As part of an ongoing program to support Qatar’s fledgling movie-making industry, aspiring film professionals will be able to learn from international experts through one-on-one mentoring, workshops and masterclasses to improve their skills.
Coinciding with the close of this year’s Ajyal Youth Film Festival, Doha Film Institute (DFI) announced the launch of Qumra (which is said to be the origin of the English word “camera”), and confirmed the names of the first film Masters who will be leading the sessions that will take place in Doha from March 6-11 next year.
They include Abderrahmane Sissako – known for directing the movie Timbuktu – as well as Leila Hatami (A Separation), Cristian Mungiu (4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days) and Danis Tanović (No Man’s Land).
“They are each masters of their craft and their involvement will lend an exciting dimension to this creative gathering of filmmakers,” said Fatma Al Remaihi, the acting CEO of the Doha Film Institute, in a statement.
The event will focus on first and second-time filmmakers from Qatar and around the world. Directors and producers connected to up to 25 projects in development or post-production will be invited to take part, DFI said.
They will include a number of emerging filmmakers from Qatar, as well as recipients of funding from the Institute’s Grants Programme.
There will also be public screenings, featuring projects funded by DFI through its grants and co-financing initiatives, as well as a series of films chosen by the Qumra Masters accompanied by Q&A sessions.
This is the latest in a number of ventures to support young film-makers in Qatar announced by DFI. Last week, it launched its Qatari Film Fund, which aims to aid short and feature film-making by Qataris.
When it gets underway early next year, the fund will develop up to four feature films and will develop and produce up to eight short films every year through two application sessions for Qatari directors and writers.
At least one of the four feature films in development will be selected the following year for production support by the Qatari Film Fund through mentoring and financial support, DFI said in a statement.
Producers and directors behind feature film treatments and screenplays can apply for development funds up to QAR 182,500, which will include mentoring sessions by DFI.
Short films are eligible for a combined development and production budget of up to QR 182,500, which will include mentorship, equipment and production support from DFI.