"Ajami" has been nominated for an Oscar

Ajami, written, directed and edited by Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani, has been nominated for the Oscar of "Best Foreign Language Film".

The film, which portrays the interwoven stories of people in the tough neighbourhood of Ajami in the city of Jaffa, has drawn strong critical praise in recent months and the Oscar nomination marks another remarkable achievement for this powerful story.

Copti works as the Community Outreach and Film Programmer for the DTFF, and used many of his experiences from making Ajami in organising a series of special film makers' workshops in Doha in 2009. The workshops offered an opportunity for young people to learn about the techniques of film-making and enabled the creation of a series of unique "One Minute Films" that were judged by Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro at the Festival and are featured on the DTFF website.

Commenting on the nomination, Copti said: "I'm ecstatic that Ajami has been nominated for an Oscar, it's a film based on true stories and it's a great honour for the efforts of everyone who worked on the film to be recognised in this way. I'm also really proud that Doha Tribeca Film Festival was set-up to provide a platform for new voices and stories from the region, and I'm really excited to continue to be a part of that team in nurturing new filmmaking talent in 2010."

DTFF will organise another series of workshops in 2010, again led by Copti. The first workshop is set to run next week from 6 February and people who would like to participate can apply via the Doha Tribeca web-site.

Amanda Palmer, Executive Director of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, said: "We're all really proud of Scandar's unrelenting will as a filmmaker to tell his own story; he spent seven years making this film, from writing, directing and editing, to even acting in it."

"Scandar has already inspired so many filmmakers here in Doha with his educational programs and the fact that people can take part in workshops led by an Oscar nominee offers a massive opportunity to everyone in Qatar," she added.

Scandar Copti will also assist the DTFF team in selecting films and discovering breakthrough filmmakers, especially from the Arab-world, as a DTFF film programmer.

DTFF is a cultural partnership between Qatar and the Tribeca Film Festival. As well as the Workshop programme, the Festival is also set to organise a series of screenings and discussions throughout 2010.