Toni Collette by Christian Hogstedt

Source: Christian Hogstedt

Toni Collette

Toni Collette will attend Doha Film Institute (DFI)’s Qumra project development incubator in Qatar in March.

The Australian actress and producer joins the Qumra Masters programme, through which she will take part in a conversation about her career for the audience of 200 Qumra attendees.

Scroll down for the full list of Qumra feature-length projects

Collette will also mentor the creators of the projects in the Qumra lab, most of whom are first- or second-time filmmakers.

She joins previously announced masters Leos Carax, Claire Denis, Atom Egoyan, Martin Hernandez and Jim Sheridan for Qumra’s 10th edition, running from March 1-6.

Qumra has selected 42 projects for its 2024 edition, including 24 features, 11 shorts and seven web or TV series in various stages of production.

Titles include Eldorado, The Taste of the South from Alaa Eddine Aljem, the Moroccan director of Cannes 2019 Critics’ Week entry The Unknown Saint. The project recently participated in the DFI’s fall grants round; it follows a group of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa who arrive at a secret island where they must blend into the rules of a new society.

The selected projects will receive tailored creative mentorship on subjects related to storytelling, filmmaking, directing, editing, cinematography and sound. They will also receive business advice on financing and co-production strategy, marketing and packaging, project positioning, festival and distribution strategies, pitching and matchmaking.

32 of the 42 projects are previous recipients of the DFI’s Grants programme, with three supported through the Qatari Film Fund, and 11 helmed by Qatari or Qatar-based directors.

Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, DFI CEO, said Collette’s “incredible command of storytelling and bringing humanity to characters makes her a perfect addition to the lineup.

“Qumra underlines the Institute’s commitment to support promising global filmmakers in their script-to-screen journey and accelerate the success of standout projects ready to launch. Filmmakers that are traditionally under-represented in global cinema gain the opportunity to further hone the skills and develop the network they need to take their projects to the next level at Qumra.”

Qumra 2024 feature-length projects

Loglines provided by DFI

Development – Feature narrative

  • Eldorado, The Taste of the South (Morocco, France, Italy, Qatar) by Alaa Eddine Aljem, follows a group of migrants who are looking to reach Eldorado, a secret utopian island where everyone lives in peace.
  • To Leave or To Stay (Algeria, France, Qatar) by Azedine Kasri is about a suspended Franco-Algerian pilot who turns to cultivating his parents’ olive fields in Algeria.
  • The Dream Betrayed Me (Syria, France, Belgium, Germany, Qatar) by Mohammad Alchikho (“Shaikhow”) tells the story of a fake hero in a real war.
  • Al-Dana (Qatar) by Nora Al-Subai is about a young girl accused of bringing a curse on her village after the disappearance of a famous black pearl.
  • ‘Trouble Magnet’ (Palestine, Germany, Jordan, Qatar) by Ahmad Saleh is about Ali, a teenager, who rides an imaginary donkey from Palestine to Germany.

In Production – Feature narrative

  • Aisha Can’t Fly Away (Egypt, Tunisia, France, Qatar) by Morad Mostafa tells of the underworld of African migrant society in Cairo, as witnessed by Aisha, a Somali caregiver.
  • Roqia by Yanis Koussim (Algeria, France, Qatar) tells the tale of a disciple of an old Raqi (a Muslim exorcist) worried that his master’s Alzheimer’s may unleash a long-contained evil. 

Picture Lock – Feature Narrative

  • Across the Sea (Morocco, France, Belgium, Qatar) by Said Hamich Benlarbi, set in the 1990s, is about Nour, 27, who has immigrated illegally to Marseille and lives a marginal and festive life.
  • Aïcha (Tunisia, France, Italy, KSA, Egypt, Qatar) by Mehdi Barsaoui, questions how far can we go to break free from our past?
  • Ma (Myanmar, South Korea, France, Qatar) by The Maw Naing is the story of a young Burmese woman who moves to the big city to work in a garment factory to support her family.
  • Perfumed with Mint (Egypt, France, Brazil, Qatar) by Muhammed Hamdy is about old friends who reunite in a nightmare where mint sprouts out of their bodies.
  • Celebration (Croatia, Qatar) by Bruno Anković explores the life of Mijo and the circumstances that lead to an expansion of fascism and extremism both in history and today.
  • Locust (Taiwan, France, USA, Qatar) by KEFF is set in Taiwan, where a mute twenty-nothing struggles to find meaning in the injustice of everyday life.

Development – Feature documentary or essay

  • House No 7 (Syria, Qatar) by Rama Abdi is about three girls who meet and rent rooms in an old Damascene house after escaping their conservative societies, hoping to create a safe space isolated from everything.
  • In the Shade of the Royal Palace (Dwellers of the Cabins) (Egypt, Qatar) by Hend Bakr, about people who used to live together in the centre Alexandria but were completely detached as if they lived in a distant, isolated village.
  • My Mother & I (Iraq, Egypt, Qatar) by Dilpak Mated centres around a woman in her seventies, deeply connected with her sheep, and embarks on a journey through loss and change when her mother falls ill.
  • After Tahar (Algeria, France, Qatar) by Soufiane Adel, the story of the director’s large Algerian immigrant family against the backdrop of his grandfather, an infantryman in the French Army in Indochina.

Work in Progress – Feature documentary or essay

  • Do You Love Me (Lebanon, France, Germany, Qatar) by Lana Daher is a personal journey through Beirut’s fractured historical, social, cultural, and political landscapes using archive footage.
  • Hawa (Iran, France, The Netherlands, Afghanistan, Qatar) by Najba Nouri and Rasul Nouri documents Hawa, 40 years after her arranged marriage as a child, now eager to finally begin an independent life and to be literate.
  • Naseem, Fight With Grace (UK, Qatar) by Ana Naomi de Sousa recounts the “people’s history” of British-Yemeni featherweight boxer Naseem Hamed, who became a world champion in 1995
  • Son of the Streets (Palestine, Poland, Qatar) by Mohammed Almughanni is about a stateless Palestinian child in a Beirut refugee camp, who embarks on a courageous journey for recognition, education, and a brighter future.
  • The Myth of Mahmoud (Palestine, USA, Lebanon, Kenya, Yemen, Jordan, Qatar) by Mayar Hamdan and Shaima Al Tamimi captures a Palestinian family who made Doha their home 60 years ago, once again grappling with the dilemma of moving or fighting to remain. 

In Production – Feature documentary or essay

  • Khartoum (Sudan, UK, Germany, Qatar) by Rawia Alhaq, Anas Saeed, Timmea Ahmed, Ibrahim Ahmad (Snoopy) is about a street boy, a civil servant, a tea lady, and a medic—four lives weave together in peace and war in this creative documentary set in the city of Khartoum, Sudan.
  • Niemeyer 4 Ever (Lebanon, France, Germany, Qatar) by Aurélia Makdessi is about the now-shuttered International Fair created by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and the local Lebanese who attempt to rehabilitate his imagined utopia.
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