(MENAFN- The Peninsula) The Peninsula
Doha: The Doha Film Institute's (DFI) annual talent incubator event for Arab and international cinema, Qumra 2023, plays a decisive role in shaping the new generation of talent, providing them the voice and much-needed space to accelerate their script-to-screen journey, observed accomplished Arab filmmakers, who mentor young directors at the event.
Annemarie Jacir, whose films Wajib and Salt of this Sea, have captivated global audiences and won international acclaim, said Qumra is invaluable at many levels, including how it has enabled young filmmakers, especially who have bold themes to narrate, the support they need.
She said themes set around Palestine and the struggles of its people are still taboo in the Western world and they are seen in a very critical manner. Qumra offers the platform for young filmmakers, who have such bold themes, to realise their cinematic aspirations.
While the landscape of cinema has changed tremendously since she started out, Annmarie says she is energised and inspired by the stories and narratives of today's filmmakers.“They keep you on your toes,” especially in the manner they perceive various subjects that are relevant to the world today.
Annmarie said Qumra also helps create an audience for Arab cinema in the region, stating that it is possible that a huge critically and commercially acclaimed film can emerge from the region.“We must fight for our audience because the typical thinking is that there is not a large audience for Arab cinema. I never buy that argument.”
Tala Hadid, whose films such as House in the Fields have gained global recognition and has been associated with Qumra for many years as mentor, said the event has played a commendable role in offering seamless support to young filmmakers, even during the pandemic.
“Such support was much-needed, especially during the pandemic,” she said. Describing Qumra as a 'very special space' for cinema, Tala said its vibe is“relaxed, open and supportive” and“creates a sense of community,” which is relevant more so in today's world, where the spirit of being together is often threatened.
Qumra is being held in an innovative hybrid format with in-person activities until March 15 and online sessions from March 19 to 21, 2023. This year, Qumra hosts over 200 international industry experts from 41 countries who will mentor 44 films, including feature narratives, documentaries, web series and shorts by emerging talents.