The second edition of the Doha Film Institute’s innovative Qumra event is starting to take shape with two prominent female filmmakers recruited as masters: Japan’s Naomi Kawase and Argentina’s Lucrecia Martel. Both are widely known auteurs on the fest and arthouse circuits.
Kawase most recently made a splash with her bittersweet drama “An,” about a solitary baker and 76-year-old culinary genius, which opened the Cannes Un Certain Regard section this year and went on to sell widely. She is considered a purveyor of lyrical minimalism.
Martel, who is Latin America’s most prominent woman director, is currently in post on period piece “Zama,” about an officer of the Spanish Crown operating in Argentina’s wild backwaters towards the end of the 18th century on the eve of the country’s independence movements.
As part of their role as Qumra Masters, they will each participate in a series of masterclasses, workshops and one-on-one sessions with directors of participating DFI-backed projects and industry professionals from around the world, and also screen one of their pics for Doha audiences.
Qumra, which is an Arab word believed to be the origin of the word “camera,” is a unique format event dedicated to fostering first and second works from the Arab world and beyond through a formula that blends creative workshop and festival elements.
“Having Lucrecia and Naomi give master classes at Qumra is very compelling because they both possess what it takes to be Masters of cinema – a unique sensibility and cinematic prowess – yet they are young enough to connect and be in the close proximity of the cinematic experience of the young generation of filmmakers who will participate at Qumra,” Doha Film Institute Artistic Advisor Elia Suleiman said in a statement.
A high-caliber roster of more than 100 prominent international industry reps, including Toronto topper Cameron Bailey, Wild Bunch chief Vincent Maraval, New York’s Open City Films founder Jason Kliot attended Qumra last year. It was centered around 29 DFI-backed projects, mostly from the Arab world.
The second edition of Qumra is set to take place in Doha March 4-9.