Internationally-acclaimed film directors and actors will lead a program of public screenings of their landmark movies during the Doha Film Institute’s upcoming Qumra festival, including Timbuktu, the only Arab film nominated for an Oscar this year.
Qumra, which debuts for the first time on Friday, March 6 and runs through March 11, is one of several DFI initiatives aimed at supporting Qatar’s fledgling film industry.
It partners aspiring and emerging producers and directors from the region with established experts and includes mentoring sessions, workshops and masterclasses to improve skills.
While much of the event is for accredited participants only, there is a program of public film screenings for five nights, from March 6 to 10.
The line up
The Modern Masters series includes films and question & answer sessions by the event’s nominated Masters. These include:
- Award-winning Mexican actor, director and producer Gael García Bernal (Amores Peros, No);
- Iranian actress Leila Hatami (Leila);
- Romanian Palme d’Or winner Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days);
- Mauritanian Abderrahmane Sissako (Timbuktu – nominated for Best Foreign Language film at this year’s Academy Awards); and
- Bosnian director and screenwriter Danis Tanović, who won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for No Man’s Land.
Tanović also directed An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker, which will be kick off the public movie screenings on March 6.
That night also features the New Voices in Cinema program, which is a collection of five short films that have been funded by DFI.
Focusing on the Arab world, this series gives individual perspectives on issues including migration, occupation and interpersonal relationships.
A full program of the screenings, which will all take place at Katara Cultural Village, building 16, can be found on DFI’s website.
Tickets cost QR35 for a single screening and QR25 for students with ID.
There is also a Qumra package for QR125 (QR100 for students) that allows moviegoers to chose one film each night for the duration of the event.
Tickets can be bought online here or purchased in person at the DFI Qumra booth in building 16. This is open from 2pm to 8pm daily until March 6, and 2pm to 9pm March 7 to 10.
A total of 31 projects have been chosen to take part in Qumra, including 23 feature films, four documentaries and four shorts. Some 22 of these projects are already funded by the institute, while nine are by independent filmmakers from Qatar, according to a statement issued by DFI.
More than half (19) of the chosen projects are in development, while the remainder are in post-production or final stages.
Do you plan to attend any movie screenings? Thoughts?