The Doha Film Institute’s (DFI) new Qumra event, which kicks off on Friday (March 6), will welcome more than 100 global film professionals and 150 Qatar-based industry guests.

Attendees work across festivals, funding, sales, development, production and distribution.

The aim of the new event, which is more like a series of meetings and talks than a traditional film festival, is to support emerging film-makers.

DFI has selected 29 projects at various stages of production to take part in group and individual sessions; projects in post-production will show in rough-cut and works-in-progress screenings.

Activities will include screenings, masterclasses, mentoring labs and bespoke meetings.

Festival artistic directors and programmers will attend from the likes of Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Busan, Rotterdam, Locarno and IDFA, among many others.

Funders are attending from Eurimages, Hubert Bals Fund, Medienboard, the Sarajevo City of Film Fund, Creative England, the Danish Film Institute, Cinemas du Monde and regional funds like Abu Dhabi’s SANAD, Dubai’s Enjaaz and the Royal Film Commission Jordan.

Sales companies attending include Elle Driver, Fortissimo, Memento, Open City Films, Picture Tree International, Sikhya Entertainment, Urban Distribution International, WIDE, Wild Bunch and Visit Films.

MENA distributors in attendance include Gulf Film, Front Row Filmed Entertainment, Teleview International, Moving Turtle and MC Distribution.

Specific panels include Meeting The Demand For Regional Content on March 9, presented by Northwestern University in Qatar, which recently undertook a pan-Arab survey about media use. Panelists include Northwestern’s Joe Khalil, Fadi Ismail of O3 Productions; Hania Mroue of Metropolis Cinema; Khalifa Al-Haroon of iLoveQatar; Mohammed Makki of the Takki series; and Selim El Azar (pictured) of Gulf Film.

As previously reported, Qumra’s masters this year are Gael García Bernal, Leila Hatami, Cristian Mungiu, Abderrahmane Sissako and Danis Tanović; they will present public screenings in addition to delivering industry masterclasses.

DFI CEO Fatma Al Remaihi said: “The projects selected for Qumra are by film-makers we have worked very closely with over time through our grants and development programmes. We are in a unique position to catalyse their work to the next stage through this intensive programme which has been designed with each of their individual needs in mind.

“I am extremely encouraged by the support that has been shown by film professionals from all sectors of the industry for the first edition of Qumra. Their immense generosity towards the new generation of film-makers is invaluable and I am certain that the connections formed over the coming weeks will resonate far into the future for all of the participants.”

Qumra runs from March 6-11.