The Doha Film Institute has unveiled plans for the inaugural edition of its Qumra initiative for first- and second-time filmmakers. Directors and producers attached to up to 25 projects in development or postproduction, including those with funding from DFI, will be invited to participate in the event. The program will feature industry meetings designed to assist projects to their next stages of development, as well as a program of public screenings curated with input from the Qumra Masters.

Qumra will be supported by the Sarajevo Film Festival. Filmmaker Elia Sulieman will continue in his role as artistic adviser to Qumra and DFI. Paolo Bertolin and Violeta Bava are on board as programming and industry advisors.

The event is set to take place in Doha from March 6-11. The announcement comes as the second edition of DFI’s Ajyal Youth Film Festival was brought to a close with the Middle East premiere of Roger Allers’ Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, co-produced and co-financed by DFI and Salma Hayek.

Abderrahmane Sissako (Timbuktu), Leila Hatami (A Separation), Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) and Danis Tanović (No Man’s Land) are the first names confirmed to participate as Masters.

“The concept for Qumra has evolved over time into something that responds to the needs of filmmakers in a very meaningful way,” Suleiman said. “It is founded on the idea that creativity and imagination should have a space to be nurtured and we intend to guide these emerging talents along the path to realize their vision.”