Doha Tribeca Film Festival

I had heard about the Doha Tribeca film festival (DTFF)  a few months before arriving in Doha, and I was excited to discover that it would occur over the weekend of my birthday!

This was the inaugural year for the DTFF, so it was quite an event, and Robert Deniro, the founder was in attendance, along with many other famous directors and celebrities.  This film festival is truly an amazing opportunity for Doha, as they make their mark on the map!

Unfortunately, I did not plan very well this year, and purchased my tickets the week before the festival started. They had apparently gone on sale October 16! So needless to say, when I went to buy my tickets, many of the movies I wanted to see were sold out! But I was able to score tickets to at least 2 films – The September Issue and  Scheherazade: Tell Me A Story.

The September Issue is a documentary about Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue, and basis for Meryl Streep’s character in Devil Wears Prada. Vogue’s September Issue is their biggest issue every year, and this film documented the making of it. I truly enjoyed this movie! It was fascinating to  see how Anna Wintour got into fashion editing, and how she interacts with her staff, and vice versa. It really shows you the whirlwind that is the fashion world, and what it really takes to be in the industry. This film is out in theatres now (I believe) and I would definitely recommend seeing it!

Here’s the preview on apple trailers:

After the film, R. J. Cutler, the director was there in person to answer questions, and give us more insight into the making of the film. Apparently, Anna Wintour gave him full creative rights when he was filming, and they had a great working relationship. A story developed that he never really expected, and that really set the tone for the movie. It was so cool to be in the same room with the director! Additionally, we were given a ballot to score the movie, once we had seen it. So fun!

The next movie I got tickets for was called Scheherazade: Tell Me A Story.  I bought tickets based on the description on DTFF’s website:

This movie was SO much better than the description on the website. It centers around a gorgeous Egyptian woman talk show host, whose husband is vying for editor in chief at the paper he works for. Due to this, he wants his wife to tone down her talk show and avoid all politics.

So she begins to interview women who have been mistreated, but while it seems like human interest, it always becomes political. The stories of these women are heartbreaking, and I sympathized with each of them. However, they are not victims – they were strong, intelligent women who fought against their oppressors.

This movie was really such an insight into the lives of Egyptian women, and I highly recommend seeing it!! It is Arabic with English subtitles, and will be available on Netflix when its released.

Some of the films I missed, but all ready added to Netflix are Cairo Time, The Namesake, Monsoon Wedding, Team Qatar, Only When I Dance, An Education, Bright Star, and Coco before Chanel.  As you can see, even if tickets had not been sold out, wanting to see so many films, and trying to coordinate with the schedule was difficult!

Although I missed a lot of the big events and celebrities of the DTFF, I just feel lucky to be in a city that is reaching out to be a part of the global world.   Doha may be a little known city, but it is quickly becoming a place you cannot ignore! 🙂

I am so ready for next year’s film festival! Who coming to visit during the festival next year?


3 thoughts on “Doha Tribeca Film Festival

  1. Candice says:

    I saw Monsoon Wedding a few years ago and I really liked it!

  2. Tiffany says:

    The September Issue sounds awesome! Good choices. A very fun weekend. If it weren’t a day long flight and we didn’t have an infant, it would be a great time to come next year.

  3. Kay says:

    It is very amazing that Doha is willing to show these films without censorship. I hear that is very unusual. An article about the festival in the Wall Street Journal indicated that a daughter of the current ruler is the major force behind hosting the event. What great things can happen when fathers listen to their daughters!

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