Posted on March 15, 2019

The Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute (DFI), Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, welcomed delegates to the fifth edition of Qumra, a one-of-a-kind film initiative that seeks to provide mentorship, nurturing, and hands-on development for the next generation of filmmakers from Qatar and around the world, taking place in Doha until 20 March.

Qumra 2019 brings together more than 150 delegates including filmmakers and industry professionals from over 32 countries to support the development of 36 projects in various stages of development by first- and second-time filmmakers from 19 countries. Speaking to delegates and the filmmakers behind the Qumra Projects at this year’s meet and greet event at the Museum of Islamic Art, DFI’s CEO Fatma Hassan Alremaihi highlighted the importance of initiatives like Qumra in helping to bring bold new voices to cinema, especially in the Arab world.

She said: “I am proud that Qumra continues to be a unique platform for learning, inspiration, and progress for filmmakers and industry professionals. I urge emerging filmmakers to continue to participate in events such as Qumra, which is an important space for the development of authentic perspectives and independent thought. It is up to you to ensure that your true voice is heard – not one that is skewed by what others want to hear. We need your stories and voices to help us remain optimistic and hopeful – and to revive our souls.” Elia Suleiman, Artistic Advisor at DFI, also spoke at the event. He said: “Qumra is a fantastic initiative and each year it gets bigger and better. I am looking forward to spending the next few days as a visitor finding out about these new and exciting projects.”

Over six days, Qumra’s new filmmaker delegates will take part in bespoke industry sessions designed to progress their projects and prepare them for international markets, in addition to the masterclasses and mentoring sessions by the Qumra Masters. There are 15 Qumra projects by Qatar-based talent, including eight films by Qatari nationals, driving Qumra’s mission to expand support for the development of home-grown emerging filmmakers. While six of the Qatar-based projects are works-in-progress, the others are in development stage. In all, 18 projects are in development and 18 projects are in post-production. There are 15 fictions, 11 documentary features and 10 shorts. Of the 36 projects, 26 are recipients of the Doha Film Institute’s Grants programme.

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Day one of Qumra also saw the first Qumra Masters screening– a showcase of films presented by this year’s Qumra Masters. A packed audience enjoyed a screening of 2019 Qumra Master Agnès Varda’s The Gleaners and I – a documentary about French subcultures by the French New Wave cinema legend. Throughout the six-day initiative, the Qumra Masters share their experience with the filmmakers behind the 36 projects supported by DFI, providing invaluable feedback by drawing on their own inspiring journeys through the cinematic world in Qumra Masterclasses. 2019 Qumra Masters include Academy Award® winning Mexican production designer Eugenio Caballero, winner of the Grand Jury prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, Italian writer and director Alice Rohrwacher; prolific Japanese director and writer Kiyoshi Kurosawa; Polish auteur Pawel Pawlikowski; and a special masterclass honouring the French new wave Master Agnes Varda.

Hanaa Issa, Director of Strategy and Development DFI and Qumra Deputy Director, said of this year’s initiative: “It is great to introduce another exciting edition of Qumra, which is just one of the many initiatives we organise at DFI to help emerging and aspiring filmmakers. I am so pleased to welcome all the new filmmakers to this year’s Qumra and hope that they take full advantage of the experience of our Qumra Masters and other industry experts who have come here to Doha to support them.”

The second day of Qumra 2019 will host the first Qumra Talk with Franklin Leonard, the renowned film development executive and founder and CEO of The Black List – an innovative network that has connected more than 400 scripts with buyers and distributors – at 5 PM. The second Qumra Masters screening –  Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth – takes place at 7 PM. 2019 Qumra Master Eugenio Caballero won the Academy Award® in Production Design for the film is. 

Further details about ticket prices and sales for the screenings are now available on www.dohafilminstitute.com.

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