Qatar Germany 2017
Exploring Germany through movies
Following the opening night, the Doha Film Institute marks the celebration of the Qatar Germany 2017 Year of Culture with a compelling showcase of German movies by master filmmakers. In cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Gulf Region eight movies were shown at the Museum of Islamic Art Auditorium from 2 to 10 February 2017.
Fatma Al Remaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute, said: “The modern masters in German cinema have set innovative trends and approaches in filmmaking, which are showcased through our programme that includes classics from Wim Wenders and Werner Herzog along with contemporary titles and with two films focused on the youth. These films are not only entertaining but also of great educational value for our emerging film talents, who can benefit from experiencing the diverse genres included in the showcase.”
Dr Elke Kaschl Mohni, Regional Director MENA of the Goethe-Institut welcomed the program: “The Goethe-Institut is pleased to cooperate intensively with Doha Film Institute in its film initiatives during Qatar Germany Year of Culture 2017. We feel that we can reach out to the Qatari and international audience in Doha especially through the medium of film which is accessible to almost everyone and gives an interesting insight into the German culture and history throughout the last 90 years.”
The German Film Week started on 2 February with Run Lola Run by Tom Tykwer which after its release in 1998 played internationally to enthusiastic audiences and created a stir in the film business. The movie My Friend Raffi by Arendt Agthe was aimed at families in particular. It was followed by a master class Brief History of German Cinema by German film expert Dr Claus Löser, who explored the beginning of film history in Germany and built a bridge to the present. “German cinema has always been shaped by German social and political history since its beginnings. That is why it is always an immense task to introduce the history of German cinema. The audience in Doha was extremely interested in the topic and kept on asking questions on the various aspects,” Dr Claus Löser explained.
A special highlight of the program was the screening of the earliest surviving animated feature-length film still in existence – Lotte Reiniger’s The Adventures of Prince Achmed from 1926.
A special screening for schools was the debut film of the aspiring director Ekrem Ergün’s, Hördur. It reached the young multinational generation of Doha in particular. As a special treat for the audience was the presence of lead actress Almila Bagriacik who answered questions from the young audience in a fully booked cinema. Students of the German International School Doha, the Tunisian School Doha and various Qatari public schools asked questions in German, English and Arabic. “The interest of the young generation and the Qatari boys in particular was very inspiring. The film is rather a girl’s movie as young women can more easily identify with the main character. But the guys were very interested in the film, asked questions and wanted to take pictures with me afterwards,” Almila Bagriacik explained. One of the students of the Tunisian School Doha event took the opportunity to practice his German and ask the young actress if she identifies with her role.