×

Qumra Doha Film Fest Sets Dates, Beefs Up Team

Inaugural edition will run March 19-24, 2014

The Doha Film Institute has set March 19-26, 2014, as the dates for the inaugural edition of the Qumra Doha Film Festival which will focus on first and second-time directors from around the world.

The reconceived eight-day fest, which will see emerging filmmakers from the Middle East competing on an even keel with international helmers, will be complemented by out-of-competition sections and industry-focused programming.

“We want to become the go-to place for filmmakers who are starting out no matter where they are from,” DFI Chief Executive Officer Abdulaziz Al Khater, told Variety.

“The energy of our multicultural mix is bound to rub off on filmmakers in the region,” Al Khater added.

In May, after severing ties with Tribeca Enterprises, the DFI announced it had brought Palestinian auteur Elia Suleiman on board as artistic advisor and re-invented its festival activity, now split into two separate events.

The goal for the Qumra fest is to create a network for first-time filmmakers worldwide to show their films and even get them made.

The new dates position the new Doha fest at the start of the Middle East fest season, at a greater distance from the Abu Dhabi and Dubai fests, slotted respectively in October and December.

The DFI’s other new fest, the Ajyal Film Festival for the Young, modeled on Italy’s Giffoni fest, where hundreds of kids are jurors and with whom it has a pact, has moved into Doha’s traditional November slot and will run Nov. 26-30.

Al Khater said Qumra Doha Film Festival, which recently forged a partnership with the Sarajevo Film Festival and it’s Cine Link co-production market for emerging helmers, is looking to expand partnerships with other like-minded events.

Qumra Doha has also beefed up its programming team to gain more in-depth international coverage.

The DFI has appointed three programme advisors who will support DFI’s programming team to curate films for the first edition of the fest. The team now includes well-established experts 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.

Sawhney was formerly the Head of Diversity at the British Film Institute.

They will work under Suleiman’s supervision alongside DFI’s Head of Film Programming Ludmila Cvikova and Resident Filmmaker and Programmer, Chadi Zeneddine.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Leads Crowded Weekend With $21 Million

    The Bean Bag Boys, the self-appointed nickname for the trio of best friends in Universal’s “Good Boys,” are conquering much more than sixth grade. They are also leading the domestic box office, exceeding expectations and collecting $21 million on opening weekend. “Good Boys,” which screened at 3,204 North American theaters, is a much-needed win for [...]

  • Amanda Awards

    ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Tops Norway’s 2019 Amanda Awards

    HAUGESUND, Norway —  Hans Petter Moland’s sweeping literary adaptation “Out Stealing Horses” put in a dominant showing at Norway’s Amanda Awards on Saturday night, placing first with a collected five awards, including best Norwegian film. Celebrating its 35th edition this year, the Norwegian industry’s top film prize helped kick off the Haugesund Film Festival and [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Animator, Dies at 86

    Renowned animator Richard Williams, best known for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Friday at his home in Bristol, England, Variety has confirmed. He was 86. Williams was a distinguished animator, director, producer, author and teacher whose work has garnered three Oscars and three BAFTA Awards. In addition to his groundbreaking work as [...]

  • Instinct

    Locarno Film Review: 'Instinct'

    Now that “Game of Thrones” has finally reached its conclusion, releasing its gifted international ensemble into the casting wilds, will Hollywood remember just what it has in Carice van Houten? It’s not that the statuesque Dutch thesp hasn’t been consistently employed since her startling 2006 breakout in Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” or even that she’s [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Eyes Best Original Comedy Opening of 2019

    Universal’s “Good Boys” is surpassing expectations as it heads toward an estimated $20.8 million opening weekend at the domestic box office following $8.3 million in Friday ticket sales. That’s well above earlier estimates which placed the film in the $12 million to $15 million range, marking the first R-rated comedy to open at No. 1 [...]

  • Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Wins at

    Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Triumphs at Locarno Film Festival

    The 72nd Locarno Film Festival drew to a close Saturday with Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa’s dark and detached film “Vitalina Varela” coming away with several awards together with superlatives from segments of the hardcore cinephile crowd, including jury president Catherine Breillat. In announcing the Golden Leopard prize for the film, as well as best actress [...]

  • Vitalina Varela

    Locarno Film Review: 'Vitalina Varela'

    Frequently beautiful compositions and the theatrical use of a fierce kind of artifice have long been the hallmarks of Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa, regarded by a small but influential group of aesthetes as one of the great filmmakers of our era. For those in tune with his vision, the director’s films offer an exciting lesson [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content