Amanda Palmer is a creative catalyst, connecting global talent and creatives with international projects and opportunities to create a new paradigm of content creation and distribution, between Middle East, India, Europe and the US.
Most recently Palmer has founded Mandi, a talent-driven entertainment company headquartered in Dubai, with hubs in Delhi, Paris, New York and London, aimed at connecting global talent and creatives to build a new paradigm of international content creation by producing feature films, television, web series and multi-platform events that reflect and unite these markets.
Previously, Palmer served as Executive Director of the Doha Film Institute (DFI) based in Doha, Qatar. Palmer developed and executed the strategic vision on behalf of Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani to incubate a filmmaking and film-appreciation culture and organically support the growth of the local film community by enhancing industry knowledge, cultivating film appreciation and trans-media content and platforms, contributing to the development of sustainable creative industries in Qatar.
Palmer spearheaded the incorporation of this unique endeavor — officially launched at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival — and went on to build a 133-employee organization and deliver three annual Doha Tribeca Film Festivals. Palmer also established DFI’s year round initiatives and managed high-level relationships that included A-list talent and industry figures including cultural and educational partnerships with Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Enterprises, Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation and Mira Nair’s Maisha Labs.
At Doha Film Institute, Palmer developed and ran the Film Financing Division that supported over 70 international and regional films including Qatar’s first international co-production: Jean Jacques Annaud’s “Black Gold” starring Antonio Banderas, Frieda Pinto, Tahir Rahim, Mark Strong and was number one in UAE box office in 2011. Palmer oversaw all of DFI’s deal-creation, negotiations and co-production on additional projects including: Salma Hayek and Participant Media’s feature adaptation of Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet; Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist (which opened the 2012 Venice Film Festival); Kanye West’s Cruel Summer; and Ziad Doueiri’s The Attack (screened at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival).
In addition to leading DFI’s negotiation and contracts, Palmer also managed DFI’s internal process from project identification, brand and creative development, talent management, and casting/directors/producers, to sales agents and distributor assignment, P&A assessment, marketing, festival and award platform strategies, and trans-media, communications and platform strategy. She has special knowledge of managing complex films in culturally-sensitive environments including consultation and negotiation with high-level consultation government bodies.
Palmer was also Executive Director of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival from 2009 to July 2012. She originally spearhead a cultural partnership with Tribeca Enterprises to establish an international film festival in Doha to empower and showcase Arab filmmakers globally. As Festival Director, she oversaw the entire creative and strategic vision of each of three international festivals, including: brand development; programming of all films and events; world and regional premieres; juries; community initiatives; A-list talent management; and the development of high-level relationships with filmmakers, producers, directors and distributors. Now recognized as one of the most important festivals in the region, the international event was designed to both serve as a national brand initiative and attract and resonate with the local audiences, which has been a major success.
Before creating DFI, worked widely in the media, specialising in broadcasting and content creation.
In 2005 she founded and developed the Entertainment department of Al Jazeera as an internal start-up. Palmer developed, directed and produced flagship entertainment programming including the internationally-acclaimed and long-running film program The Fabulous Picture Show and the groundbreaking cultural series “48” that broadcast on Al Jazeera English to over 220 million people. She personally produced and presented half-hour exclusive specials with George Clooney, Oliver Stone, Charlize Theron, and Sir David Frost, among many others. Her journalistic travels have seen her document series in in Chad, Bosnia, Cuba, Syria, Morocco, Hong Kong and beyond.
Prior to joining Al Jazeera in London, Palmer worked at CNN, Associated Press, and was the youngest woman to manage the London bureau as European foreign correspondent for Seven Network Australia.