(MENAFN - Gulf Times)
The fifth edition of Qumra, Doha Film Institute's (DFI) one-of-a-kind initiative that seeks to provide mentorship, nurturing, and hands-on development for the next generation of filmmakers from Qatar and around the world, opened Friday. DFI CEO Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, welcomed more than 150 delegates including filmmakers and industry professionals from over 32 countries to the six-day event that will 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 a meet-and-greet event at the Museum of Islamic Art, Alremaihi highlighted the importance of initiatives like Qumra in helping to bring bold new voices to cinema, especially in the Arab world.
Elia Suleiman, artistic adviser at DFI, said: 'Qumra is a fantastic initiative and each year it gets bigger and better.
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. 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 Agnes 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.
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 5pm. The second Qumra Masters screening Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth takes place at 7pm. 2019 Qumra Master Eugenio Caballero won the Academy Award in Production Design for the film.