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AFAC Announces Twenty-Three New Documentary Film Projects to Receive Grants

06 Aug, 2018 

The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture – AFAC is happy to announce the selection of 23 new projects as part of its 2018 AFAC Documentary Program (ADP).


The 2018 AFAC Documentary Program jury committee brought together documentary filmmaker Diana El Jeiroudi (Syria), independent film editor and writer  Carine Doumit (Lebanon) and commissioning editor Reda Benjelloun (Morocco).


AFAC received 180 applications (compared to 98 applications in 2017) of which 43% were submitted by female filmmakers and 57% by male filmmakers. The projects’ directors were distributed among Lebanon (16%), Syria (16%), Egypt (14%), Palestine (11%), Tunisia (11%), Morocco (10%), Algeria (10%), Jordan (4%), Iraq (2%), Sudan (2%), Libya (1%), Somalia (1%), Saudi Arabia (1%) and Comoros (1%).


The process of evaluation happened in two stages: a pre-selection of around 80 projects was made by a committee of readers and a final selection by the jury committee.


After two days of meetings and discussions, the jury selected 23 projects in the stages of development (8) production (8) and post-production (7) to receive a total of $350,000 in grants. The selected projects hail from Palestine (6), Algeria (3), Syria (3), Tunisia (3), Morocco (2), Egypt (2), Jordan (2), Comoros Islands (1), and Lebanon (1).

The highlight of the selection of the 23 projects is the first-ever grantee from the Comoros Islands, in addition to the number of female directors (12 out of 23) and the strong presence of directors working on their first or second projects (21 out of 23).


Commenting on the reviewed applications and selected projects, the jury stated:


“We were in the presence of “Desire”; the desire for self-affirmation, for drawing new maps, and the desire to not suffocate by limited geographies, boundaries or taboos. 
We are witnessing a new momentum in Arab documentary filmmaking, where authors have cut off with the heavy burden of yesterday. When they revisit history, they stand firmly in the moment and head into the future with a unique individuality.
Many projects emerged out of sincere self-expression and knowledge of its locale and of the other, where filmmakers are reclaiming the narrative through a creative discourse.
We favored those projects that chose to deal with urgent historical and political matters but with critique and a personal approach, and which kept an unsettled distance with their topics and subjects and brought about novelty. We were impressed by those projects that had artistry and craftsmanship, and that were preoccupied with the ordinary and the individual search for meaning in today’s madness.  We especially admired that film projects were made with such seriousness, conviction and uncompromising research, each attempting a complete and an integral narrative.”


The Winning Projects

Abo Zabaal 1989 by Bassam Mortada

Al Jidar: The Wall by Mira Sidawi

Between Walls by Laura Amna Stauth El Medestansi (The disqualified) by Hamza Ouni

Fragments From Heaven by Adnane Baraka

Gevar's Land by Qutaiba Barhamji

Guardian of the Worlds by Leïla Chaïbi

NAZ by Omar El-Khairy

Nothing About my Mother by Latifa Doghri

Orthodox Intifada by Nahed Awwad

Out of Place by Dorothée Myriam Kellou

Paris Stalingrad by Hind Meddeb

Red Card by Mohamed Said Ouma

The Color of Phosphate by Ridha Tlili

The Last Scene by Eyas Almokdad

The Way Home by Wael Kadlo

They Planted Strange Trees by Hind Shoufani

Tiny Souls by Dina Naser

Traces of Home by Colette Ghunim

Une Maison Pour Buster Keaton by Lamine Ammar Khodja

We are from there by Wissam Georges Tanios

We Carve Words in the Earth by Mahasen Nasser-Eldin

Whispers of Artsakh by Sareen Hairabedian




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