Six Doha Film Institute Supported Films selected at Cannes 2024

Emma Hodgson   |   14-05-2024

Six films supported by the Doha Film Institute (DFI) have been selected for the 77th Cannes Film Festival being held this month until the 25th of May. 

The Institute also co-financed the project Rendez-vous avec Pol Pot’ (Meeting with Pol Pot) by renowned Cambodian director and screenwriter Rithy Panh, selected to the Cannes Premiere section in the Official Selection. 

Rendez-vous avec Pol Pot

Rendez-vous avec Pol Pot’ (France, Cambodia, Taiwan, Qatar, Turkiye) by critically acclaimed filmmaker and Un Certain Regard Grand Prix Winner Rithy Panh draws from his moving personal experiences to revive unrecorded memories of his native Cambodia. Based on a true story, the film recounts the adventurous journey of three French journalists invited to Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge in 1978 to meet with Pol Pot. 

During the festival, diverse projects supported by the DFI Grants programme will screen for global audiences, including three projects in the parallel section of Critics’ Week (Semaine de la Critique) and two in Director’s Fortnight (Quinzaine des cinéastes). 

Locust

Critics’ Week (Semaine de la Critique): 

  • The Brink of Dreams (Egypt, France, Denmark, Saudi Arabia, Qatar), by Nada Riyadh and Ayman El Amir, tells the story of a group of Coptic girls who refuse the roles forced upon them by forming an all-female street theatre troupe.
  • Locust (Taiwan, France, USA, Qatar) by KEFF is set in Taiwan, where a mute twenty-nothing struggles to find meaning in the injustice of everyday life.
  • Across The Sea (Morocco, France, Belgium, Qatar) by Saïd Hamich Benlarbi in Séance Speciale follows Nour who immigrated illegally to Marseille in 1990. With his friends, he lives a marginal and festive life.

Brink of Dreams

Director’s Fortnight (Quinzaine des cinéastes):

  • East of Noon (Egypt, Netherlands, Qatar) by Hala Elkoussy is a fable about musician Abdo, who rebels against his elders, seeking freedom through his art in a confined world outside of time.
  • To a Land Unknown (Palestine, UK, Greece, Netherlands, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Qatar) by Mahdi Fleifel is about two Palestinian cousins who are forced to take extreme measures to escape a hopeless environment before it is too late.

Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Chief Executive Officer of DFI, said: “Once again, the eclectic selection of DFI-backed projects selected at Cannes this year demonstrates the Institute’s commitment to supporting compelling voices and powerful stories that have the potential to shape world cinema. We are honoured to partner with internationally renowned creative visionaries and emerging talent from the Arab world and beyond to offer a captivating window into different cultures and perspectives to foster a sense of global unity.” 

“I am especially proud that celebrated auteur and DFI’s long-term mentor and collaborator Rithy Panh’s new film will premiere at the prestigious festival. Rithy’s films offer creative cinematic representations of significant social and historical events that forever changed our world, and his unbounded passion for storytelling with rare and striking authority, portrayed in Rendez-vous avec Pol Pot, an important and timely film will resonate with all.” 

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