Global film industry set to converge in Doha for the DFI's Qumra 2023 edition

Professionals from 41 nations support the development of invited projects through mentoring sessions, screenings with feedbacks, and curated industry meetings, for a special Qumra presented in a hybrid format, with in-person events from March 10-15 and virtual sessions from March 19-21.
Global film industry set to converge in Doha for the DFI's Qumra 2023 edition

There are many, many reasons to love Qumra this year. Apart from the fact that the industry incubator, organized by the Doha Film Institute, will finally take place in real life, the first time since 2019, as well as the quality of the Masters this year, which include the great Michael Winterbottom -- great for his activism as well as his groundbreaking cinema -- there will be tons of industry professionals descending on Qatar starting this Friday, with wonderful film projects to benefit from their expertise.

Among the experts this time around is our very own MIME founder E. Nina Rothe, pictured above in 2018 with TIFF's Cameron Bailey and MIME contributor Nagihan Haliloğlu, facing away from the camera and sporting a fun headscarf.

Around 200 film industry leaders will meet and advise 44 projects helmed by first-and second-time filmmakers with professionals from 41 nations supporting the development of invited projects through mentoring sessions, screenings with feedbacks, and curated industry meetings.

Qumra is the Doha Film Institute’s (DFI) annual talent incubator for Arab and international cinema. This time around, the first in person edition since 2019, will bring together over 200 international industry experts from 41 countries with prominent local organizations for its ninth edition, taking place in person from March 10-15 and online from March 19-21, 2023.

Guests include acclaimed film directors, producers, film festival directors, programmers, consultants, fund managers, sales professionals, acquisition heads, script experts, distributors, video on demand (VoD) platforms and broadcasters, and other industry professionals. Many have strong bonds with the premiere talent hub and project incubator for new voices and compelling stories in Arab and world cinema.

The mentoring sessions are presented in two parts: tutorials, consultations and one-on-one meetings for projects in development; and work-in-progress screenings and feedback sessions for projects in post-production. Qumra supports the script-to-screen journey and beyond, and the inclusion of VoD and online platforms allows filmmakers to look beyond conventional platforms to expand their audience.

Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute, said: “We are extremely proud to support the outstanding Qumra 2023 projects, and incredibly grateful to the unfailing commitment of the industry experts who share our vision of building a strong vibrant global creative community. From developing concepts to completed projects, Qumra expands the Institute’s existing support for filmmakers from around the world to turn promising ideas into standout projects ready to launch. The program’s growing acclaim is a testament to our collective contribution to realizing our goal of amplifying unheard voices and showing the world authentic perspectives from the region and the wider world.”

Among the esteemed industry insiders who will be attending Qumra this year are the Mentors advising the Qumra projects, which include internationally acclaimed filmmakers Elia Suleiman, Rithy Panh, Ghassan Salhab, Tala Hadid, Talal Derki, and Annemarie Jacir.

Consultants advising the 2023 Qumra feature projects include Paolo Bertolin, Violeta Bava, Editing consultant Sebastian Sepuldeva , Sound mentors Severin Favrieau and Rana Eid, Sales Experts Gabor Greiner and Aranka Matits, Press Advisor E. Nina Rothe, Script Consultants Joelle Touma and Antoine Waked, Producers Didar Domeri, Catherine Dussartand and Dora Bouchoucha, Project Coaches Matthieu Darras, Zsuzsi Bankutiand, Teresa Cavina, Documentary Consultants Brigid O'Shea, Jihan Al Tahri and Bob Moore and Marketing Expert Joanna Solecka among others.

The Series projects will be mentored by producer Neerja Narayanan, writer/director Bassem Breche, Coproductions & Acquisitions expert Marc Lorber, Distribution expert Marike Muselaers and industry & markets specialists Frédéric Pittoors, Gabriele Capolino and Paolo Ciccarelli. Experts advising the Qumra Shorts projects include programmers Alice Kharoubi, Ben Thompson, Tim Redford, Camille Hebert Benazet, Celine Roustan, producer Karim Aitouna, script consultant Ayman El Amir, distribution expert Irit Neidhart and project coach Wim Vanacker.

Production companies and producers taking meetings at Qumra 2032 include Jan David Frouman (The North Road Company), Georges Schoucair (Abbout Productions), Jason Kliot (Open City Films), Jean-Francois Camilleri (Echo Studio), Joslyn Barnes (Louverture Films ), Thierry Lenouvel (Cine Sud Promotion Lamia Chraibi (La Prod), Thanasis Karathanos (Pallas Film), Amir Hamz (Bon Voyage Films), Nadim Chekhrouha (Tanit Films) and Sébastien Onomo (Special Touch Studios ) among others.

Film Festival representatives from more than 35 leading events including Berlinale, Venice, Cannes, Locarno, Tribeca, Toronto, Sarajevo, Sundance, Karlovy Vary, Hot Docs, Jihlava, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), Visions du Reel, DOK LEIPZIG, FIDMARSEILLE, Sheffield Doc Fest, Viennale, Marrakech and others will participate in work in progress feedback panels for projects in post-production and industry roundtables.

International sales and distribution firms at Qumra include Alphaviolet, Arthood Entertainment, Autlook Filmsales, Bac Films, Best Friends Forever, LightDox, Dogwoof, Films Boutique, Film Distribution, Hauts et courts, Heretic, Indie Sales, Jour2fetes, Luxbox, Memento International, New Europe Film Sales, Urban Distribution International, LightDox, The Match Factory among others. Regional distributors include Film Clinic, Front Row Entertainment, Metropolis Art Cinema, MAD Solutions and Moving Turtle.

Strong representation of film institutes and funds including Sundance Institute, Point North, Film Independent, Royal Film Commission Jordan, Eurimages, Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée (CNC), Chicken & Egg Pictures, Metaphora productions, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, AFAC - Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Sorfond and Beirut DC.

Pominent leaders in serialized content and drama series markets such as Miramax, Lumiere, The Gotham, MIA Market Roma, European Film Market – Drama Series Days, Conecta Fiction & Entertainment, Image Nation and Rise Studios will be present.

Streaming and broadcasting representatives in attendance include Mubi, HBO Max, Hulu (Disney), Paramount International, Under The Milky Way, STARZPLAY, Shahid and TRT. Qatar-based organizations include teams from Al Jazeera Media Network, Katara Studios, Qatar TV, Al Araby TV and The Film House.

Directors and Producers attached to 44 projects in development and post-production are invited to participate in the event. They will include a number of emerging filmmakers from Qatar, as well as recipients of funding from the Institute’s Grants Program. The robust program will feature industry meetings designed to assist with propelling projects to their next stages of development, including master classes, work-in-progress screenings, bespoke matchmaking sessions and tailored workshops with industry experts. This creative exchange will take place alongside a program of public screenings curated with input from the Qumra Masters.

For more information, check out the Qumra website.

Image © Getty, courtesy of the DFI, used with permission.

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