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DFI

A scene from The Salesman by Asghar Farhadi DFI

The Salesman, a film funded in part by Qatar's Doha Film Institute (DFI), won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles last night.

In a celebratory tweet this morning, the DFI described the win as a “historic moment,” adding that it is the first time in 48 years that a film co-financed by an Arab country had won the award.

It's also the first time ever that a Qatar-financed film has won the coveted prize.

Historic moment: our co-financed film THE SALESMAN wins the Foreign Film #Oscar, 1st time in 48 years for a film with an Arab co-financing! pic.twitter.com/gypD6QqEVR

— Doha Film Institute (@DohaFilm) February 27, 2017

However, this isn't the first time that a project co-financed by DFI has made the shortlist.

Last year, two films also partly funded by the institute – Theeb and Mustang – made it to the nominations list.

Ceremony boycott

The Salesman is the story of a young couple whose relationship breaks down while they are performing Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman.

It was directed by Iranian Asghar Farhadi.

Farhadi wasn't present in Los Angeles to receive the award, however.

He had decided to boycott the ceremony to protest President Trump's so-called “Muslim ban,” which temporarily barred entry to the US to nationals from seven-Muslim majority countries.

In a statement read out on his behalf at the ceremony, Farhadi said that his absence was “out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations whom have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the US”

He added that he believed that film makers had an important part to play in breaking down barriers and increasing mutual respect and understanding around the world.

“They create empathy between us and others. An empathy which we need today more than ever,” he said.

Qumra ‘Master'

Farhadi will be in Doha next month for the DFI's Qumra, an event which aims to nurture young filmmakers from around the world.

He has been selected as one of Qumra's “masters,” expert directors who will lead sessions at the event.

Each Master will participate in a series of masterclasses, workshops and one-on-one sessions with directors of participating DFI-backed projects and industry professionals from around the world.

They will also each screen one of their films for Doha audiences, the DFI said in a statement.

The third edition of Qumra is set to take place in Doha from March 3-8 at Katara Cultural Village, though public screenings kick off on Wednesday, March 1.

Thoughts?

(The post For the first time, a Qatar-financed film wins an Oscar is from Doha News.)

Mon, Feb 27, 2017, Continue reading at the source

Peter Kovessy / Doha News

Parking at Gulf Mall Peter Kovessy / Doha News

Complaining that their parking lots are being abused by overstaying visitors, several mall owners in Qatar have requested permission to raise their parking fees.

The prices are currently set by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. They range from QR2 for the first hour to up to QR70 a day.

According to the Qatar Tribune, management from Royal Plaza, Tawar Mall, and City Center Mall, among others, attended a meeting of the Qatar Chamber (QC) recently to discuss the issue.

Omar Chatriwala/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Omar Chatriwala/Flickr

The QC formed a committee to manage mall affairs earlier this month.

The aim is to help the rapidly growing retail sector deal with “any obstacles,” officials said at the time.

Price woes

During their meeting, mall managers lamented government controls on parking fees. They said people sometimes park and leave their cars for a long time even if they're not visiting the venue.

Some even leave their cars after stores have closed, “which could pose a security risk,” they added.

Managers are now seeking the ability to determine their own fees after the first two hours of someone's visit.

Elysia Windrum / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Elysia Windrum / Doha News

The Peninsula reports that mall management would also like to be able to partition their shops and malls without having to take prior permission from government officials.

Currently, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment and Civil Defense must sign off of any changes inside facilities that are bigger than 150 square meters.

But officials would like to be able to make changes that don't involve corridors or outer portions of their shops, the newspaper said.

Omar Chatriwala

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Omar Chatriwala

Finally, mall owners have also requested that their electricity bills be brought down.

Many shopping centers have been seeing costs rise since Kahramaa hiked utility fees in 2015.

To manage expenses, malls began adjusting thermostat and escalator timings. They also have changed out old light bulbs for new energy-efficient ones, among other things.

Do you think parking fees should go up? Thoughts?

(The post Mall owners in Qatar call for an increase in parking fees is from Doha News.)

Mon, Feb 27, 2017, Continue reading at the source

Alison Patterson

Lauren Patterson with her mother Alison Alison Patterson

The fate of a man facing the death penalty for killing a teacher in Qatar will be decided on March 27, a local court has said.

The verdict date was set yesterday after closing arguments were heard in the retrial of Badr Hashim Al-Jabr.

He was first convicted of killing Lauren Patterson in 2014. During that trial, he had been accused of having sex outside of marriage with the British expat and stabbing her to death.

Via Alison Patterson

Badr Hashim Khamis Abdullah Al-Jabar Via Alison Patterson

Qatar's Court of Appeal upheld the lower court's verdict in 2015.

However, last year, the ruling was vacated by the Court of Cassation, which ordered a new trial.

‘Closer to the end'

Speaking to Doha News this week, mother Alison Patterson said “justice for Lauren (is) hopefully getting closer.”

She added that her family's lawyer spoke passionately during yesterday's hearing.

The attorney called her daughter's murder the “worst crime ever committed in Qatar,” and urged the court to follow the evidence when making its decision.

Alison Patterson

Flowers laid where Lauren Patterson's remains were found. Alison Patterson

Patterson, 24, was last seen alive leaving a La Cigale nightclub in October 2013 with Al-Jabar and his friend, Mohamed Abdallah Hassan Abdul Aziz.

Her burned remains were found hours later in the desert, along with the murder weapon, a knife.

Relying on investigation results and confessions from the men, a Qatar prosecutor previously told the court that Al-Jabar took Patterson to a home he used for sexual trysts with women.

He then “conquered her body,” and killed her by stabbing her twice.

Questionable confession?

Abdul Aziz has served a three-year sentence for his role in the killing, and was released.

For its part, the defense had maintained that Patterson's death had been an accident, and asserted that confessions obtained from the two men on trial were coerced.

UAA Justice Center For Students

Photo for illustrative purposes only. UAA Justice Center For Students

Back in 2014, the court said the death penalty would be carried out by either hanging or shooting.

Notably, while the death penalty is still being handed out in Qatari courts, this sentence has not been carried out in the country for over a decade.

Thoughts?

(The post Verdict in Lauren Patterson murder case expected next month is from Doha News.)

Mon, Feb 27, 2017, Continue reading at the source