Doha, Qatar: March, 3 2020: Assuming responsibility for the management of the health and safety of its residents and international visitors, the Doha Film Institute (DFI) has made the decision to cancel the 2020 edition of Qumra and its related activities. Due to the current global alert regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, the decision comes as part of the Institute’s contribution to manage and reduce the risk of further spread of the virus.
Over the past six years, Qumra has been a one-of-a-kind professional incubator crucial to the success of filmmakers from the Arab world and beyond. Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute, said: “This was a very difficult decision, and although Qumra is an important event for our community and industry delegates, their safety and wellbeing remains our first priority. In order to reduce the risks to our guests in light of increasing global concerns over COVID-19, we are taking precautionary measures to proactively manage potential risks.”
“DFI will continue to generate opportunities for this year’s 46 selected projects and strive to support them through this period of new challenges. We thank our Qumra Masters, filmmakers and industry participants for their ongoing passion and contribution to our commitment to reshape the global storytelling landscape and empower emerging voices to create cinema, to exercise creative expression, and to transform inspired stories into acclaimed masterpieces, and look forward to future successful editions,” she concluded.
The Qumra 2020 industry event was set to commence on 20 March with a select programme of 46 projects from 20 countries as part of DFI’s mission to accelerate the success of filmmakers from the region and beyond and prepare them to bring their projects to audiences around the world. The programme included 20 projects by Qatar-based talent, including 12 by Qatari nationals. 7 of the projects were in development, with others in the Qumra Series and Shorts programmes. Of 46 projects, 33 are recipients of the Doha Film Institute’s Grants programme, 3 are supported through the Qatari Film Fund and 1 through the Institute’s co-financing programme.
As part of the Qumra Masters workshops and events, legendary French auteur Claire Denis, BAFTA and Academy Award® nominated cinematographer Phedon Papamichael, internationally celebrated director James Gray, Silver Lion winning film director and screenwriter Jessica Hausner, and Oscar® winning sound designer Mark Mangini were confirmed to support the annual film industry incubator.
Presently, the Doha Film Institute is working in close collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health and the Communicable Disease Centre in Qatar to monitor developments and status regarding COVID-19.