Thursday, October 18, 2012

Culture Resource production awards programme

Applications deadline: October 30, 2012

Arab artists, apply for the Culture Resource production awards programme!This program aims to encourage and support a new generation of Arab artists and writers by funding their early projects in the various fields of arts and culture. Culture Resource (Al Mawred Al Thaqafy) also provides young creators with advice on managing their productions and promoting them.

The program provides grants of up to US $6,000 in the fields of theater, literature, visual arts, and music, and US $10,000 in the field of cinema/video.

For more information, please visit the website 

Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde - Cannes 2013

Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde seeks film projects for Cannes 2013

Submission deadline: December 15

Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde seeks film projects for Cannes 2013The Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde, the professional programme of the Cinémas du Monde (lit. "World Cinema") pavillion at the Cannes Film Festival, each year allows talented filmmakers at the beginning of their career to develop their first of second feature film.

To find out more, click here.

Friday, October 12, 2012

TorinoFilmLab's Script&Pitch

Call for entries for the new editions of TorinoFilmLab's Script&Pitch and Writer’s Room workshops are open!


Script&Pitch is an advanced script development course for scriptwriters, writers/directors and story editor trainees from all over the world.
Deadline for applications: October 31st, 2012

TARGET PARTICIPANTS: professional scriptwriters, writer-directors, writer-producers and development executives, as well as film professionals interested in story editing training. Applications accepted from all over the world. The course is aimed at fiction feature film projects at an early development stage.

DURATION: 3 week-long residential workshops in March, June and November 2013 + 2 on-line sessions.

TorinoFilmLab's Writer’s Room workshop

Writer's Room 2013
in collaboration with Power to the Pixel

The Writer's Room focuses on the process of developing two transmedia projects within a team framework. There will be two calls for applications:

Call for transmedia projects:
Call for applications is open. Apply now!
Application deadline: October 31st, 2012

More infos here 

Sélection des Réalisateurs(trices) méditerranéens(nes) pour la Résidence d'Ecriture 1

Nous sommes très heureux de vous présenter la sélection des Réalisateurs Libanais pour la Résidence d'Ecriture 1 pour le projet Lumières sur la Méditerranée / Marseille(S) :

- Mohamed Sabbah / Liban
- Elie Kamal / Liban

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Jordan Film Fund

The Jordan Film Fund launches a call for submissions

The Jordan Film Fund launches a call for submissionsSubmission deadline: October 15

The Jordan Film Fund aims at empowering film makers to tell their stories and creating new jobs in the film industry, especially in Jordan.

For more information, visit the "How to Apply" page.

Berlinale co-production market

Experienced producers, apply to the Berlinale co-production market!

Submission deadline: October 24

Experienced producers, apply to the Berlinale co-production market!
Experienced producers from all over the world seeking international co-production and financing partners are invited to submit new feature film projects to the 10th Berlinale Co-Production Market. Approximately 20 projects will be selected.

Click here for more information

Carthage Film Festival’s Producers' Network

Take part in the Carthage Film Festival’s Producers' Network!

Take part in the Carthage Film Festival’s Producers' Network!

Submission deadline: September 30, 2012

The Carthage Film Festival (CFF) is setting up a producers' network to support and promote Arab and African filmmakers and producers with fiction or documentary feature film projects in development stage.

More details on :

Venice Biennale College

Director-producer teams, apply for the new Venice Biennale College!

Director-producer teams, apply for the new Venice Biennale College!Submission deadline: October 22

For detailed information click here

DOCmed 2013

Call for Arab producers - DOCmed 2013Call for Arab producers - DOCmed 2013

Submission deadline: December 3, 2012

You are a creative documentary producer or a director/producer from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, the Palestinian occupied territories, Syria and Tunisia and a holder of a documentary film project with the ambition of ensuring to your project the best conditions for productions and/or co productions ? Subscribe to DOCmed 2013.

More info:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Casting Call for an artist’s film.

A film by Florent Meng and Salma Cheddadi

“Parking” is a film directed by two French artists and to be shooted in Lebanon through Winter 2012 The casting will take place in Beyrouth in October and November 2012.

To apply, please send email with your name, age, short description and a photo portrait at the following adress :

Qualifications required
Boy or Girl, between 17 and 24. (Parental authorization for people under 18).
Speaking Arabic and French or English.
No acting experience required.
A certain liking for dancing is a plus.

Financial remuneration

The film’s production does not yet allow the financial remuneration of actors. We will nevertheless be offering a return plane ticket Beyrouth/ Paris and accomodation to the two selected actors in order to present the film in Europe. 

Monday, September 10, 2012




Dear film professionals,

First of all, I would like to congratulate Pierre Sarraf and the French Institute for this well organized and essential event.

For those who don’t know me, let me introduce myself briefly: I’ve been working on Lebanese films for ten years now, mostly as an assistant director, I directed a short film Bukra sette w noss/ Tomorrow, 6:30, and I am actually developing a feature film.

What I am about to say is just my personal opinion, a few ideas from a fellow film professional.

