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Qumra Masters share experiences from their acclaimed careers with participating filmmakers and accredited delegates in dialogue with Qumra participants.


Qumra Masters Biography

  • Asghar Farhadi

    Asghar Farhadi

    Asghar Farhadi made his first short film at age 13 in a youth cinema club. In 2002, he wrote and directed his first feature film, Dancing in the Dust (Raghss Dar Ghobar) (2003), which won awards for Best Actor at the 25th Moscow International Film Festival and the Russian Society of Film Critics’ Best Film award, and also won Best Screenplay and Best Director prizes at the 48th Asian Pacific Film Festival...
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    A year later, Farhadi made Beautiful City (Shahre Ziba) (2004), a social genre which was a rarity at the time. Following Fireworks Wednesday (Chahar Shanbe Souri) (2006), he made About Elly (Darbareye Elly) (2009), which had simultaneous world premieres at the Berlin International Film Festival and the Fajr Film Festival. It went on to win the Silver Bear for Best Director in Berlin and the Crystal Simorgh for Best Directing in Fajr.

    Farhadi’s next film, A Separation (Jodaeiye Nader Az Simin) (2011) took the Golden Bear for Best Film, and two Silver Bears for its performers when it was screened at the Berlin International Film Festival. It went on to win more than 70 awards, among them the César for Best Foreign Film and both the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

    In the same year, he was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, and began work on the screenplay for The Past, (2013), which won the Best Actress Award at the Festival de Cannes and was nominated for Golden Globe and César Awards.

    The second of Farhadi’s films to be produced by Alexandre Mallet-Guy for Memento Films Production, The Salesman (2016) was selected for the Official Competition of the Festival de Cannes.

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  • Bruno Dumont

    Bruno Dumont

    Hovering on the border between realistic drama and the avant-garde, the films of Bruno Dumont have defined a new narrative idiom in world cinema. Known for writing complete novels that form the basis of his films, Dumont is deeply influenced by the fine arts that are reflected in the visual richness of his cinema. Deeply influenced by Greek and German philosophy, his films are festival favourites...
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    Born in 1958 in France, Dumont taught philosophy before his debut in cinema, when he wrote and directed The Life of Jesus (La Vie de Jésus) in 1997. The film won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Chicago International Film Festival, a Caméra d’Or Special Mention at the Festival de Cannes and was named Best New International Feature at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, among other honours.

    His second film, Humanité (1999) won the Grand Prix for both Best Actor (Emmanuel Schotté) and Best Actress (Séverine Caneele) at the Festival de Cannes, while Flanders (2006) clinched the Grand Prize of the Jury at Cannes. In addition to several shorts, Dumont has directed nine feature-length films, the most recent being Slack Bay (Ma Loute) (2016), starring Juliette Binoche. He served as the President of the Caméra d'Or jury at the Festival de Cannes in 2008.

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  • Rithy Panh

    Rithy Panh


    Rithy Panh is a Cambodian-French filmmaker, writer and producer. Born in Cambodia, he studied filmmaking at the Institut des Hautes Études Cinematographiques (IDHEC) in France. His work as a filmmaker focuses primarily on the contemporary fallout resulting from the genocide committed by the Khmer Rouge regime in his homeland. Rooted in his first-hand experience of living in a remote labour camp, where he witnessed untold hardships and suffered irreparable losses, Panh’s works have a rare and striking authority...
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    He has directed numerous internationally acclaimed films, including The Rice People, which was selected for the Official Competition of the Festival de Cannes in 1994; The Land of Wandering Souls (2000), which won several awards, including the Robert and Frances Flaherty Award at the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival; the influential S21: The Khmer Rouge Death Machine, (2004), which took numerous awards around the world, among them the Albert Londres Award; Paper Cannot Wrap Embers (2007), The Sea Wall (2008) and Duch, Master of the Forges of Hell (2012).

    In 2013, Panh directed The Missing Picture, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and won the Grand Prix in the Un Certain Regard section at the Festival de Cannes. His most recent directorial effort, Exile, once again considers the grave crimes and abuse of the Khmer Rouge regime. It won wide critical and public acclaim at Cannes in 2016.

    Panh is dedicated to helping rebuild the Cambodian film industry. In 2006, with fellow Cambodian film director Ieu Pannakar, he opened the Bophana Audiovisual Resources Centre in Phnom Penh to collect audiovisual testimonies of the Cambodian people and make this heritage accessible to all. He is also a principal founder of the Cambodian Film Commission, an industry development organisation that includes the CFC Film Lab, a professional film training programme for Cambodians.

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  • Lucrecia Martel

    Lucrecia Martel

    Lucrecia Martel studied at the National Experimentation Filmmaking School in Buenos Aires and made a number of short films between 1988 and 1994...
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    Her award-winning short film ‘Dead King’ was part of the omnibus film ‘Brief Tales I’, a collection of shorts by new Argentinian filmmakers. Her debut feature ‘La Cienaga’ was It went on to be voted the greatest Latin American film of the decade in a poll of New York film critics, and is seen as an important development in the New Argentine Cinema. All her films have been well-received at international film festivals, and has been a juror at festivals in Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Sundance and Rotterdam, among many others. Currently, Martel is in post-production with her fourth feature-length film, ‘Zama’, slated to premiere in 2017.

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  • Paulo Branco

    Paulo Branco

    Honoured by the European Parliament as the ‘Greatest European Producers,’ Paulo Branco embodies one of the most important figures of independent production in the world...
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    He has the largest number of films selected at the Cannes Film Festival (60 films with 36 in Official Selection) and to have competed for the Golden Palm. He is recognized for having given their first chances to numerous aspiring filmmakers who turned into immense cinematographers, offering them the opportunity to make their screen debut. He has produced over 300 films and worked with the most renowned film directors in the world including David Cronenberg, Wim Wenders, Chantal Akerman, Alain Tanner, Werner Schroeter, Olivier Assayas, Cédric Kahn, among many others.

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