The Third edition of the five-day Doha Tribeca Film Festival begins tonight here with Jean Jacques Annaud’s royal drama, Black Gold. In English and shot in Qatar and mostly in Tunisia, dangerously so during the recent revolution when the dictatorial President, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, fled the country, the $ 55-million movie has been co-produced by the Festival organiser, Doha Film Institute.
With a French director, an Indian actress, Frieda Pinto, Spain’s Antonio Banderas, Ethiopian model Liya Kebede, French-born Algerian star Tahar Rahim, British actor Mark Strong and Qatari singer Fahad al-Kubaisi (rendering a number), Black Gold assumes a truly international character in a Festival that promises an array of stars and some truly cinematic moments.
About 50 films from 35 countries will be screened. Nine of them will be world premieres, and four international premieres. As many as 26 movies will be seen for the first time in the region that includes North Africa.
The Arab Competition will have 14 films vying, and interestingly five have been helmed by women.
The festival runs till October 29.
(Gautaman Bhaskaran is covering the Doha Tribeca Film Festival for Hindustan Times)