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Qumra heads online for its seventh edition


- Welcoming 48 projects from around the world, more than 150 film professionals and a top-notch line-up of Masters, the Qatari event is aiming to shine the spotlight on new voices

Qumra heads online for its seventh edition
Director Remi Itani, who is taking part in Qumra with her Lebanese-UK-Qatari feature in development In a Dream You Saw a Way to Survive and You Were Full of Joy

Organised annually, Qumra, the Doha Film Institute’s (DFI) incubator dedicated to supporting new voices from Arab and world cinema, is ready to welcome more than 150 international film-industry experts during its seventh edition, which will take place online from 12-17 March.

The programme includes 30 features (15 at the development stage and 15 in post-production), 12 shorts (both in development and in post-production), and six TV and web-series projects hailing from 21 countries. Of these projects, 39 are beneficiaries of the Doha Film Institute’s Grants Programme and the Qatari Film Fund. There will be two parts to the sessions: for the projects in development, a series of tutorials, workshops, consultations and one-on-one meetings will be organised; while the work-in-progress screenings will be followed by feedback sessions. As is customary, the virtual Qumra will feature a series of Master Talks with acclaimed professionals.

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Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, chief executive officer of the DFI, commented: “We are extremely proud to be supporting the outstanding Qumra projects participating this year, and incredibly grateful to the unfailing belief and commitment of the industry experts, who share our vision of a vibrant global creative community. From developing concepts to completed projects, Qumra expands on the institute’s existing support activities by giving filmmakers unprecedented access to leading decision makers from around the world in order to turn strong ideas into reality and accelerate the success of standout projects ready to launch.”

The mentors of this edition are acclaimed filmmakers Elia Suleiman, Rithy Panh, Ghassan Salhab, Tala Hadid, Talal Derki and Annemarie Jacir. The consultants include Paolo Bertolin and Violeta Bava; editors Sebastian Sepuldeva and Benjamin Mirguet; sales experts Gabor Greiner and Aranka Matits; script consultant Joelle Touma; producers Joslyn Barnes, Didar Domeri and Dora Bouchoucha; project coaches Matthieu Darras and Teresa Cavina; documentary consultants Emma Davies, Jihan Al Tahri and Bob Moore; and marketing expert Ashley Hasz.

According to the DFI’s artistic advisor and filmmaker, Elia Suleiman, the Qumra Masters will bring “their immense value to an exciting new line-up of projects, on a more robust and interactive online platform. The true test of powerful storytelling lies in its ability to transgress all limitations, and we are indebted to the Qumra Masters for the power of their vision to transcend physical boundaries and inspire this year's participants to boldly redefine global storytelling.” The selection includes French auteur Claire Denis, BAFTA- and Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Phedon Papamichael, US director James Gray, Silver Lion-winning Austrian writer-director Jessica Hausner, and Oscar-winning sound designer Mark Mangini.

Here is the list of the feature-length projects selected for Qumra 2021:

Development - Feature Narrative

A Road to Damascus - Meedo Taha (Lebanon/France/Qatar)
Ashkal - Youssef Chebbi (Tunisia/France/Qatar)
Cotton Queen - Suzannah Mirghani (Sudan/Qatar)
Hounds - Kamal Lazraq (Morocco/France/Belgium/Qatar)
In a Dream You Saw a Way to Survive and You Were Full of Joy - Remi Itani (Lebanon/UK/Qatar)
My Classmate Ali for Supreme Leader - Nadia Al-Khater (Qatar)
The Pearl - Noor Al-Nasser (Qatar)
Under Construction - Nadim Tabet (Lebanon/Qatar)

Development - Feature Documentary

The Camera Never Cries - Abuzar Adam, Elsadig Abdelgayoum (Sudan/Qatar)
Companions of the White Arc - Elia Youssef, Mohammed Al-Thani (Qatar/Jordan/Lebanon/Romania/Norway)
Handala, the Boy Without a Face - Mahmoud Kaabour (Lebanon/Qatar)
Jodari Meno - Jamal Al-Khanji, David Ochoa (Qatar/Italy/Zanzibar)
My Father’s House - Mahdi Fleifel (Denmark/UK/Palestine/Qatar)
Theft of Fire - Amer Shomali (Canada/Palestine/Qatar)
Wall of Death - Amine Sabir (Morocco/France/Qatar)

Post-Production - Feature Narrative

Costa Brava Lebanon - Mounia Akl (Lebanon/France/Spain/Sweden/Denmark/Norway/Qatar)

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El Gran Movimiento - Kiro Russo (Bolivia/France/Switzerland/Qatar)
The Exam - Shawkat Amin Korki (Iraq/Germany/Qatar)
Orca - Sahar Mossayebi (Qatar/Iran)
The Sea Ahead - Ely Dagher (Lebanon/France/Belgium/USA/Qatar)
Tug of War - Amil Shivji (Tanzania/South Africa/Germany/Qatar)
Whether the Weather Is Fine - Carlo Francisco Manatad (Philippines/France/Singapore/Germany/Indonesia/Qatar)
White Building - Kavich Neang (Cambodia/France/China/Qatar)

Post-Production - Feature Documentary

5 Seasons of Revolution - LINA (Syria/Germany/Norway/Qatar)
Fragments from Heaven - Adnane Baraka (Morocco/France/Qatar)
The Miracle of Almería - Moon Blaisse (Belgium/Switzerland/Netherlands/Qatar)

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Atlantide - Yuri Ancarani (Italy/France/Qatar)
Children of the Enemy [+see also:
film review
film profile
- Gorki Glaser-Müller (Sweden/Denmark/Qatar)
Les Enfants terribles [+see also:
film review
film profile
- Ahmet Necdet Cupur (France/Germany/Turkey/Qatar)
Our Little Palestine - Abdullah Al Khateeb (Lebanon/France/Syria/Qatar)

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