James Schamus and Joshua Oppenheimer Join
Courtesy Doha Film Institute

U.S. multihyphenates James Schamus and Joshua Oppenheimer have been added to the high-caliber lineup of masters recruited by the Doha Film Institute’s innovative Qumra event which blends creative workshop and festival elements.

Schamus recently made his well-received directorial debut with an adaptation of Philip Roth’s “Indignation” which bowed at Sundance in January and is screening at this year’s Berlinale in the Panorama section. During Qumra’s second edition, which will be held in Doha March 4-9, he will present and discuss Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” which Schamus produced as part of a longstanding collaboration.

Oppenheimer, who is US-born and Denmark-based, will hold a masterclass on his potent docu “The Look of Silence,” which is centered around the 1960s Indonesian genocide and nominated for an Oscar this year.

This year’s other Qumra masters are revered Russian auteur Alexander Sokurov (“Francofonia”), Turkey’s pluriprized Nuri Bilge Ceylan (“Winter Sleep”), and Japan’s Naomi Kawase. Argentina’s Lucrecia Martel, whose presence had previously been announced, has been forced to bow out to to scheduling conflicts.

Qumra, which is an Arab word believed to be the origin of the word “camera,” is dedicated to fostering first and second works from the Arab world.

As part of their Qumra engagement the masters will each participate in a series of seminars, workshops and one-on-one sessions with directors of some thirty participating DFI-backed projects.

Last year, which was a very successful first edition, a high-caliber roster of more than 100 prominent international industry reps attended. This year is shaping up no different with returning reps from Cannes, Toronto, and Locarno, alongside top international sales execs as well as newcomers, including from Netflix.

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