Qatar- Young filmmakers laud Qumra for expanding their horiz...| MENAFN.COM

Monday, 28 November 2022 08:18 GMT

Qatar- Young filmmakers laud Qumra for expanding their horizon amid pandemic

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) In a tumultuous year for young filmmakers in the Arab world facing the impact of a pandemic, ensuring that their cinematic journey was uninterrupted was not an easy task. For filmmakers in Lebanon, there was the added challenge of the street protests and the blast that rocked the capital city. For filmmakers who were nurturing their ambition to bring to screen their feature films, the situation could not have been more challenging. To overcome this, they found comfort in each other, with the mentoring sessions of the Doha Film Institute serving as a platform that united them and inspired them to work closer to the goals.

This was the overarching sentiment of the young filmmakers whose feature projects are being showcased at Qumra, the DFI's annual talent incubator for Arab cinema. Mounia Akl, young Lebanese filmmaker, captured the mood, stating: 'Qumra helped expand our horizon when the world was closing down. It gave us the opportunity to continue to have the context to help make things. It led to more profound relationships with people, with an urge to protect each other and connect at a different level. Her film, Costa Bravo Lebanon is a ‘Work-in-Progress' Qumra Project. She said: '[At Qumra], I feel like I am learning again. I have been most excited about the masterclasses [by the Qumra Masters] and it has been a well-planned online experience for me.

Ely Dagher, whose film Waves 98 was awarded the short film Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival, participates in Qumra with his project, The Sea Ahead. 'The pandemic was a huge blow to the cinema world, and it added to the challenges we already faced. Qumra helped us to push our film out there. In fact, a lot of answers [regarding the film's sales and moving forward strategy] came from Qumra. He said shooting his film was logistically challenging with the ongoing street protests and then the Beirut blasts happened setting him back again, as he paused to take in the impact of the incident that had resonance in the story he was telling too. Carlo Francisco Manatad, director of Whether the Weather is Fine said Qumra was 'quite helpful. I was impressed by how it matched us with industry experts, which helps the project in the long-run. The sentiment was shared by Amil Shivji, a filmmaker based in Tanzania who participated with his film, Tug of War. 'Qumra has done a spectacular job of organising the online event.

I have heard amazing stories of the previous editions. Highlighting the diversity of the feature film projects nurtured by Qumra is The Pearl. Its director Noor Al Nasr said films are her passion and with The Pearl, she tells a story that connects her to her own roots. 'I had a discussion with my mother to learn that her father was a pearl diving captain and wondered what it would like for my younger brothers to meet him.


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