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Qumra spotlights Arab filmmakers, offers world-renowned master classes

Qumra 2023 kicks off in MIA with world-renowned masters while highlighting the region’s rising talents.

The Doha Film Institute (DFI) kicked off its annual talent incubator event, Qumra 2023, on Friday, with a star-studded opening ceremony attended by Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Chairperson of the DFI and Qatar Museums (QM), as well as industry experts and emerging filmmakers.

The event, which aims to nurture emerging talent in Arab and international cinema, is being held in a hybrid format, with in-person activities until 15 March and online sessions from 19-21 March.

Over 200 international industry experts from 41 countries are participating in Qumra 2023, where they will showcase 44 films, including feature narratives, documentaries, web series and shorts by emerging talents.

The selected projects are from 23 countries, emphasising Qumra’s commitment to supporting filmmakers from the region and beyond in their journey from script to screen.

In the opening ceremony, held at the Museum of Islamic Art, attendees had the opportunity to meet Qumra Master Lynne Ramsay and former Qumra Master Rithy Panh.

DFI Chief Executive Fatma Hassan Alremaihi extended a warm welcome to all participants, thanking them for their unwavering support in the journey of investing in a brighter future for cinema and the arts.

“We established Qumra as an important project incubator and uniquely curated industry matchmaking event that is an extension of the Doha Film Institute’s ever-expanding funding, training, and development programmes,” she said.

“Qumra provides the environment and opportunity for impactful global collaboration and exchange in the film industry. At its heart, the mission of this event is to support emerging voices from across the world.”

Qumra 2023 provides a platform for emerging filmmakers to showcase their work, connect with industry professionals, and gain valuable insights into the creative process. The event is a celebration of innovation, creativity, and collaboration in the world of cinema, and is sure to inspire and engage filmmakers and film enthusiasts alike.

Qumra Masters

Qumra 2023 offers exceptional mentorship from esteemed industry professionals known as Qumra Masters.

These mentors include Sir Christopher Hampton, a multi-award-winning British playwright, screenwriter, and director known for his work in films such as “The Father,” “Dangerous Liaisons,” and “Atonement.” Also part of the mentoring team is David Parfitt, a veteran film, TV, and theater producer whose work includes “The Father,” “Shakespeare in Love,” “My Week with Marilyn,” and “Loving Vincent.”

Jacqueline West, a visionary costume designer who has worked on movies such as “Dune,” “The Revenant,” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” is also part of the mentorship team.

The team also includes award-winning Scottish filmmaker Lynne Ramsay, whose work includes “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” “You Were Never Really Here,” and “Ratcatcher,” and critically acclaimed British filmmaker Michael Winterbottom, known for his work in films such as “The Road to Guantanamo,” “A Mighty Heart,” and “Welcome to Sarajevo.”

These Qumra Masters provide invaluable guidance and expertise to emerging filmmakers, helping them hone their craft and develop their careers in the film industry.

The mentorship programme is one of the highlights of Qumra 2023, providing a unique opportunity for filmmakers to learn from some of the most respected and accomplished professionals in the industry.

The good news? Not only filmmakers can attend.

The event also offers a unique opportunity for members of the public to attend masterclasses and screenings featuring the Qumra Masters, providing insights into their cinematic vision and the current trends in independent cinema.

Meanwhile, selected projects will have access to group and individual sessions with Qumra Masters and industry mentors, including script consulting, legal, sales, marketing and co-production advice.

These projects will also have the opportunity to participate in individual matchmaking sessions, as well as closed rough-cut screenings for leading festival programmers, broadcasters, market representatives, sales agents and distributors.

The film projects are diverse, coming from countries such as Algeria, Indonesia, Mexico, and Mongolia.

Qumra 2023 provides a valuable platform for emerging talents and industry professionals to come together, exchange ideas and collaborate on projects, ultimately contributing to the growth and development of independent cinema.