DOHA — On Nov. 1, the first Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF) concluded with an awards ceremony attended by thousands at the Museum of Islamic Art. The chairperson, daughter of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikha al-Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa al Thani, established the DTFF in cooperation with the Tribeca Film Festival in New York and its three founders.
Renowned veteran Hollywood film star Robert De Niro, one of the New York festival's three founders, presented the $50,000 Best Festival Film award, based on audience choice, to New York filmmaker Liz Mermin's documentary,
Palestinian filmmaker Najwa Najiar was victorious with her feature film debut,
An unusual award for the Best One-Minute Film went to Sophia al-Maria of Qatar for
Before announcing the prizes, De Niro said, "I cannot express how proud I am. This is the first year of the festival, but as we have seen over the past four days…the future of the Doha festival is bright."
The DTFF was established eight years after the New York festival, but not as a mere Gulf copy of the Tribeca event. Festival organisers considered the link to Tribeca an opportunity to encourage local filmmaking talent and develop cinema culture in the region.
De Niro also announced that the DTTF will conduct educational programmes throughout the year in Doha that will include screenplay writing, production labs and exchange programmes with the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.