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Qatar Museum Authority and Tribeca launch Film Festival in Doha

Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), the organization dedicated to developing the cultural resources of this Arabian Gulf state as a platform for international dialogue and understanding, has announced a groundbreaking agreement with New York’s world-renowned Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), to launch a world-class international film festival, Tribeca Film Festival Doha. The first festival will take place November 10 – 14, 2009 and be presented at Doha’s celebrated new Museum of Islamic Art and in cinemas across Doha.

The announcement of the cultural partnership was made at a special ceremony at the new Museum of Islamic Art, which was attended by Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Chairperson of the Qatar Museums Authority Board of Trustees, and Abdullah Al Najjar, Chief Executive Officer of the Qatar Museums Authority. Joining on behalf of the Tribeca Film Festival were the co-founders, Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff.

H.E. Sheikha Mayassa expressed her confidence that the Tribeca Film Festival Doha will bring together people from around the globe and help to build international awareness and understanding of Arab culture and the Arab world.

“I invite film enthusiasts from every country to share their passion for this art by visiting the Tribeca Film Festival Doha,” Her Excellency stated. “In today’s increasingly globalized world, creative initiatives like this Festival can play a truly inspirational role by bringing cultures closer together.”

Tribeca Film Festival Doha will be modeled after the annual Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, which is going into its eighth year. Like the New York event, it will welcome the community, diverse audiences and the global filmmaking industry. As a result of an extensive collaboration between TFF and QMA, the Festival has been designed to showcase the local Qatari community, as well as the broader Arab culture.

Tribeca Film Festival Doha will feature new work from established filmmakers, alongside film debuts from newly discovered directing talents. The program will include approximately 40 films, as well as special events. The Festival will launch “The Doha Conversations”, thought-provoking and insightful dialogues between icons of world culture set in intimate environments, with the goal of fostering discussion in Qatar and around the globe. Full details of the festival program and guests will be announced at a later date.

“The Tribeca Film Festival Doha is destined to become a major annual event in world cinema,” stated Abdullah Al Najjar. “The Festival will include a wide range of programming, from outdoor screenings to movies for children, from documentaries to new Hollywood releases and from independent films to showcases of the very best works by Arab filmmakers.”
“We are honored to create an enduring cultural partnership with QMA and to announce the launch of the Tribeca Film Festival Doha next November. Qatar’s transformational vision for the 21st century with its emphasis on culture and education is uniquely consistent with the goals and aspirations of the Tribeca Film Festival,” said TFF co-founder, Jane Rosenthal.

“We hope that film will not only be used as a form of entertainment at Tribeca Film Festival Doha but play a role in bridging cultures closer together. By learning each other’s stories, we can see how much we share in common as well as explore and better understand our differences,” said Robert De Niro.

“In addition to the positive cultural implications, this initiative underscores the enormous potential of the entertainment market in the Middle East and the strategic importance of the region to the future of the film industry,” said TFF co-founder Craig Hatkoff. “We think the key to success will be understanding and respecting one another’s cultures and traditions. We believe this Festival will lead to many other important and educational initiatives in Doha and beyond.”

"The Tribeca Film Festival has become a world-renowned event, and its new partnership with the Qatar Museums Authority will leverage that success and help further its mission of introducing films and filmmakers to a global audience," said New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "The Festival's substantial cultural and economic impact in New York City is unequivocal, and our hope is that Doha will reap similar benefits. The expansion of a New York institution like the Tribeca Film Festival to Doha is a sign of the international significance of New York City cinema and will help foster new relationships between our two cities."

Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2001 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in response to the events of September 11. The festival’s initial purpose was to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of Lower Manhattan through an annual celebration of film, music and culture.

Up to date festival information can be found by visiting the official Tribeca Film Festival Doha website – www.tffdoha.com

-- end –
For further information, please contact:
Krikor Khatchikian
Senior Account Manager
Cohn & Wolfe Public Relations
Telephone: + 974 428 3128
Email: krikor.khatchikian@greyqatar.com

Tammie Rosen
Director of Communications
Tribeca Enterprises
Telephone: +212 941 2003
Email: trosen@tribecaenterprises.com

Notes to the Editor

About Qatar Museums Authority

The Museum of Islamic Art opening 1 December 2008 is a pioneering project, setting apart the cultural vision of the State of Qatar, both in the region and across the world. Under the guiding vision of Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Chairperson of the Qatar Museums Authority Board of Trustees, the project sets the founding stone in the cultural blueprint to transform the State of Qatar into a global capital of culture.

The Museum stands as an architectural masterpiece 60m off Doha’s Corniche on an island made of reclaimed land. Pritzker Prize laureate, I.M. Pei, was commissioned to design the 35,500sq m Museum; inspiration for which he found in the 13th century sabil (ablutions fountain) of the 9th century Mosque of Ahmad ibn Tulun in Cairo, Egypt.

The stone-clad Museum is composed of a five-storey Main Building and a two-storey Education Wing, which are connected across a central courtyard. The Main Building’s angular volumes step back progressively as they rise around a 50m high central domed atrium. The dome is concealed from outside view by the walls of a central tower. A glass curtain wall rises to a height of 45m on the north side of the Museum offering stunning views of the Gulf and West Bay area of Doha from all five floors of the atrium.

Collected from three continents including countries across the Middle East and as far reaching as Spain and India, the Museum’s artworks date from the 7th through to the 19th century. Representing the full scope of Islamic art, the collection includes manuscripts, ceramics, metal, glass, ivory, textiles, wood and precious stones, and are of superior quality.

Qatar Museums Authority was created in December 2005 to combine the resources of all museums in the State of Qatar. The Authority's vision revolves around the provision of a comprehensive umbrella under which future plans will be drawn for the development of national museums and the establishment of an effective system for collecting, protecting, preserving and interpreting historic sites, monuments and artefacts.

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