In the best interest of the health and safety of local residents and international visitors, the Doha Film Institute (DFI) made the decision to cancel the 2020 edition of Qumra and its related activities to mitigate any potential risks associated with the current global COVID-19 outbreak. This decision was part of the Institute’s contribution to the responsible management and prevention of further spread of the virus in Qatar.
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. The Qumra 2020 programme was set to commence on 20 March with 46 selected 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.
Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute, said: “Qumra is an extremely important event for our community and participants, and the 46 selected projects remain a priority for DFI this year. To maintain the current momentum towards success for the projects, the Institute will proceed with an adapted online mentorship and support format to generate opportunities for the filmmakers through this period of new challenges.”
“The Institute is extremely grateful to 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. The evolution of storytelling has expanded the scope and expression of ideas and influence, and we hope this “Online Qumra” will be a successful extension of our ongoing passion and commitment to supporting emerging voices in global filmmaking.”
The originally planned Mentorship Program is now taking place online, during the original Qumra dates (20th-25th March), and all projects will have their scheduled one-on-one sessions online. All industry guests will receive the Project Catalogue, Delegates Contact List, as well as the Match-Made suggestions and will be invited to connect online. Furthermore, festival programmers, sales agents and distributors will have exclusive access until the end of March, to the 20-min excerpts of the Work-in-Progress projects in postproduction, preceded by a video introduction by the filmmakers.
More information on the three core Qumra elements that will be continued online can be seen below.
- Mentorship Meetings
- This is the main centrepiece of Qumra’s programme and value.
- All the mentors had already received all the project information and begun preparations for these meetings prior to the cancellation. Considering this, the movement to online was heavily supported by them.
- These include the one-on-one mentorship sessions scheduled to happen at Qumra for all the projects including the shorts, series projects and constitutes of script consultations, development, editing consultations, rough cut consultations, project coaching, festival strategies, sales and distribution strategies.
- The move online will not include group tutorials, pitching sessions or preparation sessions.
- The Mentorship sessions between the projects and mentors will be scheduled from March 20th-25th, which coincides with Qumra’s original timeframe.
- Industry Connections and Match-Made Meetings
- Pre-arranged one-on-one meetings in which participants present their projects to industry experts and discuss opportunities for collaboration.
- A digital version of the Qumra Catalogue is being created outlining all the projects and will be shared with all industry and project participants.
- A Match-Made programme will be created in order to create connections between projects and the relevant industry experts. This will be supplemented with a digital Delegates Guide, containing all the contact information to facilitate the connections.
- Work-in-Progress (WiP) Features and Shorts
- All WiP filmmakers have been requested to prepare a short introduction video to present their 20-minute excerpts. These will be shared with the selected industry delegates who will provide individual feedback to each project.
- Each WiP film will be accompanied by the filmmaker’s information, biography, project materials and previous work through their personalised page on Festival Scope, an industry streaming platform.
- Access to the films will be granted for a designated period (20th-31st March).