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'Amelia' to open first Doha Tribeca Film Festival

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To paraphrase the popular Shepard Fairey street art campaign, Qatar, Arab emirate, second-highest GDP per capita in the world, has a film festival. The first Doha Tribeca Film Festival will kick off in Doha from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1. And it's landed a major release for its opening night -- Mira Nair's "Amelia," starring two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank (pictured) as the famed aviator Amelia Earhart. The other 30-plus films on the fest's docket are a mix of international product, like Steven Soderbergh's "The Informant!" Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" and the Coen brothers' "A Serious Man," and films made in the Middle East. Among the latter is a reissue of "The Mummy," a 1969 Egyptian film restored by Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Foundation. And if that's not enough for those buying their tickets to Qatar as they read this (may we suggest Qatar Airways? It was recently voted the best business class airline in China), 31 of the 33 films shown at the festival are eligible for two audience awards, each totaling $50,000.

The Doha Tribeca Film Festival is a collaboration between Qatar's Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and CEO Abdulla Al Najjar of the Qatar Museums Authority and the Tribeca Film Festival founders: Jane Rosenthal, Craig Hatkoff, and Robert De Niro. 

-- Paul Gaita

Photo: Hilary Swank as Amelia Earhart. Credit: Fox Searchlight

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