Two Qataris featured in this year's Variety500
This year, two Qataris—Fatma Al Remaihi and Nasser Al Khelaifi—have made it to the Variety500's list of industry leaders in global entertainment.
Variety500 is an index of the 500 most influential industry leaders shaping the global $2 trillion entertainment industry. After extensive research by Variety’s editorial board, the Variety500 is updated on a yearly basis, reflecting the achievements of its members over the previous 12 months.
Fatma Al Remaihi
Fatma Al Remaihi, a member of Doha Film Institute (DFI) since 2009, took charge in 2014 after the government-funded entity, established to foster a film industry in Qatar, severed ties with the Tribeca Film Institute and Hollywood companies.
Doha Film Institute is an important provider of creative guidance and industry expertise to young directors and producers in the GCC.
DFI revamped its mission by devising a three-part strategy consisting of a film fund primarily for Arab movies; an international festival for local youths; and its unique Qumra event which blends festival, workshop, and international co-production market elements.
Now in its third edition, Qumra is becoming a formidable facilitator for new voices in Arab cinema, while the Doha Film Fund has supported a slew of prizewinning films from the region at large including Iran’s 2017 foreign Oscar-winner “The Salesman.”
A mother of four, Al Remaihi is also the founder of Doha’s Ajyal Youth Film Festival, based on Italy’s Giffoni Experience model, where hundreds of kids are the jurors, and established a dedicated fund for supporting Qatari talent. She is a graduate of Qatar University with a degree in English literature.
Nasser Al Khelaifi
Nasser Al Khelaifi is the boss of beIN Media Group, which is the ambitious Al Jazeera spin-off that bought Miramax in 2016. He is changing the pay-TV landscape in the MENA region by expanding its pay-TV service from sports into movie channels.
A former professional tennis player and an advisor to Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim Al-Thani, Al Khelaifi became the beIN Media Group boss in 2013. He oversaw the spinoff and rebranding of Al Jazeera Sport into beIN Sports, which now has 22 channels broadcast across the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, North America, Australia and Asia.
Since 2011, he has been Chairman and CEO of famed Qatari-owned Paris Saint-Germain soccer club. He was named him ‘the most powerful man in French soccer’ by French sports daily L’Equipe in 2016.
After building the beIN premium sports network, Al-Khalaifi expanded the group’s scope from sports into movies in 2016 by launching movie channels in the Middle East and stepping up competition with OSN, until then the only general entertainment paybox in the region.
BeIN subsequently announced the purchase of iconic film and TV studio Miramax, and inked a volume deals with Warner Bros. They have other deals in place with local distributors of Hollywood product that give them muscle in the largely untapped Middle East pay-TV arena. Also in 2016, beIN bought Turkey’s top pay-TV platform Digiturk.
Cover image - The Scottish Sun
Inline image 1 - Variety500
Inline image 2 - alchetron.com