Renowned British costume designer Sandy Powell and famous American film director Bennett Miller have been confirmed as Masters in the fourth edition of the Doha Film Institute’s (DFI) Qumra, scheduled to be held from March 9 to 14.
The two join Venice Golden Lion winning Russian director and writer Andrey Zvyagintsev, Cannes Palme d’Or winning Thai filmmaker and visual artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and the only documentary director to win the Berlinale Golden Bear Italian director Gianfranco Rosi for the 2018 edition of the one-of-its-kind dedicated industry forum that focuses on first and second time filmmakers.
The Qumra Masters will share their insights with emerging filmmakers, provide feedback on projects in consultation sessions, and discuss their own inspiring creative journeys in daily Masterclasses. Qumra 2018 will provide 34 projects from 25 countries access to Masterclasses and networking opportunities for first and second-time filmmakers, driving Qumra’s mission to expand support for the development of emerging filmmakers from Qatar, the Arab region and around the world.
Announcing the line-up of Qumra Masters at Berlinale, DFI CEO Fatma al-Remaihi said: “We are honoured to be hosting five of the most celebrated contributors to contemporary world cinema.”
“All creative visionaries in film, their presence in Doha and interaction with Qumra delegates will incredibly benefit emerging filmmakers, and inspire them to take their works to the next level. With the masterful crafts of Powell (OBE) and Miller, the Qumra Masters will push the conversation and learning in exciting new directions this year,” she added.
Filmmaker and DFI artistic adviser Elia Suleiman said: “Powell’s adeptness at transporting audiences into directors’ environments makes her a modern legend in design while Miller possesses a powerful ability to dissect social constructs by skilfully tapping into the psyche of his protagonists.”
“Their contribution to film is evident in their long list of critical and awards acclaim, and we look forward to the depth of understanding and possibilities that their participation will bring to Qumra delegates,” Suleiman noted.
This year, over six days, the Qumra delegates will take part in bespoke industry sessions designed to progress their projects and prepare them for international markets, in addition to the Masterclasses and mentoring sessions by the Qumra Masters. There are 14 Qumra projects by Qatar-based talent, including nine films by Qatari nationals. While six Qatar-based projects are works-in-progress, the others are in development stage.
In all, 16 projects are in development, 13 projects are works-in-progress, and five are in picture lock. There are 13 fictions and 10 documentary features and 11 shorts. Of the 34 projects, 23 are recipients of the DFI’s Grants programme, two are supported through the Qatari Film Fund and all others are shorts by either Qatari nationals or residents.
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