The Doha Film Institute (DFI) said it cancelled the 2020 edition of Qumra and its related activities on “assuming responsibility for the management of the health and safety of its residents and international visitors”.
“Due to the current global alert regarding the Covid-19 outbreak, the decision comes as part of the Institute’s contribution to manage and reduce the risk of further spread of the virus,” the DFI said in a statement.
“This was a very difficult decision, and although Qumra is an important event for our community and industry delegates, their safety and well-being remains our first priority. In order to reduce the risks to our guests in light of increasing global concerns over Covid-19, we are taking precautionary measures to proactively manage potential risks,” DFI CEO Fatma Hassan al-Remaihi said in the statement.
“DFI will continue to generate opportunities for this year’s 46 selected projects and strive to support them through this period of new challenges. We thank our Qumra Masters, filmmakers and industry participants for their ongoing passion and contribution to our commitment to reshape the global storytelling landscape and empower emerging voices to create cinema, to exercise creative expression and to transform inspired stories into acclaimed masterpieces, and look forward to future successful editions,” she added.
The Qumra 2020 industry event was set to start on March 20 with a select programme of 46 projects from 20 countries as part of the DFI’s mission to accelerate the success of filmmakers from the region and beyond and prepare them to bring their projects to audiences around the world.
At present, the DFI is working in close collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health and the Communicable Disease Center in Qatar to monitor developments and status regarding the novel coronavirus, the statement adds.