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Oscar® Winning Production Designer Eugenio Caballero and Award-Winning Writer and Director Alice Rohrwacher join the 2019 Qumra Masters lineup

Feb 13, 2019

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  • 2019 Academy Award Nominee for ROMA Eugenio Caballero and Cannes Award veteran Alice Rohrwacher join Agnès Varda, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Pawel Pawlikowski as Qumra 2019 Masters
  • Qumra Masters to support emerging filmmakers through mentoring sessions with the directors of 36 selected projects from 19 countries
  • Selected projects include 26 Features and 10 Shorts
  • 15 Qatar based projects included in the 2019 programme

Berlin, Germany/Doha, Qatar: February 13, 2019: Academy Award® winning Mexican Production Designer Eugenio Caballero, celebrated for his work on diverse projects including Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth for which he earned an Academy Award and winner of the Grand Jury prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, Italian writer and director Alice Rohrwacher, have been confirmed as additional Masters in the fifth edition of the Doha Film Institute’s Qumra, to be held March 15 to 20, 2019.

They join French New Wave cinema legend Agnès Varda, prolific Japanese director and writer Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Polish auteur Pawel Pawlikowski for the 2019 edition of the Doha Film Institute’s dedicated industry incubation and talent development event 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 2019 will provide 36 projects from 19 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.

Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute, said: “We are proud to welcome Eugenio Caballero and Alice Rohrwacher to the Qumra line-up. They have distinctive bodies of work that distinguish them for their unique creative voice and cinematic expertise. All visionaries in film, the Qumra Masters will make incredible contributions to benefit emerging filmmakers.”

Hanaa Issa, Deputy Director of Qumra said: “We are excited to share the experiences of these amazing artists with young filmmakers from the region and beyond. Their personal perspectives on filmmaking will provide meaningful and lasting benefit to all participants and open up a new depth of understanding and possibilities in their discussions.”

36 projects from 19 countries

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 15 Qumra projects by Qatar-based talent, including 8 films by Qatari nationals. While 6 Qatar-based projects are works-in-progress, the others are in development stage. In all, 18 projects are in development and 18 projects in post-production. There are 15 fictions, 11 documentary features and 10 shorts. Of the 36 projects, 26 are recipients of the Doha Film Institute’s Grants programme.

Directors and producers of these projects will attend the sessions in Doha where they will meet over 100 industry experts. The activities are specifically tailored to each project’s needs, according to their stage of development. Projects in development will take part in group and individual sessions in script consulting, legal, sales, marketing and co-production advice, along with individual matchmaking and tutorials. Projects in post-production are presented in a series of closed rough-cut and picture lock screenings for leading festival programmers, broadcasters, market representatives, sales agents and distributors.

2019 Qumra Projects:

Development – Feature Narrative

  • In Vitro” by Larissa Sansour / Palestine, Switzerland, Qatar / Fall Grants 2018
    After an eco-apocalypse, the dying founder of a vast underground orchard passes on instructions to her younger successor who was born underground, making her a stranger to the place she is destined to rebuild.
  • Daughters of Abdulrahman” by Zaid Abu Humdan / Jordan, Egypt, Qatar / Spring Grants 2011
    Four estranged and offbeat sisters are forced to come together to find their suddenly-missing father. However, they are already at their wits’ end.
  • Mediterranean Fever” by Maha Haj / Palestine, France, Qatar / Fall Grants 2018
    An aspiring but depressed writer from Haifa befriends his new neighbour in an attempt to convince the man to help him commit suicide.
  • My Little One” by Kadija Saidi Leclere / Morocco, Belgium, France, Qatar / Spring Grants 2018
    Sarah, a Belgian woman of Moroccan descent, adopts a little girl in Morocco. But when the Belgian authorities deny her child’s visa, it is the beginning of an arduous ordeal for both of them.
  • Severed Head” by Lotfi Achour / Tunisia, France, Qatar / Fall Grants 2018
    Based on true events. Two teenage shepherds are captured on a Tunisian mountainside by jihadists. Decapitating the eldest, the 14-year-old sheepherder must return his cousin’s head to the victim’s mother.
  • Dreama” by Mahdi Al-Ali / Qatar / Qatari Film Fund 2018
    A boy goes through a psychological change process to discover the reasons behind the divorce of his parents.
  • Behind Closed Doors” by Hend Fakhroo / Qatar / Spring Grants 2018
    Six year old Leila wakes up one day and finds her mother gone with only her father to take care of her. After weeks of struggling, the small family settles into an emotional equilibrium, only to have the mother suddenly return.
  • Khuzama” by A.J. Al-Thani / Qatar / Qatari Film Fund 2017
    Set against the harsh desert backdrop, a Bedouin girl is thrown into a world of turmoil and violence which she can only survive with the help of a group of nomadic women.

