No sooner has the Abu Dhabi Film Festival finally packed up its bags and vacated the Emirates Palace than regional film talk turns to Doha. The line-up for the Contemporary World Cinema and Special Screenings programme at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, now in its fourth edition and being held from November 17 to 24, has finally landed, with 39 films from 30 countries vying for attention, including 29 Mena premieres.
Give us the big guns
OK, so Mira Nair's Doha-funded adaptation of The Reluctant Fundamentalist is opening the festival. Then we've got Silver Linings Playbook, which is the Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper-starring winner of the Toronto International Film Festival's Audience Award. If you enjoyed In Bruges then Seven Psychopaths, bringing the director Martin McDonagh and Colin Farrell together once more, is a must. Bollywood fans should rejoice with Jab Tak Hai Jaan, the late Yash Chopra's return to the director's chair and starring Shak Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif. The festival is set to close with Rise of the Guardian 3D, a DreamWorks Animation adventure based on William Joyce's The Guardians of Childhood book series.
A bit of Oscar buzz
In the Contemporary World Cinema category, there are six official entries for the Academy Award's Foreign Language prize next year, including Children of Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Just the Wind (Hungary) and Kon-Tiki (Norway).
I'll have the special
Festivals are nothing without special screenings. Choose from the cinematic love-in Cinema Paradiso, Spielberg's home-seeking ET, the Iranian classic Children of Heaven, The Brave Hearted Will Take the Bride from Aditya Chopra and Ahmed El Maanouini's documentary Trances, selected by Martin Scorsese to be restored by his World Cinema Foundation.
Some local flavours
Outside of these two main categories, this year marks the largest showcase of "Made in Qatar" films yet, with 19 films, including three full-length features. Lyrics Revolt is a documentary examining hip-hop and the Arab Spring; Lockdown is a zombie thriller; while Angel in June is a story set amid Doha's Filipino community.
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