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INDUSTRY Middle East

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Doha, a crossroads for world cinema

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- The third edition of the Doha Film Institute’s gathering for emerging and established international film-industry players will take place from 3-8 March

Doha, a crossroads for world cinema

Three years ago, the ever-growing Doha Film Institute organised the first edition of Qumra, an initiative that aimed to establish itself as a cornerstone for the connection between the Middle Eastern film industry and that of the rest of the world. This year, from 3-8 March, the capital of Qatar will host the gathering, which aims to provide a haven for collaboration between film talents and financing bodies, as well as between emerging voices in cinema and seasoned masters.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

The industry programme will shine the spotlight on several film projects, which will be able to benefit from the input of international film-industry experts through script consultations, rough-cut consultations, working breakfasts, and one-on-one and group meetings and tutorials. Three narrative feature-length films near completion (Kaouther Ben Hania’s Beauty and the Dogs [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kaouther Ben Hania
film profile
]
, Mohamed Jabarah al Daradji’s The Journey and Natalia Garagiola’s Hunting Season) will be attending the gathering, alongside 15 narrative feature projects (11 in development, four works in progress), seven documentary feature projects (two in development, five works in progress) and nine short-film projects. Work-in-Progress and industry screenings will also be held to showcase the work of the participants. More information about all of the selected projects can be found here.

As every year, the Doha Film Institute intends to create synergies between newcomers and well-established filmmakers through the Qumra Masters programme, featuring master classes with French director Bruno Dumont, Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi (who recently won his second Academy Award for Best Foreign-language Film with The Salesman [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), French-Cambodian director Rithy Panh, Argentinian filmmaker Lucrecia Martel and Portuguese producer Paulo Branco

The initiative will also feature the Qumra Talks, consisting of panels and conferences held by experts, which address crucial points concerning the digital shift in cinema and its evolution - namely, international digital distribution and marketing, the writing and production of animation (with Mike Reiss of The Simpsons fame), and TV channels’ strategic digital development (focusing on the case of Al Jazeera).

Besides this, a selection of films will be screened for the public. These will include titles by emerging filmmakers, as part of the New Voices programme: Vatche Boulghourjian’s Tramontane [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Bogdan Mirică’s Dogs [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Bogdan Mirica
film profile
]
, Óliver Laxe’s Mimosas [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Oliver Laxe
film profile
]
, Imamaddin Hasanov’s Holy Cow and short films by Qatari filmmakers. All of these films have received funding grants from the Doha Film Institute, a tool through which the body has already become a big player in the film-financing scene (funding other recent arthouse hits such as Mohamed Ben Attia’s Hedi [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Mustang [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Deniz Gamze Ergüven
film profile
]
and Babak Anvari’s Under the Shadow [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
).

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