Roll Film!

25 Mar, '06

IREX LogoTo the budding film-makers in us, read this:

Grants Available to Arab TV companies to produce local content

Independent Arab television news producers TV Production Fund Small Grants awards will be made under the MENA MEDIA program, administered through the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) and AmmanNet.

Up to ten television journalists and producers from Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, and the West Bank and Gaza will be able to seek small grants up to $20,000. A total of $150,000 will be available to Arab producers in two rounds this year.

Applications for the first round of grants are now being received with a deadline set for May 15th 2006. Productions dealing with issues like political processes and governments’ responsiveness to the needs of their citizens, women in public life, profiles of innovative/emerging leaders will be considered by a panel made up largely of independent Arab media workers. Projects which include alliances on content among television stations, print, radio or Internet outlets to ensure the productions have the broadest distribution possible will be given priority.
Read more…

I’m on the media advisory board of IREX and hope that I can help in any that I can to get Bahraini film-makers to participate in this. You know how to contact me.

Filed in: Human Rights
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Comments (5)

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  1. e. says:

    This is a very commendable cause and I am sure it is just what many aspiring film-makers needed. All the best to those who win.

    Yet I would like to point out that even though I agree that “these grants will help independent journalists and producers work in an environment free from these financial pressures”, the major issues facing us today are not financial, but political pressure.

    While I would love–and can easily afford–to produce a documentary about “political processes and governments’ responsiveness to the needs of their citizens”, I simply cannot do so for fear of reprisal. Money isn’t going to solve this problem anytime soon.

  2. mahmood says:

    I know self-censorship and know the fear you speak of. And I would love to be able to say that you need to be strong and courageous in order to push the envelope, but recognise the practicality of being in that position, because it might not be the government or its organs that might attack you and yours, but your very closest circle of your community who will do the honour.

    However I can’t but help think that the Arab culture has always attacked such systems and criticised rulers by being subliminal, in fact we have perfected the art! So in film, there must be a way to show the essence of the story-lines proposed subliminally without putting you and yours in immediate danger.

  3. Ali Al Saeed says:

    Thanks for bringing our attention to this Mahmood.

    I wonder if our documentary project falls into this category. We are still desperate for funds to complete the film.

  4. mahmood says:

    I was thinking of that this morning actually and was meaning to give you a call. Go to the site Ali and look at the requirements and download the application form. I think Models of Success is a prime candidate, the only spanner in the works is that it is really an American endeavour rather than a Bahraini one, although the Bahraini side of the story does constitute good numbers.

    But have a look and submit your application. It is up to the judges to decide if your doco qualifies and you’re not losing anything by submitting your work.

    Good luck!

  5. alfanan says:

    I do hope that Models of Success gets the chance for considiration. I though it’s more geared towards Arab women rather than Bahraini women, but it should definitly get the chance to be among other productions.

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