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Doha Film Institute Announces Sir Christopher Hampton, David Parfitt, Jacqueline West, Lynne Ramsay, and Michael Winterbottom as Qumra 2023 Masters

Feb 19, 2023

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  • Doha Film Institute’s annual industry incubator event, Qumra 2023, will be held in an innovative hybrid model with an in-person session from March 10-15 followed by an online programme from March 19-21
  • Qumra continues to forge a new path to the future globally as one of the few standalone industry events in the region focused on providing opportunities and unprecedented access for emerging filmmakers to global cinematic masters and industry experts

Berlin, Germany/Doha, Qatar; February 19, 2023: The Doha Film Institute announced today on the sidelines of the 2023 Berlin International Film Festival the confirmed Qumra 2023 Masters of the annual industry incubator event crucial to the success of first and second-time filmmakers from the Arab world and beyond.

This year, multi Academy Award® and BAFTA winning British playwright, screenwriter, and director Sir Christopher Hampton (The Father, Dangerous Liaisons, Atonement); theatre, film and TV veteran Academy Award® winning producer David Parfitt (The Father, Shakespeare in Love, My Week with Marilyn, Loving Vincent); visionary costume designer and four Academy Award® nominee Jacqueline West (Dune, The Revenant, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button); Cannes award veteran Scottish filmmaker Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin, You Were Never Really Here, Ratcatcher); and winner of the Golden Berlin Bear and Silver Berlin Bear Awards, critically acclaimed British filmmaker Michael Winterbottom (The Road to Guantanamo, A Mighty Heart, Welcome to Sarajevo) are confirmed as the Masters for the 2023 edition of the annual development event for emerging global talent, taking place from March 10-15.

In the 9th edition of Qumra, the prolific filmmakers will deliver Master Classes to upcoming filmmakers from the region and around the world, providing them with unique creative development and mentorship opportunities. Qumra also provides participants with thorough mentoring programmes led by global film industry experts, as well as key business meetings with leading film industry professionals.

Supporting the script-to-screen journey of emerging filmmakers, Qumra 2023 will be held in an innovative hybrid format with in-person events being held from March 10 to 15, and virtual sessions from March 19 to 21.

Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute, said: “We are honoured to welcome five exceptional film luminaries who have defined individuality in cinema as our Qumra 2023 Masters. The mentorship these accomplished film professionals provide will be invaluable to the success of the selected filmmakers and their projects.

“Through our innovative hybrid model, we are able to foster the in-person engagement that is essential to the filmmaking process while offering the opportunity for filmmakers to extend discussions conveniently online. We are excited to advance the work of these emerging talents, and are confident they will follow in the footsteps of earlier Qumra participants who have forged a path to global acclaim. The latest edition of Qumra will continue its presence as a unique and important platform for important voices and compelling stories in Arab and world cinema.”

Elia Suleiman, Artistic Advisor, Doha Film Institute, said “The Qumra 2023 Masters are luminaries in world cinema, and bring a unique perspective on filmmaking that will incredibly benefi our filmmakers in their creative journeys. Our 2023 Qumra Masters have established their own distinctive idiom in cinema. They are exceptional filmmakers who present unique insights into their craft and define what it is to continuously elevate the standards of world cinema.”

Over the past eight editions, Qumra has been central to the success of filmmakers from the Arab world and beyond, and in supporting important independent voices in global storytelling. Selected projects, which will be announced shortly, will have access to mentorship and networking sessions with the Qumra Masters as well as the hundreds of industry professionals and experts who will join this year’s Qumra.

More details of Qumra 2023, including the various activities lined up, will be announced soon.

2023 Qumra Masters:

Sir Christopher Hampton is a multi-award-winning British playwright, screenwriter, and director known for his thought-provoking and emotionally resonant works. Born in 1946 in London, Hampton began his accomplished career at eighteen with the play ‘When Did You Last See My Mother?’—making him the youngest playwright on record to have a show in the West End. Hampton’s work quickly gained recognition and acclaim, with plays such as ‘The Philanthropist’, ‘Savages’, ‘Tales from Hollywood’, ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses’, ‘White Chameleon’, ‘A German Life’ and ‘Visit from an Unknown Woman’. Hampton is equally prolific in writing for film with an incredible slate of screenplays that include ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ (1988), ‘The Quiet American’ (2002), ‘Atonement’ (2007) ‘A Dangerous Method’ (2011), ‘The Father’ (2020) and ‘The Son’ (2022). In recognition for his work in film and television, Hampton has received two Academy Awards, three BAFTAs, a European Film Award, a Writers’ Guild of America Award, the Prix Italia, a Special Jury Award at the Cannes Film Festival, Hollywood Screenwriter of the Year, and The Collateral Award at the Venice Film Festival for Best Literary Adaptation.

