The Doha Film Institute (DFI) has launched a US$100M fund to finance new feature movies. The five-year fund, formed in participation with Beverly Hills-based entertainment company Participant Media, will provide production and development funding for 12-16 feature films.
The fund was announced by Abdulaziz Al-Khater, CEO of DFI, and by Jim Berk, CEO of Participant Media, as the two companies will work in collaboration to develop the films as well as oversee production and arrange worldwide distribution.
“We are confident that this collaboration will be a catalyst for greater cross-cultural appreciation as we embark on a diverse and exciting set of projects. The partnership gives us the opportunity to reach and inspire broader audiences, and expand our platforms for the development, promotion and distribution of compelling storytelling.” said Al Khater.
Participant Media and DFI are currently co-financing an animated feature film adaptation of Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet which is in production and expected to be released by next year.
A joint venture to create content for Participant’s new television channel launching in August is under discussion, as well as establishing a distribution outlet for DFI’s film production through Participant’s media interests in the US and other countries.
Among the initiatives being explored are the opening of a Middle East branch of Participant to be based at DFI’s Qatar headquarters. According to Berk, working with DFI will enable Participant to extend its Middle East audience and create new sources of compelling content for its digital and TV platforms.
Participant Media is no stranger to the region, having previously worked alongside ImageNation Abu Dhabi on the Oscar-winning The Help.