village in northern Qatar, is a tribute to the filmmaker’s mother, who faced a loss of memory while the movie was being made. “Al-Remaihi ruminates on an experience of familial loss of that which cannot be defined but is deeply felt by pairing existing family archives with reenacted dreams,” DFI said.
Cotton Queen: The protagonist of the film is 15-year-old Nafisha, who lives in a Sudanese village where cotton is grown. She leads a simple life, harvesting cotton with her friends while catching feelings for a rural boy. The film sees young Nafisha and soak up lessons from her grandma, Al Sit, a respected village matriarch.
Don’t Get Too Comfortable: The film is a multimedia letter to the director’s paternal grandpa and reflects on her family’s relocation in the aftermath of his passing more than 50 years ago. It combines historical photographs, discovered footage, parallax animation, and amazing sound design.
When Beirut Was Beirut: In a poetic hybrid documentary, three magnificent, deserted buildings that witnessed Beirut’s turbulent past are brought to life through a friendly exchange.
Emasahar: The 2D animated short film depicts the tale of a young girl who uses the magical abilities of a nearby Ramadan drummer to try to stop her beloved grandmother’s impending death.