Development – Feature Documentary

  • Femmetasia” by Mouhssine El Badaoui / Morocco, Belgium, Qatar / Fall Grants 2018
    Hanane, a young woman from a modest village in Marrakech decides to enter the traditionally male-only festival of battle bravery, Fantasia. Assembling her own troupe of horsewomen, she must face the prejudices of a patriarchal society.
  • The Earth Doesn’t Move” by Yosr Gasmi / Tunisia, France, Italy, Qatar / Fall Grants 2018
    In a 3 stars hotel converted into a reception center for political refugees, waiting bodies are looking to cross the France-Italy border. The film follows this moving and suspended image to understand a contemporary story about movement, exile and space.
  • We Are Inside” by Farah Kassem / Lebanon, Qatar / Fall Grants 2018
    Returning to her father’s house in the radicalised city of Tripoli, Farah realises that the only way to connect with him is by joining his male-dominated poetry club.
  • You Don’t Die Two Times” by Ager Oueslati / Algeria, Qatar / Fall Grants 2018
    Prisca, Gift, and Jenny fled their home countries in Africa in the hope of a better life in Europe. A migratory odyssey fraught with violence, smugglers, and closed borders, where the three women attempt to reach their ‘El Dorado’ at any price.
  • Qatar Stars” by Danielle Beverly / USA, Qatar
    Qatar is one of the richest, most aspirational, and most scrutinized countries in the world. What is it like to grow up as a girl in this rapidly changing, majority-Muslim nation; that is a clash of tradition and modernity? For the Olympic Stars, a rhythmic gymnastics team for girls aged 9-15, it offers empowerment opportunities their mothers never had.

Post-Production – Feature Narrative

  • Abou Leila” by Amin Sidi-Boumediene / Algeria, France, Qatar / Spring Grants 2017
    Algeria, March 1994. Childhood friends S. and Lotfi travel through the Algerian desert looking for Abou Leila, a dangerous terrorist on the run.
  • Bombay Rose” by Gitanjali Rao / India, France, UK, Qatar / Spring Grants 2014
    Painted frame by frame, ‘Bombay Rose’ is an animated tribute to love. Young love, old love and love Bollywood style.
  • Papicha” by Mounia Meddour / Algeria, France, Belgium, Qatar / Spring Grants 2017
    Nedjma refuses to submit to fear during the Algerian Civil War by fulfilling her dream of putting on a fashion show.
  • Noura Dreams” by Hinde Boujemaa / Tunisia, France, Qatar / 2018 Qumra development project / Fall Grants 2017
    Noura struggles to raise her three children alone while her husband is in jail – until she meets Lassaad. Their plans to be together, however, are jeopardised by the impending release of her husband, and the two decide to flee.
  • Sanctorum” by Joshua Gil / Mexico, Qatar / Fall Grants 2018
    A child’s spiritual and magical quest for his disappeared mother in a small town racked between the army and drug traffickers.
  • Sister” by Svetla Tsotsorkova / Bulgaria, Qatar / Spring Grants 2018
    The lie of a teenage girl destroys the world of her elder sister. Struggling to regain her sister’s trust, she finds out the truth about their mother.
  • The Unknown Saint” by Alaa Eddine Aljem / Morocco, France, Qatar / 2018 Qumra development project / Fall Grants 2017
    After years in captivity, a thief returns to retrieve the money he stole and discovers a mausoleum unexpectedly built on the site where he stashed the money.

