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'International film fests now more open to new talents'

Tribune News Network
Delegates from leading international film festivals have said they are increasingly open today to identify first- and second-time directors, the cross-section of talents that Qumra too nurtures.
At a networking session, as part of Qumra, the industry initiative by the Doha Film Institute (DFI) to nurture the new generation of filmmakers, delegates associated with Cannes, Venice, Rotterdam, Busan, Edinburgh and Dublin film festivals described the emphasis they place in identifying emerging talents.
"We are looking to expand our reach and have a larger geographic presence, especially in this part of the world," said Kim Young-woo, programmer at Busan International Film Festival.
The delegates lauded the role of Qumra in serving as a window into new works from the region.
The session, moderated by Paolo Bertolin, correspondent at Venice Film Festival, underlined the intensely competitive nature of international film festivals, with programmers having to sift through hundreds of films before they make the final cut.
Grainne Humphreys, festival director of Dublin International Film Festival, said the fest seeks to address the absences in distribution and help filmmakers to find new audiences for their films.
Christophe Leparc, managing director of Director's Fortnight and Director of Cinemed, said the selection for the Director's Fortnight at Cannes is"very eclectic and has no specific rules", with the films chosen to range anything from comedy to experimental.
While most festivals do not insist on having final cuts for their selection process, Bero Beyer, festival director of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, said a foremost consideration is to pick films that are"ought to be seen". Humphreys added:"We hope for our films to go beyond our own festival and we are always looking for something special."
Qumra hosts leading international filmmakers, producers and industry experts for knowledge-sharing and nurturing sessions with talents associated with 34 films from 25 countries. Directors and producers attached to 18 narrative feature films, 7 documentaries and 9 short films are participating in the event held at Souq Al Waqif and the Museum of Islamic Arts.