Qatar-funded film to open 2013 Sundance Film Festival

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(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

‘May in the Summer’, a film co-financed by the Doha Film Institute (DFI), has been selected as the opening film for the US Dramatic Competition on the first day of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, it was confirmed on Tuesday.

The event will be the world premiere for the latest film by Arab-American filmmaker Cherien Dabis and is a dramatic comedy set in Jordan, where a bride-to-be is forced to re-evaluate her life when she reunites with her family, only to be confronted with the aftermath of her parents’ divorce

The film also received financial support from the Time Warner Storytelling Grant, part of the Sundance Grants and Fellowship Programme and the Jordan Film Fund, Royal Film Commission of Jordan.

“One of the key objectives of DFI is to foster and facilitate the evolution of a pan Arab film industry, whereby talented filmmakers have the opportunity to tell their stories to the world. Cherien’s May in the Summer presents a compelling portrait of Arab society, and we are honoured that our latest Middle Eastern project is opening the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, reiterating the strong global inroads made by Arab films and filmmakers,” said Abdulaziz Al-Khater, CEO of the DFI.

“I’m very grateful to Doha Film Institute for their years of involvement and their assistance in making this film possible,” added Cherien Dabis

Recently, DFI announced funding for 27 new MENA projects as part of its autumn grants session.

The opening is another coup for the Qatari film institute. In August, Hollywood political thriller ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’, starring Kate Hudson and Kiefer Sutherland, and another film financed by the DFI was the opening film at the 69th Venice International Film Festival.

Established in May 2010, the DFI finances and produces film-making in the Gulf state and its previous big screen release was ‘Black Gold’, which starred Antonio Banderas, ‘Just Like a Woman’ staring Sienna Miller and Kanye West’s short film ‘Cruel Summer’.

Another film, ‘The Prophet’, due out in 2013, is currently in pre-production

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