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Qumra has built a film industry ecosystem of collaboration for Arab talent in Qatar

Mar 22, 2022

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  • Qumra’s successful role as a film talent incubator is reflected in the growing number of projects, especially from Qatar, and the quality and diversity of themes

Doha, Qatar; March 22, 2022: Qumra, the Doha Film Institute’s annual talent incubator, has created a vibrant ecosystem of global collaboration with Arab talent from Qatar, and enabled a significant shift in filmmaking over the past years, the event’s management team said in a media briefing.

The in-depth discussion covered the contribution of the Doha Film Institute to a grassroots film industry that has expanded its reach from Qatar to the wider Arab world and explored how talented young filmmakers from the region are adapting to the industry’s newest platforms and creative narrative structures. The discussion also underlined the need for industry initiatives like Qumra, the only one of its kind in the region, in providing a continuous arc of support to the filmmaking community, especially in the midst of the ongoing pandemic.

Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, CEO of the Doha Film Institute and Director of Qumra, said in its eighth edition, the event continues to lead the incubation of independent cinematic voices not only from Qatar and the wider Arab region, but from around the world.

“Since its inception, Qumra has identified, nurtured and delivered standout projects from emerging and established voices in cinema, and strengthened the Arab region’s creative capacity and agency to take control of our narratives. This aligns with the larger vision of the Institute to cultivate and catalyse a compelling body of cinematic work and empowering filmmakers to achieve their aspirations.”

“Doha Film Institute remains committed to ensuring the success of a new generation of storytellers in establishing a sustainable creative industry in the Middle East region and beyond. Art and film bridges understanding, and our support of authentic voices increases the diversity of perspectives and encourages cross-cultural exchange and dialogue. We have seen Qumra projects gaining global recognition, demonstrating their significant contribution to the future of storytelling in the world cinema collective.”

Elia Suleiman, Artistic Director, Doha Film Institute, said it is important for the Arab cinema industry to keep up with the times. “We live in a streaming world and it is essential to expand the sphere of support we provide to our young talents, as many great filmmakers are working on the series format. The Doha Film Institute, while grounded in Doha and staying true to its goals of promoting grassroots activity, has established strong roots and we see its impact in the films that Qumra nurtures by looking at the wider context.

“Through my interaction with young filmmakers, I see that there is incredible progress in their comprehension of what cinema is and in their narratives that have evolved considerably over the years. There is a strong cinematic movement happening now in Qatar and that is exactly the locomotive that the Doha Film Institute has created and continues to drive.”

Hanaa Issa, Director of Strategy and Development at the Doha Film Institute and Qumra Deputy Director, said Qumra has helped build a strong network for emerging and established filmmakers to collaborate with their peers and industry experts. This collaborative approach benefits the entire filmmaking community, which is evident from the number of quality projects we nurture. Qumra is an extension of the year-round workshops and labs we host; it is very innovative in its formula and we are getting incredible feedback from the industry. Today, we see a very interesting trajectory evolving with films supported by the Doha Film Institute garnering global recognition and reaching more audiences than ever before.”