Legendary French auteur Claire Denis and Bafta- and Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Phedon Papamichael are confirmed to join the Qumra 2020 Masters lineup in the sixth edition of Doha Film Institute’s (DFI) annual film industry incubator for exceptional talents to be held from March 20-25.
The two will join internationally celebrated director James Gray, Silver Lion-winning film director and screenwriter Jessica Hausner, and Mark Mangini, Oscar-winning sound designer, for the 2020 edition event dedicated to supporting important new voices from the Arab and world cinema.
Qumra Masters “draw on decades of industry wisdom to provide invaluable insight on select projects through consultations and deep-dive discussions with participating filmmakers”, DFI has said in a statement.
“We are extremely honoured to once again host five highly acclaimed masters of cinema in Qatar at Qumra 2020. With mentorship and guidance from these creative visionaries, participating filmmakers gain the unique opportunity to enrich their creative voices by learning the advanced skills necessary to take their projects to completion and out to global audiences,” DFI CEO Fatma Hassan al-Remaihi said in a press statement.
Filmmaker and DFI artistic adviser Elia Suleiman added: “The extraordinary contributions that Claire Denis and Phedon Papamichael have made to the art and craft of filmmaking have redefined approaches to aesthetic and narrative.
“Denis’ daring portrayals of the human condition amid complex social and cultural landscapes continues to embolden filmmakers to defy standard convention and embrace the poetry of storytelling. Papamichael has an exceptional ability to visually immerse audiences in performances with his extremely precise cinematic compositions.”
This year’s edition of Qumra will offer networking and development opportunities for 46 projects from 20 countries as part of Qumra’s mission to accelerate the success of filmmakers from the region and beyond and prepare them to bring their projects to audiences around the world, the statement notes.
Continuing the institute’s “commitment to support Arab talents in evolving forms of creativity and new possibilities”, Qumra 2020 introduces, for the first time, sessions dedicated to exploring and developing series format projects from the region.
This follows the recent expansion of DFI’s Grants programme and various training and development labs dedicated to the creation of original and compelling TV and web content in Arabic.
Projects in development participate in group and individual sessions with Qumra Masters and industry mentors in script consulting, legal, sales, marketing and co-production advice, along with individual matchmaking projects in post-production, which are presented in a series of closed rough-cut screenings to leading festival programmers, broadcasters, market representatives, sales agents and distributors.
Qumra 2020 features 20 projects by Qatar-based talent, including 12 by Qatari nationals.
Seven of the projects are in development, with others in the Qumra Series and Shorts programmes.
Of 47 projects, 33 are recipients of the DFI Grants programme, three are supported through the Qatari Film Fund and one through the Institute’s co-financing programme.
In all, 16 feature projects are in development, 13 feature projects in post-production, seven in Qumra Series and 11 in Qumra Shorts.
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