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