Three DFI-backed films selected for Locarno Film Festival

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Three films supported by the Doha Film Institute (DFI) have been selected to key sections of the 72nd edition of the prestigious Locarno Film Festival, which takes place from August 7 to 17 in Locarno, Switzerland.  

DFI’s latest co-financed project, “To the Ends of the Earth” by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, will screen as the closing night gala at the Festival. The celebrated Japanese director, screenwriter, and author was nominated for the Golden Leopard award – the top prize at Locarno – in 2013 for his sci-fi drama “Real”.  DFI grant recipients “South Terminal” by Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche and “143 Sahara Street” by Hassen Ferhani will also screen at the leading event and represent important voices in filmmaking from the Arab world.

Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Chief Executive Officer of DFI, said: “This is another strong achievement for the Institute, that underlines our mandate to support high quality films from talents from the region and the world. It is exciting to see these films mark their premieres at an important festival like Locarno, widely regarded as a key platform to discover new and interesting filmmakers and compelling content that offer fresh perspectives.”   “I am especially proud that celebrated auteur Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s new film will have its international premiere at the event. To the Ends of the Earth presents fascinating perspectives on life that reflect human hopes, aspirations and challenges. The selection of the film to the festival’s highly coveted closing slot shows just how much excitement there is around the film in industry circles.”

“To the Ends of the Earth” (Japan, Uzbekistan, Qatar), written and directed by Kurosawa, is a journey of enlightenment that follows an inward-looking and cautious TV host, Yoko, as she follows the ancient Silk Road through Uzbekistan with her team in their search to capture a legendary fish. The film’s cast features both Japanese and Uzbek actors including Ryo Kase, Shôta Sometani, Adiz Radjabov and, and Tokio Emoto, with the lead role of Yoko played by former J-pop singer Atsuko Maeda.  A Qumra 2019 Master, Kurosawa is a world-renowned film director, writer, film critic, and professor at Tokyo University of the Arts. A Cannes veteran, Kurosawa’s previous films, Tokyo Sonata and Journey to the Shore won the Jury Prize and Best Director award in the Un Certain Regard segment respectively.

“South Terminal” (France, Qatar) tells the story of a doctor who is plunged into the chaos of a civil war, striving to do his duty against all the odds until one day his life turns upside down. Halfway between a war chronicle and a political thriller, “South Terminal” is Ameur-Zaïmeche’s sixth feature film. Born in Algeria and raised in France, Ameur-Zaïmeche was nominated for Locarno Film Festival’s Golden Leopard award for “Smugglers’ Songs” in 2011.

“143 Sahara Street” (Algeria, France, Qatar) tells the quiet story of Malika, a woman who runs a small restaurant in the middle of the Algerian desert. There she welcomes truckers, wanderers, and dreamers for cigarettes, coffee, and eggs. Algerian-born Ferhani directed his first film in 2006, and is regarded as one of Algeria’s most exciting young filmmakers.

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