By Andy Sambidge
Qatar initiative to drive movie industry says this year's film festival will take on new format
Doha Film Institute (DFI) has announced that its cultural partnership with Robert De Niro's New York-based Tribeca Enterprises has ended.
The partnership, which brought the world-famous Tribeca Film Festival to the Qatari capital, was concluded mutually, the organisations said in a statement.
As a result, this year's Doha Film Festival will take on a new format, with details to be announced shortly.
DFI CEO Abdulaziz Al-Khater said: "Through the past four editions of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, which were organised in cultural partnership with Tribeca Enterprises, we achieved our fundamental goals of creating a vibrant grassroots film industry in Qatar.
"We are thankful to them for their invaluable insights that helped elevate the film festival initiative of DFI to a truly global level.
"It was a rewarding experience to work with Tribeca Enterprises, and we will draw on this rich learning to create a new format for DFI's film festival initiatives starting this year."
He added: "With DFI having successfully formed strong community and industry bonds, the new festival format will build on the passion for filmmaking from talent in the region and around the world.
"We are defining a new niche for the film festival, which will serve as a platform for strengthening a home-grown film industry as well as continuing to build our international relationships to promote Qatar as a cultural hub."
A statement from Tribeca Enterprises said: "We partnered with Doha Film Institute to help launch an event that would create a sustainable foundation for the growth of a film community and industry in Qatar and the Middle East.
"After four years of successful cultural partnership, the festival has grown immensely and reflects our mutual vision for an event to promote cultural understanding and community through film and education.
"We are proud of everything DFI and Tribeca have achieved together, and we wish DFI the very best as they move forward with their festival and year-round initiatives."
New York's Tribeca Film Festival was founded by actor Robert De Niro after the September 11 attacks and Qatar was the first venue to host the event outside its home country.
Prior to the Tribeca festival, Qatar has only hosted the Al Jazeera Documentary Film Festival, but the world's largest exporter of LNG aims to mold itself into a cultural capital for the region.For all the latest art news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.