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Qumra, the Doha Film Institute's film incubator platform, held its second edition earlier this month.During conversations and interviews with the first- and second-time filmmakers who are its focus, an informal consensus emerged that Qumra is a unique and worthwhile initiative for this region's young filmmakers.Raheb's film will follow the extended family Marlene acquires as meets these survivors.Qumra assembles recipients of DFI's development, production and post-production grants and connects them with seasoned cinema professionals – directors, producers, distributors, festival programmers and the like.A veteran of the European film lab circuit, Abou Saifan was enthusiastic about her time at Qumra.Qumra is distinct in its emphasis on mentorship, underlined by the starring role played by the "masters" – a small cluster of cinema veterans who present their work, conduct master classes and offer advice on a number of candidates' film projects.For art film lovers, the senior figure among Qumra's 2016 masters was Russian auteur Aleksandr Sokurov, who is among the towering figures of late 20th-century art cinema. Sokurov surprised many at his master class with his apparently dismissive views of cinema as a derivative artistic form, while insisting on devoting hours to each of the film projects he mentored. When Stepanyan and her French producer, Cosmograph Productions' Nathalie Combe, came to Qumra the film was in the last stages of post-production.
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