Industry – Middle East
Industry Report: Paul Brett • Producer, Flying Tiger
Qumra readies its fourth edition
by Vassilis Economou
- Doha, the Qatari capital, once again aims to become a meeting point for emerging and established professionals both from the region and from further afield
Primed to kick off its fourth edition, Qumra, an initiative organised by the Doha Film Institute, has successfully established itself as one of the main meeting points in the region for both emerging local filmmakers, and international guests and experts. Running from 9-14 March this year, Qumra challenges its guests to discover new voices while maintaining its links with the high-level invited “Masters” and industry professionals.
The 2018 Qumra selection includes 34 projects – 23 features and 11 shorts – hailing from 25 countries, while 14 of them are Qatari productions. All of the projects are by emerging filmmakers, and are first or second projects. The six-day Qumra programme aims to help them progress with their work and prepare them for the international markets.
In the Feature Narratives section, six projects in development have been selected, all Qatari co-productions and with most of the partners based in the region. Three more projects have been selected as works in progress, while in the “picture lock” sub-section, three additional projects are being presented: Chilean director Dominga Sotomayor’s (Thursday Till Sunday) sophomore effort, Too Late to Die Young [+see also:
film profile] (Chile/Brazil/Argentina/Netherlands/Qatar); the debut fiction feature by Ognjen Glavonić (Depth Two [+see also:
film profile]), The Load [+see also:
interview: Ognjen Glavonić
film profile] (Serbia/France/Croatia/Iran/Qatar); and the new film by Tunisian filmmaker Mohamed Ben Attia (Hedi [+see also:
film profile]), Weldi [+see also:
interview: Mohamed Ben Attia
film profile]. In the Feature Documentary section, four projects are in development, four more are works in progress, and two are grouped under picture lock, including the debut film by László Csuja, Nine Months War (Hungary/Qatar).
The tailor-made schedule for selected directors and attached producers is organised into three main sections. Starting with the daily Qumra Master Class sessions, the high-profile programme aims to mentor the filmmakers through a series of master classes led by a line-up of internationally acclaimed and well-established film professionals, who will also offer consultancy sessions with the participants. The 2018 Qumra Masters are Russian writer-director Andrey Zvyagintsev, Italian documentarian Gianfranco Rosi, British actress Tilda Swinton, British costume designer Sandy Powell, Thai filmmaker and visual artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and American film director Bennett Miller.
Furthermore, the participants will have access to the Qumra Meetings, which are a series of one-on-one meetings and workshops with the international industry experts at the event, who include representatives of more than 15 leading international film festivals, and executives from some of the world’s top film production companies, sales and distribution companies, and cultural and funding agencies. Also, at the Qumra Screenings, which are open to the public, Qumra will showcase some of the feature films that have received funds from the Doha Film Institute.
Finally, the initiative’s main pillar will once again be the Qumra Talks, the event’s panel discussions, which this year focus on digital media and creative storytelling. The topics that will be under the Qumra Talks spotlight are: “On Photography”, hosted by acclaimed French photographer Brigitte Lacombe; “Storytelling Through Emerging Media: Virtual Reality”, with virtual-reality and transmedia artist Simon Wilkinson; and “Content for a Fragmented Media Universe”, led by Jon Kamen, CEO of RadicalMedia.
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