Qatar America premieres female-focused film in celebration of women leadership around the world

WASHINGTON, DC – On December 15, 2021, the Qatar America Institute for Culture (QAIC) hosted a private premiere screening and reception for the new documentary “HER” at its Washington, DC headquarters. Produced by the non-profit organization A Call For Peace, the event marked the first public screening of the film, which highlights the “stories of heroic women who shattered barriers to achieve excellence in their fields, while also advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals with their work.”

Hosted in partnership with the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Washington, DC and the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS), the event also served to recognize the many women leaders making a positive impact in the world, many of whom were featured in the documentary itself.

Before the screening of the film, QAIC’s Executive Director, Fatima Al-Dosari, initiated the event program with some opening remarks before introducing GIWPS Executive Director and former US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer, to the stage. In her remarks, Ambassador Verveer commented on the current state of affairs for women worldwide amidst heightened global uncertainty. “[The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security] is devoted to advancing the meaningful role of women in peace and security, and also in climate change and education, and you’ll see by mentioning those three when you watch the film just how important women’s leadership is,” remarked Ambassador Verveer. “And we know today that we no longer have that as an option; it is a necessity if we want to see sustainable peace in the world […] It can’t happen without the full participation and leadership of women.”

Following the screening of the film, Ambassador Verveer introduced the two founders of A Call For Peace, Melodie Carli and Juan Carlos Borrero, who both produced and directed “HER,” the second documentary project tied to the organization. Carli and Borrero joined Ambassador Verveer on stage for a live discussion about their film, its central themes, and the incredible women voices featured within it, including H.E. Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al-Thani, CEO of Qatar Foundation; environmentalist and activist Wanjira Mathai in Kenya; Special Representative/Deputy Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General to Cyprus, Elizabeth Spehar; and Major General Cheryl Pearce, United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus Force Commander.

“Peacemaking and peacebuilding are also involving always many more facets to it, which is the environment, education, and Qatar portrayed it the best,” commented Melodie Carli in response to how the documentary’s vision took shape. “Without education, you cannot foresee a brighter future for local or international individuals. And so, I think that’s where Qatar really excelled, in their own understanding of what peace could be. They understood that peace always starts with education.”

“Of course, you have a preconceived option of what [leadership] is, [what] it looks like,” remarked Juan Carlos Borrero. “but [the women leaders] show you that leadership comes in many ways, many forms, and they engage their leadership in very creative ways because they have to create their own path for leadership.”

“HER” was made possible in collaboration with the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Washington, DC and UNOPS, with the support of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, UN WOMEN, UNITAR, and UNDPI.

The Qatar America Institute for Culture (QAIC) is a Washington DC-based independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that creates, curates, and executes programs and research that amplify the prominence of all forms of art and culture from the United States, Qatar, and the larger Arab and Islamic worlds.

A Call For Peace is a non-profit organization which aims to inform citizens, corporations, world leaders, and government and educational institutions on the importance of peace, education, dialogue, and gender equality, while supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Formed in 2019 by Melodie Carli and Juan Carlos Borrero, A Call For Peace’s debut project was “A Call For Peace”, the documentary, inspired by the historic Colombian peace process. This led to the creation of an online course and e-learning tool on the topic, in conjunction with UNITAR-UN Institute for Training and Research, and available internationally.

For more information about “HER”, visit www.herdocumentary.com.