Doha Film Institute (DFI) will welcome more than 100 leading film industry professionals to Qatar later this week for the first edition of Qumra, a new event dedicated to the development of emerging filmmakers from Qatar and around the world, taking place from March 6 to 11.
Twenty-nine projects at various stages of production have been selected to benefit from the experience of international film industry professionals in bespoke mentorship labs and meetings designed to propel their projects to the next stage.
More than 100 delegates from all facets of the film industry will participate in the programme, including representatives from international film festivals, funding bodies, sales, production and distribution companies along with development specialists and script consultants.
There are two strands of the Qumra industry programme: projects in development will participate in group and individual sessions for legal, sales, marketing, production and script consultations along with one-on-one match-made meetings; projects in post-production will participate in a series of rough-cut and work-in-progress screenings and feedback sessions, which will present excerpts of their projects, in many cases for the first time.
DFI CEO Fatma al-Remaihi said, “I am extremely encouraged by the support shown by film professionals from all sectors of the industry for the first edition of Qumra. Their immense generosity towards the new generation of filmmakers is invaluable and I am certain that the connections formed over the coming weeks will resonate far into the future for all of the participants.”
Artistic directors and key selectors from leading regional and international film festivals include representatives from Venice Film Festival, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Sarajevo Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand International Film Festival, Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Dubai International Film Festival, Festival del Film Locarno, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and, from the Cannes Film Festival, representatives from multiple sections and sidebars, including Cinéfondation, Court Métrage, Critics’ Week and Directors’ Fortnight.
Representation from international film bodies include executives from major film funds Eurimages, Hubert Bals Fund, Medienboard, the Sarajevo City of Film Fund and S?rfond, film labs such as the Binger Film Lab, Torino Film Lab, Rawi Screenwriters’ Lab and the Cannes Residency Programme, and representatives of national film organisations, including Creative England, the Danish Film Institute and Cinemas du Monde.
All participants, with a focus on work-in-progress projects, will be connected with international sales and production companies like Elle Driver, Fortissimo Films, Memento Films, Open City Films, Picture Tree International, Sikhya Entertainment, Urban Distribution International, WIDE, Wild Bunch and Visit Films alongside key distributors from the Mena region, including Gulf Film, Front Row Filmed Entertainment, Teleview International, Moving Turtle and MC Distribution.
Regional representation is strong and includes a presence from the major funds for Arab filmmakers – Abu Dhabi’s Sanad and Dubai’s Enjaaz – along with important regional bodies such as the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Screen Institute Beirut, The Royal Film Commission Jordan and a diverse range of film and television production and distribution outfits, including Abbout Productions, Image Nation, Middle East Broadcasting Centre (MBC), Mad Solutions, ART – Arab Radio and Television and Qatar-based Al Jazeera. New technologies and funding models are also represented with streaming platform icflix, crowd-funding platform Aflamnah and on-demand viewing platform Festival Scope.
Regional content will be in focus through an industry panel presented by Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) on March 9. The panel, “Meeting the Demand for Regional Content”, is a special session of the NU-Q Qatar Media Industries Forum, a bi-annual gathering of industry leaders.
One-hundred-and-fifty Qatar-based film, media and entertainment delegates will also participate in the programme.
The event includes a programme of public screenings featuring films by the Qumra Masters alongside new voices in cinema selected from films supported by DFI’s grants and co-financing programmes.