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Qatari female filmmakers praise growing presence of women in local film industry

Qatari female filmmakers praise growing presence of women in local film industry

Ailyn Agonia
DOHA
Now is the time to share the stories of our culture from feminine perspectives to prove that we are able to succeed and chase our dreams in this day and age, said Hamida Issa, Qatari director, producer and writer.
Hamida is the first Qatari woman to step foot on Antarctica for her first feature-length documentary ‘Places of the Soul’.
Talking to the local media during the ongoing fifth edition of Qumra on Monday, Issa expressed delight on the growing representation and contribution of female Qatari filmmakers in the local film industry.
She said, “I think it is incredible because while Hollywood is mainly a male–dominated industry, in Qatar, women are ruling the game and that is very interesting. The majority of filmmakers in Qatar are women because I think we have so much stories and realities to share about our society and our culture that has not been expressed in previous times.”
Hamida’s feature documentary is one of the Qatari projects participating in Qumra 2019. It is described by the young filmmaker as a personal journey when she decided to go on an environmental and leadership expedition with the 2041 Foundation, an organisation set up to engage and inspire youth to preserve Antarctica.
At the heart of the film is the juxtaposition of two landscapes: the ice desert of Antarctica and the sand desert of Qatar.
She said the inspiration for the project comes at a time when she was searching for a sense of purpose in her life and a mission to fight for greater than herself.
Hamida also praised the support of Doha Film Institute (DFI) to the progress and growth of local filmmakers.
She said, “I wouldn’t be a filmmaker today if DFI didn’t exist. I was studying in London when I heard about this initiative. I moved back to Qatar to be part of this movement. DFI gave me the tools to really explore what my voice is in cinema. They empowered me with storytelling.”
For Qatari filmmaker and producer Nouf al Sulaiti, film gives women a creative platform to express themselves.
She also praised the growing presence of Qatari women not only in the film industry but across sectors.
“It is amazing to see the growing presence of women in different sectors. Being a Qatari, I want to see a push for people to allow women to be in different sectors and be in different areas of work. I like to think that a lot of women are in film because we are more creative. Film is a form of art that allows us to say what we couldn’t say before and say it in a different way,” the female producer added.
For Qumra 2019, Nouf is producing two films namely ‘Khuzama’ directed by Qatar-born filmmaker A J al Thani and ‘Qatar Stars’ directed by Danielle Beverly.
During the last Ajyal Film Festival, Nouf’s film ‘Gubgub’ bagged two awards, including the Best Short Film in the Mohaq category.

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