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11 New Documentary Projects to Receive AFAC Grants

21 Jul, 2016 

The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) announced today the 11 documentary projects to receive the grants of the fourth edition of AFAC’s Documentary Program (ADP).


ADP provides financial and professional support to creative documentary films from the Arab region, with the support of Ford Foundation’s JustFilms program. The 11 new documentary projects, in the stages of production and post-production, feature established as well as emerging filmmakers seeking to shed light on narratives that approach social realities in the Arab world in creative and compelling ways.


ADP’s 2016 jury committee comprised film professionals from different backgrounds and nationalities: French independent producer Camille Laemle, Egyptian writer, director and producer Jihan El-Tahri, and Palestinian filmmaker Kamal Al Jafari.


After a series of comprehensive discussions in the AFAC offices in Beirut, the jury selected eleven projects to receive funding from ADP, 4 in production and 7 in post-production. The selected projects come from: Syria (3), Lebanon (2), Palestine (2), Egypt (1), Tunisia (1), Sudan (1) and Morocco (1).


Commenting on the selection, the jury issued the following statement:

“After concluding deliberations, the 2016 AFAC documentary jury would like to share its appreciation of the exceptional quality of the projects submitted to the 4th cycle.


The jury gathered in Beirut, found the themes of the projects coming from 10 countries across the region a clear expression of the urgencies that face Arab populations in general. There is distinct concern with the fall out of the upheavals that have struck at the heart of Arab societies over the past five years. Transformation and transition seem to be key issues that have grasped the imagination of the talented filmmakers whose projects we examined. The vital role of the image and the vision that the filmmakers transmit through their narratives will undoubtedly play a crucial role in discerning a better future. The entire selection demonstrated the courage with which this generation of filmmakers is willing to take risks, question society and interrogate political realities.


After a series of in depth discussions and considerations, the Jury has concluded to attribute its support to 11 projects. The winning projects highlight the strong vision of a disparate number of talented directors who transmit through their lenses a glimmer of hope despite the grim realities of their subject matter. The charismatic protagonists chosen to navigate each of the chosen narratives demonstrate a clear and deep-rooted connection of the filmmakers with the society they are attempting to decipher.  With knowledge, engagement and self-reflection the projects lend a critical eye to the social and political realities of our time.


Most important, the powerful cinematic approach that transpires from the chosen projects, underlines the consolidation of a wave of skillful documentary filmmakers whose distinct voice will continue to be heard.  Arab documentary filmmakers have undoubtedly acknowledged the unique position they hold to transmit our collective stories. These projects are simply representative of how the tool of their trade is an indispensable resource for transformation in the Arab World.”


AFAC’s Documentary Program welcomes, on an annual basis, submissions of feature-length, medium-length and short documentaries in the production and post-production phases.


As with its other programs, AFAC will offer, in addition to the financial support, professional support for selected grantees through workshops, one-on-one meetings with cinema experts and opportunities that bring their directors and producers into film markets and circuit of international film festivals.


The next ADP call for submissions opens in February 2017.


ADP 2016 winning projects:

194. Us, Children of the Camp by Samer Abu Qatmeh
A Comedian in a Syrian Tragedy by Rami Farah
A Long Breath by Remi Itani
Amal by Mohamed Siam
Ghost Hunting by Raed Andoni
Last Men in Aleppo by Feras Fayyad
My Friend Gadhgadhi by Rafik Omrani
Off Khartoum Sides by Marwa Zein Al-Abdin Fadl
Suspended Wives by Merieme Addou
The Swing by Cyril Aris
We are not Princesses by Etab Azzam and Bridgette Auger

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