Post-Production – Feature Documentary

  • Children of The Famine” by Reine Mitri / Lebanon, Qatar / Spring Grants 2018
    Between 1915 and 1918, an estimated 200,000 people died from hunger in Mount Lebanon. For them, there is no memorial. Few photos remain, and ruins emerge from oblivion.
  • The Cave” by Feras Fayyad / Syria, Denmark, USA, Qatar / Spring Grants 2018
    A group of female doctors establish a subterranean hospital in order to save the lives of victims of chemical and conventional weapons during the Syrian civil war.
  • The Forbidden Strings” by Hasan Noori / Afghanistan, Iran, Qatar / Fall Grants 2018
    Born and raised in Iran, four Afghan musicians risk a dangerous journey from Iran to Afghanistan to make a dream come true—their first rock concert in their war-torn motherland.
  • Froth” by Ilia Povolotskiy / Russia, Qatar / Fall Grants 2018
    “Froth” tells the story of three people living on the coast of the Barents Sea who are united by an incredible blend of humility, inherent rebelliousness, a very specific moral code, and their attitude towards life.
  • Places Of The Soul” by Hamida Issa / Qatar / 2016 Qumra development project / Fall Grants 2015 and 2018
    A Qatari woman travels on an environmental expedition to Antarctica in search of hope for a sustainable future before returning to Qatar in search of inspiration to make positive change.
  • Republic of Silence” by Diana El Jeiroudi / Syria, Germany, France, Qatar / 2017 Qumra development project / Fall Grants 2016
    She grew up in a land of dictators and surveillance. Today, from her exile, she is reclaiming the images and sounds of Syrians, half of whom are scattered around the world.

2019 Qumra Shorts- Development

  • Msa7ar” (Qatar) by Hassan Al-Jahni- Fatima seeks to capture the local Msa7ar (em-sa-har) to wake up her dying grandmother, but can she overcome her fear of the dark in order to save her grandma?
  • Border” (Qatar/ Fall Grants 2018) by Khalifa Al-Thani- ‘Border’ is the story of a Middle Eastern man who wants to cross the border back into his country, but bypassing the security becomes a near impossible journey.
  • J’ai le cafard” (Kuwait, UK, Qatar) by Maysaa Al Mumin- In a demanding corporate office, forty-two-year-old Maryam develops a relationship with a cockroach that becomes both her saving grace and cause for angst.
  • Al-Azza” (Sudan, Qatar) by Eman Mirghani- Following the death of her estranged mother, Arwa returns to her childhood home. There she must comply with religious traditions and wash her mother’s body before burial—setting in motion events which will make her question her identity and why she ran away from home.
  • 6 Months and 1 Day” (France, Morocco, Qatar) by Yassine Ouahrani- After his pension gets withheld, Aziz—an old retired immigrant, must confront his landlord at the risk of losing his home.

2019 Qumra Shorts- Works in Progress

  • End of the Road” (Qatar/ Qatari Film Fund 2017) by Ahmed Al-Sharif- When a mysterious old man appears on the side of the road, Munir, an honest and God-fearing taxi driver, must make a choice on the night of his daughter’s birthday. His decision will shape his faith in humanity forever.
  • The Black Veil” (Qatar/ Spring Grants 2017) by A.J. Al-Thani- Many women around the world suffer under oppression and dream of escaping it. ‘The Black Veil’ is the story of one woman who puts her life at risk in order to find her freedom.
  • Beit Byoot” (Palestine, Qatar/ Fall Grants 2017) by Mayar Hamdan- Jameela, a friendly little girl, wants nothing more than to fit in with two carbon copy mean girls. But when she meets odd Yasmine, she must choose between conformity and being herself.
  • Paper Plane” (Egypt, Qatar) by Nada Bedair- In a strict Catholic school, a new girl, Zayn, prompts her classmate Noor to make her dream kite. As both twelve-year-old girls embark on a kite-making mission, they soon find themselves in trouble with the school nuns.
  • “*In the Middle*” (Yemen, Russia, Qatar) by Mariam Al-Dhubhani- Forced to pick up arms, Ali is stranded between his crushed dreams and the harsh reality of Aden— a city torn apart by the ongoing war in Yemen.