The first of the Qumra Talks, led by acclaimed photographer Brigitte Lacombe, was defined not only by a journey down 40 years of her illustrious career but also her inspiring work on behalf of Qatar in documenting international film talents and Arab women in sports.
In an inspiring presentation that featured mesmerising photographs of celebrities – from Leonardo DiCaprio to Meryl Streep and Mick Jagger, as well as Malala, Barack Obama and more – Lacombe took audiences through the story behind the portraits, underlining that she looks “for that moment of authenticity” in every frame.
This was part of the second edition of Qumra Talks. Leaders from film, television, technology and online worlds take part in insightful discussions with the first talk presented in partnership with the Northwestern University in Qatar.
Lacombe was also joined on stage by her sister, renowned documentary filmmaker Marian Lacombe, and together, they also presented two of the illustrious projects championed by Qatar – I am Film, a visual archive of filmmaking talent – from the Arab world and beyond – as well as Hey’Ya: Arab Women in Sport, an inspiring take on the female athletes from the region.
For Hey’Ya: Arab Women in Sport, the Lacombe sisters had set up an outdoor studio at the Athletes Village at the Arab Games in Doha in December 2011, and was shot over a period of seven months.
They also travelled through the Gulf and North Africa and worked with female athletes of all ages and levels of achievement.
Arabic for ‘Let’s Go,’ Hey’Ya had 31 Qatari girls engaged in different sports form swimming to shooting.
“Our association with Brigitte goes back many years, when she was here in Doha for the Brigitte Lacombe Mentoring Programme for young photographers,” DFI CEO Fatma al-Remaihi said.
“We also worked together on I Am Film, which documented over 350 cinematic icons and on In Production, which captured the action behind the scenes at DFI’s co-productions,:” she noted.
“She is a true friend of Qatar and DFI, who inspires legions of young talents around the world through her dedication and commitment to photography.”
Sharing her story, Lacombe said she was introduced to the world of photography after her father gifted her a camera.
“I had no idea that it (photography) would become my entire life. There was not much of a natural propensity the first time around but gradually I became obsessed and it became my vocation,” she said.
A turning point in her life came when she decided to cover the Cannes Film Festival, at a time when there were very few women photographers. She said she places “100% attention on the subject” and is particularly focused on defining space and light, and ensuring that every work is like a one-on-one meeting.
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