Docmaniacs Collective

Qumra 2019 provides crucial support for international projects

Qumra is judged as the best initiative of its kind when compared to other international film festivals and filmmaking labs

Doha, Qatar: 20 March 2019: Filmmakers from around the world presenting projects at Qumra 2019 praised it as a singular event for supporting their projects’ development.

The fifth edition of Qumra brings together more than 150 acclaimed filmmakers, industry professionals and experts to nurture 36 projects from around the world in various stages of development. Of the 36 projects, 26 are recipients of the Doha Film Institute’s Grants programme.

Indian director and self-taught illustrator Gitanjali Rao brought her fourth film – the animated musical romance Bombay Rose. “The support I am receiving at Qumra is unmatched by any other filmmaking lab that I have attended,” Rao said. “The Qumra filmmaking mentors arrive well prepared, so their advice is very specific and relevant. That, along with the amazing access I have to the Qumra Masters has made this a hugely enriching experience.”

Mouhssine El Badoui, the Belgian-Moroccan director of the documentary Femmetasia agreed on the invaluable support to filmmakers. “I came to Qumra with one main perspective, but through my exchanges with the Qumra mentors I’ve unlocked several other interesting narratives.”

The feedback from the Qumra mentors was also crucial to French-Tunisian director Lofti Achour’s second feature film Severed Head, “What differentiates Qumra from other initiatives the quality of the advice here is very specific to our project. It has inspired new ideas for my script and reassurance about the strength of my central story.”

Afsaneh Salari, producer of The Forbidden Strings – a work-in-progress feature film said that Qumra’s role in supporting filmmakers from the Middle East was hugely important. “The fact that it this initiative is organised and delivered in the region makes it special,” she said. “The networking opportunities it offers are also second-to-none. Over the last few days we have met industry professionals from around the world and have generated interest in our film, which is very exciting for us.”