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Culture

Manhattan moves to Doha for opening of Tribeca film festival

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-10-30

Martin Scorsese (pictured) was among the stars to grace the red carpet Thursday night at the opening of the inaugural "Doha Tribeca Film Festival", organised by New York's Tribeca Film Festival with the help of the Qatari authorities.

AFP - A part of Manhattan and Hollywood stars moved to Qatar with the glittering opening on Thursday night of the inaugural "Doha Tribeca Film Festival."

Martin Scorsese and Ben Kingsley were among the stars who graced the digital red carpet at the entrance of the new Islamic Museum of Doha, designed by Chinese-American architect Ieoh Ming Pei.

"We want to bring the best of world cinema to this part of the world, we want to inspire the new generation to make films," festival director Amanda Palmer told AFP.

New York's Tribeca Film Festival -- founded by Robert De Niro in a bid to reinvigorate cultural life in Manhattan after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 -- helped organise the festival with Qatari authorities.

De Niro is expected to join on Sunday when the curtains come down on the four-day film festival, organisers said.

The Doha festival's organisers are keen to stress the Doha event is not merely a copy of the original in New York, but rather a means to open up avenues of collaboration.

"It's a true cultural partnership to support local and emerging film makers from the region -- it wasn't dominated by one side," said Jeff Gilmore, one of the main organisers.

Kingsley agreed that the festival was an opportunity to bolster cultural exchanges. "We have to learn from other cultures," he told AFP, noting what he said was "the great past and great future of Arab movies."

Scorsese said he was "inspired by Egyptian movies."

In fact a foundation chaired by Scorsese was responsible for restoring the classing Egyptian 1969 movie "The Mummy" which will be among the films aired at the festival.

Eleven films from the Middle East are among the 31 pictures selected for the festival and they will be projected on outdoor screens, either on the beach or in the reconstructed souk of Doha.

The brand new festival kicked off with the first Middle East showing of Amelia, directed by Indian Mira Nair and telling the story of the aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart.

VIP guests were seated inside the new Islamic Museum for the screening of the film, while more than 3,000 people gathered in an open theatre built especially for the festival on the grounds of the museum.

The jury will award two top prizes worth 50,000 dollars each, with one going to the best international film and another to the best Middle East film.

Date created : 2009-10-30

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