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13 Standout Projects to Represent Qatar’s Vibrant Film Ecosystem at 10th Qumra by Doha Film Institute

Feb 27, 2024

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  • Projects across all formats by Qatari and Qatar-based filmmakers among 40 plus projects from 20 countries
  • 11 of the 13 films are by Qatari nationals presenting diverse perspectives in different genres

Doha, Qatar; February 27, 2024: The 10th edition of Qumra, the Doha Film Institute’s (DFI) annual talent incubator for Arab and international cinema, represents the vibrant film ecosystem in Qatar, with 13 homegrown projects chosen for mentoring and support.

The 13 local projects include 11 by Qatari nationals with others by those who call Qatar home. Over 40 projects including feature narratives, documentaries, shorts and series by first- and second-time filmmakers from 20 countries will take part in mentorship and networking activities in-person from March 1 to 6 and online from March 9 to 11, 2024. They will receive invaluable guidance from this year’s luminaries in world cinema – Qumra Masters Toni Colette, Leos Carax, Claire Denis, Atom Egoyan, Martín Hernández, and Jim Sheridan.

Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute, said: “We take great pride in the projects from Qatar participating at Qumra each year. Their selection is a strong representation of the vibrant creative ecosystem that the nation has fostered and a testament to the success of the Institute’s commitment to supporting filmmakers through every step of their creative journey. Many of the talents are graduates of our year-round workshops or were supported by the Qatari Film Fund or DFI’s Grants. We are confident that their unique and highly individual voices, shaped by the cultural and social influences of Qatar, will translate into cinema that captures the attention of the world.”

The selected projects by Qatari and Qatar-based talent at Qumra 2024 include:

Development – Feature Narrative

  • Al-Dana (Qatar) by Nora Al-Subai is about a young girl accused of bringing a curse on her village after the disappearance of a famous black pearl.

Work in Progress- Feature Documentary

  • The Myth of Mahmoud (Palestine, USA, Lebanon, Kenya, Yemen, Jordan, Qatar) by Mayar Hamdan and Shaima Al Tamimi captures a Palestinian family who made Doha their home 60 years ago, once again grappling with the dilemma of moving or fighting to remain.

Qumra Shorts

  • Becoming a Vampire (Qatar) by Kummam Al Maadeed and Abeer Al Kubaisi is about Sara, who struggles with her draining corporate job and the social pressure from her mother. When a vampire bites her, she finds an opportunity to reclaim her autonomy.
  • Theatre of Dreams (Qatar) by Fatma Al-Ghanim is a film inspired by the true story of the courage and hidden sacrifices of the first Qatar Women’s National Football Team as told through the personal experience of its captain, exploring themes of identity, belonging, and broken dreams.
  • Autumn (Qatar, Iran) by Annan Nassari and Aisha Al Jaidah is a romantic tragedy of the captivity of ambitious thoughts under short roofs.
  • Before the Day Breaks (Qatar) by Amal Al-Muftah is about Nour, a young truck driver who encounters an obstacle while delivering an urgent, unusual shipment to Qatar.
  • Can You See Me? (Qatar) by Dhoha Abdelsattar tells of a lonely woman trapped in the cycle of a mundane life that spirals into emotional turmoil until she is forced to confront herself.
  • I Wished for Solitude (Qatar) by Hamad Alfayhani is about a young man, who struggles with the news that he is losing his face.
  • I Lay to Wait for You to Sleep (Qatar) by Ali Al-Hajri follows a man embarking on a desert odyssey in search of his requiem.
  • Sundial (Chad, Egypt, Qatar) by Atheel Elmalik is set against the backdrop of an intensifying war, where young Najma must rely on the sun to find the right time to see Ziyad.

Qumra Series

  • Hazawi (Qatar) by Latifa Al Darwish and Abdulaziz Yousef is an adventure animation series that takes place in the late 1980s, featuring a magical world full of Jinn creatures and two children.
  • Rabet (Qatar, Tunisia, Jordan, Sudan, UAE, Egypt, KSA, Lebanon) by Aya Al Blouchi and Basel Owies is an anthology series of Middle Eastern crime stories that explore the complex ironies of human morality.
  • Beautiful Things (Jordan, Qatar) by Basel Owies is about an over-achieving university student, who is forced into a life of crime to protect her family and advance her legitimate political aspirations.

Over 200 industry experts will also advise projects on storytelling, filmmaking, directing, editing, cinematography and sound, focusing on the specific needs of each project. The 40 plus Qumra 2024 projects include 13 feature narratives, 11 documentaries, 11 shorts and 7 web/TV series in various stages of production. Among these, 11 are helmed by Qatari or Qatar-based directors, including 7 by nationals.

Of the selected projects, 32 are recipients of Doha Film Institute’s Grants programme and 3 are supported by the Qatari Film Fund, underlining the Institute’s crucial commitment to support the entire journey of filmmaking. Of the chosen projects, 15 have also participated in DFI Training Programmes such as the Hezayah Scriptwriting Lab, Producers Lab, Shorts Script Lab, Doc Lab with Rithy Panh, Series Lab, and First Cut Lab.