David Parfitt is an independent film, TV and theatre producer who has had a legendary career in the entertainment industry spanning over 30 years. He is known for his passion for storytelling and ability to bring complex and nuanced characters to life on screen. Prior to producing, Parfitt enjoyed a career as an actor before co-founding the Renaissance Theatre Company with Kenneth Branagh. In 1988 Parfitt and Branagh joined with business partner Stephen Evans to form Renaissance Films. They went on to produce the Academy Award-winning ‘Henry V’ (1989) and the contemporary comedy ‘Peter’s Friends’ (1992). Continuing Renaissance’s interest in the classics, they also produced the successful film version of ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ (1993) and the Academy Award-nominated short ‘Swan Song’ (1991). Parfitt produced the multi-award-winning ‘Shakespeare in Love’, winner of seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and four BAFTA Awards, including Best Film. In 2010 he produced the BAFTA and Oscar-nominated ‘My Week with Marilyn’, followed in 2011 by Tom Stoppard’s award-winning adaptation of ‘Parade’s End’ for BBC and HBO. Parfitt was Executive Producer on the world’s first hand-painted animated feature film, the DFI-supported ‘Loving Vincent’, which was nominated for both BAFTA and Academy Awards in the Animation category. Most recently, Parfitt produced ‘The Father’ (2020), which was written by Florian Zeller and fellow Qumra Master, Sir Christopher Hampton. The poignant film starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman was nominated for numerous awards, winning two Academy Awards and two BAFTAs. He has held prestigious roles in the industry, such as Chairman of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) from 2008–2010 and Chair of Film London from 2010–2017. Throughout his career, he has been celebrated for his ability to find and nurture new talent and his determination to bring unique and compelling stories to the screen.

Jacqueline West is a visionary costume designer who has brought to life some of the most memorable characters in contemporary cinema. She has earned a remarkable four Academy Award nominations for her work on ‘Dune’ (2021), ‘The Revenant’ (2015), ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ (2008) and ‘Quills’ (2000). For ‘Dune’ and ‘Benjamin Button’, she also received BAFTA and Costume Designer Guild Award nominations, winning the Costume Designer Guild Award for Sci-Fi/Fantasy for ‘Dune’. West received another Costume Designer Guild Award nomination for ‘Argo’ (2012). With an eye for detail and an unwavering commitment to authenticity, Jacqueline has a reputation for creating costumes that not only look stunning but also serve to truly enhance the story being told. She has done five films with Malick starting with ‘The New World’ (2005) and including ‘The Tree of Life’ (2011), ‘To the Wonder’ (2012), and ‘Knight of Cups’ (2015). She has also designed ‘Live by Night’ (2016) for Ben Affleck, ‘The Gambler’ (2014) for Rupert Wyatt, ‘Water for Elephants’ (2011) for Francis Lawrence, ‘The Social Network’ (2010) for David Fincher, and ‘State of Play’ (2009) for Kevin MacDonald amongst others. West recently designed Martin Scorsese’s ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ and ‘Dune: Part II’ for Denis Villeneuve. Her unique style and dedication to her craft have made her one of the most sought-after designers in the world, and her work continues to inspire and captivate audiences.

Lynne Ramsay is an award-winning Scottish filmmaker known for her unique visual style and powerful storytelling. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Ramsay initially studied fine art and photography at Napier College, Edinburgh. Discovering her passion for filmmaking after seeing Maya Deren’s film ’Meshes of the Afternoon’ (1943), she went on to study cinematography and direction at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, England. Ramsay began making short films in college and immediately established herself as a rising star in the industry with her graduation short ‘Small Deaths’. The film won the Jury Prize for Best Short Film at Cannes Film Festival in 1996, followed soon after by ‘Gasman’, which won the same prize in 1998. Ramsay’s most recent feature film, ‘You Were Never Really Here’ (2017), starred Joaquin Phoenix as a traumatised veteran turned mercenary. The film was lauded for its atmospheric cinematography, powerful performances, and uncompromising vision—earning Ramsay another Palme d’Or nomination, the Best Screenplay Award and Phoenix the Best Actor Award at Cannes Film Festival in 2017. Throughout her career, Ramsay has proved herself as a filmmaker who is unafraid to tackle difficult and unconventional subject matter. She is celebrated worldwide for her ability to create deeply emotional and impactful stories that truly resonate with viewers.

Michael Winterbottom is a critically acclaimed British filmmaker known for his diverse body of work that ranges from unconventional narratives to hard-hitting social commentary. Born in 1961 in Blackburn, England, Winterbottom began his career in British television, going on to direct the BAFTA-winning mini-series ‘Family’ (1994) and long-running and much-lauded ‘The Trip’ (2010–2020). Winterbottom has received numerous awards for his work, including a BAFTA and Golden Berlin Bear Award for ‘In This World’ (2002), a Silver Berlin Bear Award for ‘The Road to Guantanamo’ (2006) and the François Chalais Award at Cannes Film Festival for ‘A Mighty Heart’ (2007). He has also been nominated three times for the Palme d’Or for ’24 Hour Party People’ (2002), ‘Wonderland’ (1999) and ‘Welcome to Sarajevo’ (1997). Winterbottom’s work has consistently been recognised for its unparalleled style, thought-provoking subject matter, and ability to both engage and entertain audiences.