Qumra, which is an Arab word believed to be the origin of the word “camera,” is dedicated to supporting and shepherding first and second works by Arab directors. This innovative incubator, now at its second edition, will run March 4-9 in Doha.
The previously announced top-notch lineup of masters/mentors comprises James Schamus and Joshua Oppenheimer, revered Russian auteur Alexander Sokurov, Turkey’s Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Naomi Kawase from Japan.
Works on display in various stages will provide a fascinating glimpse into a wide range of narratives in the pipeline from a region with the makings to become a cinematic hotbed.
Features in development include Qatari director Mohammed Al Ibrahim’s “Bull Shark” (pictured), about an investment banker who gets caught up in an embezzlement scheme involving the region’s most prominent Islamic bank; Qatari/American artist-filmmaker Sophia Al-Maria’s “Evil Eye,” a North African take on the “teen witch” film genre; and Lebanese-Spanish director Laila Hotait Salas’ drama “Stolen Skies,” in which a bomb explosion in present-day Cairo prompts suppressed memories to resurface in three generations of related women.
Almost half the projects are by Qatar-based helmers, with a dozen coming from the Middle East and North African (MENA) region, and six from the rest of the world.
A high-caliber roster of more than 100 prominent international industryites will be attending including reps from the Cannes, Toronto, and Locarno fests, alongside top international sales and production execs including one from Netflix, which recently expanded into the Middle East.
“We have prepared an intensive program for our project delegates, which is designed to inspire them creatively and support them in navigating the evolving landscape of the film industry,” said Doha Film Institute CEO Fatma Al Remaihi in a statement.
For a complete list of Qumra projects go to www.dohafilminstitute.com