We are truly honoured to present our Qumra Masters, a group of internationally renowned creative visionaries who will share with us their professional insights in a series of inspirational Master Classes to support the development of global storytelling.

  • David Parfitt

    David Parfitt

    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...
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    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 briefly left Renaissance to co-produce ‘Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’ (1994) before returning to the re-formed company to produce the hugely successful films ‘The Madness of King George’ (1994), nominated for four Academy Awards, the highly acclaimed ‘Twelfth Night’ (1996), directed by Trevor Nunn and ‘The Wings of the Dove’ (1997) starring Helena Bonham Carter which was also nominated for four Academy Awards. In 1998, 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. Parfitt has produced some of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful films of the last few decades. He has also 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.

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  • Jacqueline West

    Jacqueline West

    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)...
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    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).

    After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, West followed in the footsteps of her mother, a popular avant-garde fashion designer in the 1940s and 50s. From 1988 to 1997, West ran her own company and designed a nationally acclaimed clothing line—going on to own retail stores in the Bay Area and contemporary departments in Barney’s New York and Tokyo. West’s first foray into film, as a creative consultant on ‘Henry and June’ (1990), was the start of a long relationship with award-winning director Phillip Kaufman. This led to future projects with such illustrious filmmakers as Terrence Malick, David Fincher, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Ben Affleck, Denis Villeneuve, and Martin Scorsese.

    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.

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  • Lynne Ramsay

    Lynne Ramsay

    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),...
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    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.

    Transitioning to the longer form, Ramsay had a similar meteoric rise, winning a BAFTA award for Most Promising Newcomer for her haunting debut feature ‘Ratcatcher’ (1999). She then went on to direct ‘Morvern Callar’ (2002), a psychological drama which received a slew of awards, including two at Cannes. In 2011, Ramsay directed the highly acclaimed film ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’, which starred 2018 Qumra Master, Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly. The film explored the complex relationship between a mother and her son and received widespread critical praise and recognition, including a Palme d’Or nomination —solidifying Ramsay’s reputation as a filmmaker with a unique and uncompromising vision.

    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.

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  • Michael Winterbottom

    Michael Winterbottom

    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)...
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    Winterbottom transitioned to film in the early 1990s and quickly established himself as an innovative director and writer—known for his unconventional approach to storytelling, often blending genres and utilising non-linear narratives in his films. His early work, including ‘Butterfly Kiss’ (1995) and ‘Go Now’ (1995), showcased his willingness to experiment with both form and style. He continued to push the boundaries of conventional filmmaking with films like ‘Welcome to Sarajevo’ (1997) and ’24 Hour Party People’ (2002), which entwined elements of drama, comedy, and documentary.

    In addition to his unique style, Winterbottom is also known for his socially conscious films, which often tackle issues such as political injustice, poverty, and human rights. Such films include 'In This World' (2002), which followed the journey of two Afghan refugees as they make their way from Pakistan to London, 'The Road to Guantanamo' (2006), a dramatised account of the experiences of three British Muslims who were imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay and the heartrending 'Eleven Days in May' (2022), which documents the bleak reality of life in Gaza today.

    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.

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  • Sir Christopher Hampton

    Sir Christopher Hampton

    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...
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    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’.

    In addition to his work as a playwright and screenwriter, Hampton has also been a director and translator, bringing works by playwrights such as Ibsen, Molière, von Horváth, Chekhov, Yasmina Reza, and Florian Zeller to the English-speaking stage. His plays, musicals and translations have so far garnered four Tony Awards, three Olivier Awards, five Evening Standard Awards and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award.

    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.

    Throughout his career, Hampton has tackled a wide range of subject matter, from political satire to psychological drama. A proven master of the written word, he is celebrated for his ability to delve deep into the human psyche and explore complex themes such as power, desire, and morality. Hampton’s work is an inspiration to many aspiring writers, and his innate ability to tell stories that truly resonate with audiences is a testament to his talents as a storyteller and dedication to his craft.

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