From my beginnings volunteering for the Cork Film Festival in Ireland, I’ve always marveled at film festivals as a unique forum where the industry can interface with the public, where fans can meet filmmakers, and where audiences can find stories they wouldn’t normally encounter in their everyday lives. And as a film producer, I was always happiest at festivals, seeing the fruits of my hard work rewarded by appreciative audiences.
I’ve recently spent a few years working for the Doha Film Institute in Qatar. As Film Series Producer, my projects included the year-long Japanese Cinema Showcase and UK Cinema Showcase at the Museum of Islamic Arts, the Francophone Cinema Week, the Katara DFI Cinema (providing a limited commercial release for an art house films in an otherwise censored distribution environment), the 2012 Olympics screenings at Qatar House in London, and the Ferjaan screenings in Tokyo to celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Qatar. Partners included the British Council, Qatar National Olympics Committee, Qatar Museums Authority, and the Embassies of Japan, France, Belgium, and Canada, among others
Prior to this, I worked as Programme Manager for the 2nd and 3rd annual Doha Tribeca Film Festival, where I locked the film line-up, negotiated with rights holders, oversaw submissions, film materials, scheduling, and well, a lot of other stuff.
While I’m no longer with the DFI, I continue to be involved in the film festival world, either as a freelance programmer, panelist, or short-term producer.
I recently spoke at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, on an industry panel entitled “How to the Make the Most of a Film Festival.” EIFF was the first film festival I ever attended, as a student in 1998, after a summer of backpacking through Europe. I still credit that festival with my sparking my passion for film studies.