By Maryam Al Khalifa, President of the 2016 Film Festival
That’s a wrap! The THIMUN Qatar Northwestern Film Festival was more than successful, the 3-day conference combined more than 40 students whom are local and global for such a wonderful event. I was certainly happy whilst meeting the student directors behind the remarkable films submitted for the festival.
The first day of the conference presented the filmmaker’s team work with one another, after the workshop sessions were completed all students were put into groups of 4 or 5 for the desert challenge at Sealine. Filmmakers enjoyed the adventure very much and especially Qatar’s exquisite sunset before heading back to the Sealine beach resort to rest. The completed edited films were screened the following day after time was provided in the Northwestern computer labs. Filmmakers were given constructive feedback from the judges consisting of Northwestern Seniors, and the judges have announced the winner of the competition. Haytem Argane, Kalvin Luke Mallari, Hassan Jardali, Mohson Bukshaisha and Shaikha Al Moawdah were the winners, congratulations once again!
Dinner at Souq Waqif was amazing as the student directors began to enjoy their time more around the city of Doha. Filmmakers were introduced to the Qatari culture and heritage in a crowded Friday evening.
The final day concluded a screening of all nominated films at a ballroom in the Four Seasons Hotel, following a Q&A session with student directors behind each film, interviewed by Northwestern alumni Haneen Hindi. As time decended towards the Gala Dinner evening, Film festival executive members were being prepared for the delightful evening. Audience arrived with their tickets and were given a warm welcome during the reception. At 6:20PM doors were open for the audience, seats were beginning to be filled and student directors appeared excited for the evening.
The ceremony began with opening speeches by Head of THIMUN Qatar Ms. Martin and Dean of Northwestern University in Qatar Dr. Everette Denis. As the audience was having dinner the Best Picture nominations were screened and ballots were on the table for them to decide on their winner of People’s Choice Award. The award ceremony began and winners were announced, student directors went on stage to claim their award and take a victory photo with the presenter. During the evening the ballots were collected by the admin staff, the winner was determined with not only the number of votes during the night but also the number of views on the YouTube “Thimun Qatar FilmFest” page. The Human Capital by Mohammad Ali Faisal Valiyaveettil earned the most votes and won the People’s Choice award.
The winner not only receives a trophy but also a QR10,000 cheque, Our Art Our Voices by Daniel Shen won the award. Student directors approached the stage for a full group photo and also collected their nomination plaques. The Gala Dinner was truly a success and remarkable, once again I would like to thank everyone’s attendance and support I truly appreciate it. Dr. Everette Denis, Ms. Martin, Mr. Atkins, Haneen Hindi, Mr. Mercer and the entire TQN Film Festival executive team made this night possible, thank you. See you next year for the TQN Film Festival 2017.
Maryam Al-Khalifa, President of THIMUN Qatar Northwestern Film Festival 2016