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Doha Film Institute Announces James Gray, Jessica Hausner and Mark Mangini as Qumra 2020 Masters

Feb 04, 2020

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  • Oscar® winning sound designer Mark Mangini accumulated over 125 film credits for composing and imagining altered sonic realities for motion pictures over his 42-year career in Hollywood
  • Renowned film director James Gray made his first feature film at the age of 25, leading to a vibrant career in Hollywood with four of his features competing for the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival
  • Film director and screenwriter Jessica Hausner’s films are a fixture on the international festival circuit including Cannes Film Festival

Doha, Qatar; 4 February 2020: Academy Award-winning American sound designer Mark Mangini, Cannes Film Festival veterans American director James Gray and Austrian film director & screenwriter Jessica Hausner are confirmed as the first three Qumra Masters of the Doha Film Institute’s (DFI) annual talent incubator for emerging global talent, taking place from March 20 to 25.

In the 6th edition of Qumra, the three prolific filmmakers will deliver Master Classes to upcoming filmmakers from Qatar and around the world, providing them with unique creative development and mentorship opportunities. Qumra also provides participants with thorough mentoring sessions and tutorials led by global film industry experts.

Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute, said: “We are deeply honoured to welcome three distinctive voices of modern cinema to this year’s Qumra Masters, who have each created a cinematic legacy for generations to come.

“Now in its sixth edition, Qumra is synonymous with professional development and knowledge-exchange, drawing on the unparalleled expertise of some of the world’s finest minds within the industry. All the Masters we have had at Qumra to date are luminaries in world cinema, who brought a unique perspective on filmmaking that has incredibly benefited emerging filmmakers in their journey to creative excellence. The latest edition of Qumra will continue its presence as a unique and important platform and project incubator for important voices and compelling stories in Arab and world cinema.”

The Institute’s Artistic Advisor, Elia Suleiman, noted: “The works of Mark Mangini, James Gray and Jessica Hausner have a vivid place in the history of world cinema. A renaissance man of modern filmmaking, Mark Mangini’s work consistently enrich the cinematic landscape, while Jessica Hausner provokes and entices audiences with her defiant portrayals of gender, love and faith, and converging our perceptions of reality, James Gray produces poetic images that mirror the true depth of human emotions. Our first three Qumra Masters for 2020 present exciting insights into modern filmmaking and will be an inspiration to all.”

James Gray
New York City native James Gray is a film director and screenwriter. He went on to study at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts before making his feature directorial debut with the crime drama Little Odessa (1994) at the age of twenty-five which won the Silver Lion award at the 51st Venice International Film Festival. He has made six other features, four of which competed for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

His body of work includes The Yards (2000), We Own the Night (2007) starring Joaquin Phoenix, Two Lovers (2008), The Immigrant (2013), The Lost City of Z (2016) and the sci-fi adventure Ad Astra (2019).

Jessica Hausner
Born in Vienna, Austria in 1972, Jessica Hausner studied directing at the Film Academy of Vienna where she made the award-winning short films Flora (1996) and Inter-View (1999), which won the Jury Prize of the Cannes Cinéfondation. Her body of work includes the Cannes nominated feature films Lovely Rita (2001) and Hotel (2004) selected to the Festival’s Un Certain Regard segment. Her feature Lourdes (2009), won the FIPRESCI Prize at the 66th Venice Film Festival.

In 1999, Hausner founded the Viennese film production company coop99. She was appointed a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2017. Her fifth feature film Little Joe (2019) premiered in competition at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival where its lead actress won the award for Best Actress.

Mark Mangini
Born in 1956 in Boston, Massachusetts, Mark Mangini grew up as a musician and attended Holy Cross College as a foreign language major. His passion for filmmaking and music prompted a move to Los Angeles in 1976, where he launched his career in sound department working for children’s cartoons before founding Weddington Productions – a successful post-production sound company that he ran for 25 years.

His extensive body of work as a supervising sound editor, sound designer, and recording mixer earned him five Oscar® nominations for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), Aladdin (1992), The Fifth Element (1997), and Blade Runner 2049 (2017). He won the award in 2015 for his work on Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).

Previous Qumra Masters

Previous Qumra Masters include iconoclastic Oscar® winning actor Tilda Swinton (Isle of Dogs, Michael Clayton, We Need to Talk about Kevin); Oscar® winning British costume designer Sandy Powell, OBE (The Young Victoria, The Aviator, Shakespeare in Love); Oscar® nominated director Bennett Miller (Capote, Moneyball, Foxcatcher); Academy Award® winning production designer Eugenio Caballero; Italian writer and Director Alice Rohrwacher; prolific Japanese director, writer, film critic, and Professor Kiyoshi Kurosawa; Academy Award® winning Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski; Venice Golden Lion winning Russian director and writer Andrey Zvyagintsev (Leviathan, Loveless); Cannes Palme d’Or winning Thai filmmaker and visual artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives); the only documentary director to win the Berlinale Golden Bear, Italian director Gianfranco Rosi (Fire at Sea); Argentina’s eminent Lucrecia Martel (The Swamp, The Holy Girl/ The Headless Woman); internationally acclaimed Portuguese producer Paulo Branco; Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® winning Iranian master Asghar Farhadi (A Separation/ The Salesman); French auteur Bruno Dumont (P’tit Quinquin); Cambodian creative documentarian Rithy Panh (The Missing Picture); Mexican actor/ director/ producer Gael Garcia Bernal (Amores Perros/ No/ Deficit), Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® nominated Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako (Timbuktu); Romanian auteur and Palme d’Or winner Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days/ Beyond the Hills); Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® winning Bosnian writer/director Danis Tanović (An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker/ Tigers, No Man’s Land); Palme d’Or winning Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Winter Sleep); Cannes Grand Prix winning Japanese filmmaker Naomi Kawase (The Mourning Forest); Oscar® nominated director Joshua Oppenheimer (The Act of Killing / The Look of Silence); Cannes Best Screenplay winning writer James Schamus (The Ice Storm); Aleksandr Sokurov (Russian Ark/ Francofonia); French New Wave cinema legend Agnès Varda, Japanese director and writer Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski.

The final 2020 Qumra Masters along with the selected projects will be announced during the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival.