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DFI to Host Inaugural Qumra Doha Film Festival from 19 to 26 March, 2014

Sep 07, 2013

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New programme advisors to support programming for inaugural edition

Toronto, September 7, 2013: As announced at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, the Doha Film Institute (DFI) will host the inaugural edition of the Qumra Doha Film Festival from 19 to 26 March, 2014. The Festival will focus on emerging directors and include competition for films from around the world.

Qumra Doha Film Festival is committed to exploring the imagination and visions of upcoming international filmmakers, helping them to bring their projects to fruition. International competitions for first and second-time filmmakers are at the heart of the eight-day festival, complemented by out-of-competition sections and industry-focused programming.

Abdulaziz Al Khater, Chief Executive Officer, Doha Film Institute, said: “DFI is dedicated to supporting emerging creative talent from around the world, and the Qumra Doha Film Festival will serve as a cinematic hub for up-and-coming directors. We look forward to welcoming global talent to Qatar, where they will have a unique opportunity to engage with their peers from the Middle East and contribute to the growth of regional film culture.”

The Institute has appointed three programme advisors who will support DFI’s programming team to curate films for the first edition of the Festival. The team includes Paolo Bertolin for the Asia Pacific region; Violeta Bava, for the Central American, South American, and Caribbean regions; and Cary Rajinder Sawhney, for the Indian subcontinent.

Paolo Bertolin, programme advisor for the Asia-Pacific region, has served on selection committees and as programme consultant for numerous film festivals, including the Venice International Film Festival, where he covered Southeast Asia, South Korea, Oceania and Turkey; Nyon Visions du Réel, Switzerland; the Udine Far East Film Festival, Italy; the Cannes Critics’ Week; the Bratislava International Film Festival; and the Hanoi International Film Festival.

Violeta Bava, advisor for the Central American, South American, and Caribbean regions, has worked with the Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival since its inception in 1999. She co-founded Ruda Cine, a film production company focused on Latin American screenwriters’ films, and has produced the feature film Abrir puertas y ventanas (Back to Stay), that has won various awards including Best Film, Best Actress and the FIPRESCI Jury Award at the 2011 Locarno Film Festival.

BAFTA member, Fellow of Royal Society of Arts and Manufacturing, and a former Trustee of the Satyajit Ray Foundation, Cary Rajinder Sawhney is one of the leading Asian film curators from the UK. Considered an authority on British Asian and South Asian cinema, Sawhney was formerly the Head of Diversity at the British Film Institute and has been involved in programming Asian films at several prominent film festivals including the London Film Festival, . He has also directed and written screenplays for Khaana and Looking for You.
Under the creative supervision of Artistic Advisor Elia Suleiman, the advisors will work alongside DFI’s Head of Film Programming Ludmila Cvikova and Resident Filmmaker and Programmer, Chadi Zeneddine.