In 1975, a teenaged Brigitte Lacombe first began photographing filmmakers at the Cannes Film Festival. Since then, like her subjects themselves, she’s been using images to tell all manner of stories. Brigitte’s work is characterized by her unembellished, “unfiltered” images, bringing dignity to her subjects while eliciting a side of them that we’ve perhaps never seen before.

Brigitte first came to Doha in 2008. She was inspired and excited by what she saw here and in the region. And so the idea to commemorate the Doha Film Institute’s inaugural year by turning Brigitte’s “camera of truth” on a gallery of international cinematic storytellers is a natural fit – and a glorious extension of her career so far.

In “Work in Progress”, the first ever video portrait collection of iconic and emerging filmmakers and actors from the Middle East, Marian Lacombe joined her sister Brigitte Lacombe to travel the world through film.

The journey began in Qatar at the first Doha Tribeca Film Festival.

It continued throughout 2010 inside a war-stricken movie theater in Beirut, a convent in Nazareth, a palace in the Damascus souk, a hotel room overlooking the Nile in Cairo, and studios in New York, London and Paris.

In “Work in Progress” filmmakers, actors and producers share their experience:

How did they become what they are?
How do they define their work?
What are their biggest challenges?
What do they hope for?
What advice can they give? 
In these filmed portraits, Arab filmmakers and guests of the DFI from around the world talk about their work, their lives and their passion for cinema. 


French photographer Brigitte Lacombe lives in New York City.

Her loves are portraits and travel.

Brigitte left school to be an apprentice at the black and white lab of Elle in Paris.
In 1975, at the Cannes Film Festival, while on assignment for French Elle, she met Dustin Hoffman and Donald Sutherland.

They each respectively invited her to the film sets of “Fellini’s Casanova,” shot at Cinecitta, and Alan Pakula’s “All the President’s Men,” shot in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles.

She then worked on Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” shot in Mobile, Alabama.

In 1983, she worked on David Mamet’s original production of “Glengarry Glen Ross” at The Goodman Theater in Chicago, directed by Gregory Mosher. Brigitte is still working on all of Mamet’s new productions.

In 1985, Gregory Mosher came to New York City as the artistic director of Lincoln Center Theater, and asked her to be the first and only staff photographer. She remained at the LCT for 7 years.

Brigitte works on the film sets of Martin Scorsese, Mike Nichols, Sam Mendes, Michael Haneke, David Mamet, Quentin Tarantino, and Spike Jonze, among others.

She contributes to many publications including Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Time, and GQ.

She has been a contributing Photographer to Condé- Nast’s Traveler magazine, since their first issue in 1986.
In 2000, she won the Eisenstaedt Award for Travel Photography.

In November 2010, Brigitte will receive the “Art Director’s Club” Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award for Photography.

Two monographs of Brigitte’s work have been published:

“Lacombe anima | persona,” a retrospective book of photographs from 1975-2008, published in 2009 by SteidlDangin, with an essay by Frank Rich.


“Lacombe cinema | theater,” published in 2001 by Schirmer/Mosel with essays by David Mamet and Adam Gopnik.

Her work can be seen at


Marian Lacombe was raised in France and studied journalism and anthropology in New York.

For the past 20 years, she worked as a reporter, anchorwoman, and editor-in-chief on daily news and magazines for the private French television channel M6 in Paris. She opened and ran their correspondent headquarters in Lyon and Marseilles.

For M6 TV, Marian created a nightly talk show, DAZIBAO, and the first behind the scenes program on the world of fashion, MODE 6. She directed documentaries on filmmakers, choreographers and designers such as: Robert Altman, Philippe Decouflé and Christian Lacroix.

She is now an independent documentary filmmaker, currently working on portraits of the European theater and opera directors Luc Bondy and Laurent Pelly.

Marian also travels around the world filming and working with her sister, photographer Brigitte Lacombe, on Brigitte’s travel assignments for Condé-Nast Traveler Magazine.

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