Art house cinema in Doha
Catch up with the latest in world cinema at the Doha Film Institute Discuss this article
So, what are these screenings?
Starting this year, DFI has launched our programme of year-round screenings to bring Doha audiences the best in world and independent cinema throughout the year. Our two current film series include the DFI Japanese Cinema Showcase at the MIA and the Katara DFI Cinema – both of which occur monthly. The Japanese Cinema Showcase is part of the Qatar Japan 2012 initiative, which celebrates the rich and diverse cinematic tradition of Japan. The Katara DFI Cinema, which launched this spring with ‘Take Shelter’ and ‘A Separation’ will feature current world and independent films, which would normally not be released in the cineplexes in Doha. We will soon be launching an additional film series at other venues in the coming months.
Why have this kind of cinema in Doha?
We hear from so many Doha residents who are starved for more challenging and artistic films, which often don’t play in the commercial cinemas here. People often tell us that the Doha Tribeca Film Festival is the highlight of their year, so we wanted to provide this kind of high-quality alternative cinema to audiences throughout the year.
What can people expect from these movies?
From the Japanese Cinema Showcase, audiences can expect to see films which will allow them a glimpse into Japanese society and culture. At the same time this showcase provides a diversity of genres prominent in Japanese filmmaking (anime, samurai films, family-based melodramas), while highlighting some of Japan’s most famous directors (Takashi Miike, Hayao Miyazaki, Yasujiro Ozu). At the Katara DFI Cinema, audiences will be treated to a selection of highly-acclaimed recent films – often award-winners and festival darlings from around the world, which we feel Doha audiences deserve the opportunity to see.
So what can we see this month?
In August, we will show ‘Always Sunset on Third Street’ (2005) by Takashi Yamazaki, a hugely popular drama which won 12 Japanese Academy Awards. In September, we will show ‘13 Assassins’ (2010), a visceral samurai film by cult director Takashi Miike.
Do you have to be Japanese or speak Japanese to ‘get’ it?
Absolutely not. Our Japanese Cinema Showcase screenings are often sold out and the majority of audiences are non-Japanese who relish the chance to get to learn more about Japanese culture through these films. For the Katara DFI Cinema, we do strive to programme films from many different countries, but the best films are always universal – they can transcend cultural barriers and be appreciated by audiences from any country. These are the films DFI are dedicated to showing.
Anything people should do or know to get more about of the films?
People should visit our website regularly – www.dohafilminstitute.com We often have videos and articles about our upcoming films, which can provide more of a background of a featured film, genre, director, or actor. We are also working with local film professors who sometimes will give a talk before a film screening to help enrich the audience’s appreciation of a particular film. These are announced on our website.
Why do this here in Qatar over the summer?
Well, we do this throughout the year, not just during the summer. During the summer, when the climate makes it impossible to go outside, we can think of nothing better to do than sit back in an air-conditioned cinema and watch an artistic, eye-opening movie.
Always Sunset on Third Street by Takashi Yamazaki shows on August 30 at 7pm and August 31 at 4pm an 7pm at the Museum of Islamic Art. Koran by Heart by Greg Bark shows Aug 15-16 at the Katara Drama Theatre. Tickets are QR35, QR20 for students and DFI, Katara and QMA employees. For more information, check out www.dohafilminstitute.com
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