Toronto: Qumra Doha Film Festival Shapes Up For 2014 Dates

Abdulaziz Al Khater - P 2012

A trio of program advisors are appointed under the creative supervision of Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman as the festival organizers the Doha Film Institute ramps up plans.

TORONTO -- Plans for the inaugural edition of the Qumra Doha Film Festival are firming up under the creative supervision of artistic advisor Elia Suleiman, the Palestinian filmmaker.

Suleiman aims to bring emerging directors and their work from around the globe to the event in Qatar fueled by his desire to create a forum for fresh ideas and youthful optimism.

"The places and opportunity for such cultural endeavors are reducing, with opportunity getting less and less all the time," Suleiman said.

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His role is to create a philosophical framework for the event and he is currently attending the Toronto International Film Festival to gather intel on programming in action and look to take back practical tips to help shape his vision.

The Qumra Doha Film Festival will introduce a competition section has recruited three program advisors who will support DFI’s programming team to curate films for the first edition.

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.

Bertolin's resume boasts stints as a program advisor for the Asia-Pacific region, Bava has worked with the Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival since its inception in 1999 and the former BFI diversity head Sawhney is considered an authority on British Asian and South Asian cinema.

Under the creative supervision of Suleiman, the trio will work alongside DFI head of film programming Ludmila Cvikova and filmmaker and programmer Chadi Zeneddine.

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Doha Film Institute CEO Abdulaziz Al Khater 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 festival is backed and mounted by Qatar's Doha Film Institute in the Middle Eastern state and will run March 19 through 26, 2014.