NU-Q partners with Doha Film Institute

Jeanne Kuang, Reporter

Northwestern’s campus in Doha, Qatar, plans to support filmmakers and media students in this year’s Doha Tribeca Film Festival, the University announced Saturday.

NU-Q will collaborate with the festival’s host, the Doha Film Institute, a local organization dedicated to expanding the film industry in Qatar. The festival runs Nov. 17 through 24, and members of the NU-Q community will participate in events throughout the week.

In a University news release, NU-Q Dean and CEO Everette Dennis said the University and Doha Film Institute “both want to understand, develop, and support the growing creative and media industries in Qatar.”

During the festival, they plan to do so with a film showcase co-hosted by NU called “Made in Qatar.” Starting Nov. 18, the festival will screen 19 movies produced by local filmmakers, including the feature-length “Lyrics Revolt,” which was selected from more than 70 submissions as the opening piece.

“Lyrics Revolt,”  is one of four “Made in Qatar” films produced by NU-Q alumni. Other NU-Q films include “Bader,” “Ghazil – The Story of Rashed and Jawaher” and “Brains of Empowerment,” which Amna Saleh Al-khalaf made during her time at NU-Q.

NU-Q faculty members will also participate in panels and discussions during the festival. Medill Prof. Justin Martin will be a panelist following a screening of “Valentino’s Ghost,” which is about western media coverage of  Muslims and Arabs. Martin said he will join another faculty member and the film’s director to “discuss and critique” the film, as well as answer audience questions.

Filmmakers appearing at the festival will visit the NU-Q campus to share their experiences with students as part of the “Lunch with the Pros” series.

Robb Wood, special advisor to the CEO, said students from the university and the Doha Film Institute have often been in unofficial collaboration, and the partnership will institutionalize those ties. The festival will also give NU-Q students more opportunities to engage in local culture.

Dennis said in the release that he hopes the festival “will inaugurate a larger, long-term partnership between the two organizations.”

Martin said he believes the partnership is a significant effort to encourage student engagement outside of Education City, exposing NU-Q students to the work of Qatari filmmakers, as well as filmmakers from around the Arab world.

“These kinds of initiatives … give (NU-Q) students a gentle nudge into the community,” he said.