The Doha Film Institute has signed a US$100 million (Dh367m) deal with Participant Media to produce 12 to 16 films together over the next five years.
As part of the deal, Participant - the Los Angeles-based production company behind a raft of successful titles such as Syriana, Lincoln and An Inconvenient Truth - is looking at opening an office within DFI's headquarters in the Qatari capital and also creating an Arabic version of TakePart.com, its online division and social action network.
Participant and DFI are also considering setting up a joint venture to create content for Participant's new television channel which is due to launch in August. "The partnership gives us the opportunity to reach and inspire broad audiences and expand our platforms for the development, promotion and distribution of compelling storyline," said DFI's chief executive Abdulaziz Al Khater.
Participant already has a joint venture with Image Nation in Abu Dhabi, a $250m fund arranged in 2008 that has helped finance films such as The Help, Contagion and Promised Land, the new film from Gus Van Sant that had its international premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, where the deal with the DFI was also announced. - Alex Ritman