The Doha Film Institute has scrapped its plan for a 2014 launch of the inaugural edition of its Qumra Doha Film Festival this year, and decided to reschedule to 2015 the event focussed on first and second-time directors from around the world.
“We have decided to reschedule Qumra Doha Film Festival to 2015,” said a DFI spokesperson.
“This new timeframe enables us to better target our resources and provide increased educational and financing opportunities to support global storytelling, nurture upcoming talent and enhance film appreciation both regionally and internationally.”
The rep added that the DFI remains “committed to our mission to serve as the definitive platform in this region to create a dynamic local film industry.”
The rather surprising decision comes after the DFI in September of 2013 had set March 19-26, 2014, as the dates for the first edition of the Qumra Doha event and beefed up its programming team.
Qumra Doha is the main plank of the DFI’s new vision announced at Cannes in May 2013 after severing ties with Tribeca Enterprises, with which it ran four editions of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival between 2009 and 2012. At Cannes the DFI announced it had brought Palestinian auteur Elia Suleiman on board as artistic advisor and split its festival activity into two separate events, one being its Aiyal Youth Film Festival, which was held in November of last year, the other being the now postponed Qumra Doha event.
Qumra Doha Film Festival last year forged a partnership with the Sarajevo Film Festival and it’s Cine Link co-production market for emerging helmers and brought on board Paolo Bertolin for the Asia Pacific region; Violeta Bava, for the Central American, South American, and Caribbean regions; and Cary Rajinder Sawhney, for the Indian subcontinent.
They have been working under Suleiman’s supervision alongside DFI’s Head of Film Programming Ludmila Cvikova and Resident Filmmaker and Programmer, Chadi Zeneddine, but it looks like they needed more time to meet their goals.