I was amazed by the keen interest sparked off by this event and by the presence of almost all the key players working in the very peculiar world of Lebanese cinema. The event revealed a very important element: the professionals’ undeniable will to create a viable industry and to put an end to our sector’s “poverty”.

As Pierre Sarraf underlined it from the start, the number of films produced in Lebanon is raising. The desire to make films as well. Today, there are new players in the Lebanese cinema’s landscape, new tendencies, but mostly new visions regarding cinema and the way to make it. For example, a strong will to develop a popular and commercial cinema.

I think this is very healthy. I also think Mr Bereyziat’s intervention was extremely necessary, and his presentation of the CNC (France’s National Cinema Center) simple but essential. Essential because many players of the Lebanese film industry [including me] have very little information on how the European film financing systems really works.

Here are the few ideas I would like to share:

A young director or screenwriter who has a project is often blocked early on in the process because he seldom knows what to do with it. He doesn’t know on which door to knock. First thing to do, of course, is to find someone who is going to guide him through the process. But this is easier to said than done.
On the other hand, a young talent who has an interesting project rarely has enough information regarding the steps to follow to “start things up”. This information needs to be accessible to everyone interested in cinema, and centralized. A Lebanese CNC? Yes, sure, why not? But before even talking about creating a Lebanese Fund for cinema, we should think about the way to create a center that would gather information to which every Lebanese would have access.
In short, there should be an alternative to the usual mouth to ear process (ie some director hears that another got a writing development fund somewhere and decides to have a go). It doesn’t cost much… it only requires will.

Having participated two years ago in the Rawi-Sundance screenwriter’s lab in Jordan, I realized how much the Jordanian Royal Film Commission was active and efficient. In a country where the film industry is less developed than in Lebanon, where there are less productions and where technicians aren’t (yet) as experienced, the RFC has succeeded where Lebanese players haven’t: it managed to canalize the energy and talents and to centralize the information linked to cinema.
I am also thinking about organizations such as Sundance in the USA, or Raindance in London, that started – parallel to their exponentially popular festivals – writing, directing and production workshops and created numerous “matchmaking” platforms. This logic creates a priceless dynamic. It also builds, on the long run, an industry…

I realized something flagrant during Thursday’s meeting: the fact that no one mentioned what I think is the major problem in Arab Cinema in general, and in Lebanon in particular: screenwriting. The problem was mentioned vaguely a couple of times, but should be, on a later stage, assiduously developed.
Most of Lebanese filmmakers have a tendency to jump into the making of their project before reaching a solid version of their script.
Blaming international commissions, regional distributors and the Lebanese government is unnecessary. It’s wasted energy. Learning to write a readable and original script is, in my humble opinion, much more important. The reason why most of the Lebanese (and foreign) projects fail is often linked to a fragile script. If the Lebanese cinema world wants to win the bet of “producing in Lebanon”, I think this factor should become a priority.
Screenwriting should be taught much more seriously in Universities and real and regular screenwriting workshops should be created. By the way, I salute the Lebanese Cinema Fondation who created, not long ago, a screenwriting workshop. I think the Fondation should be encouraged [and maybe even other organisms] to push this project even further, but also inform young talents more efficiently about the existence of these initiatives.
I would also like to point out that in parallel to screenwriting, young talents should know how to create a selling presentation file. Numerous people still don’t know how to write a synopsis, a director statement or even a biography.

I am personally tired of hearing the famous words “there is not money for Lebanese Cinema” and “we struggle too much to make films”. I think that filmmaking is a risky business, that everyone has to struggle to make it happen and that everywhere in the world the risk is the same. I do not want to count on the Lebanese State. The government is drowning enough in its own moving sands for me to allow myself to waste time in useless hopes. Of course, I hope that one day a National Fund would be created to develop the cinema industry, but I would not bet on it.
I think it would be judicious for the time being to develop matchmaking platforms so Lebanese directors, screenwriters and producers could be put in contact with international producers and “middlemen” who would help them in elaborating the right strategy for their projects. Because, let’s face it, one of the most recurrent problems of Lebanese projects is that they lack strategy, which leads filmmakers to seek improbable private sponsors.

I also felt a latent tension between two groups: a group which feels it belongs to a “quality cinema”, that advocates the virtues of an European method and defend “auteur films”, and another which consider itself belonging to the world of mass entertainment, American style. The debate didn’t really have the time to start, but I think a cold war has started, without anyone admitting it yet. It’s a debate as old as cinema itself. It takes all kinds to make a world, and the fact that viewers now have the choice between “auteur films” and a purely commercial cinema is, in my opinion, very healthy. I think that, on the long run, these two cinema visions should not make war but take into consideration that they do not fight on the same grounds. Note, by the way, that there are several degrees of possibilities between those two extremes and that there is a way to make intelligent films that are accessible to a mass audience.

Another thing that stroke me: the aggressiveness towards Lebanese cinema owners. Several people criticized the fact that cinema owners don’t encourage Lebanese Cinema. Local owners – alike international cinema owners in general – think in terms of free market economy. They want to sell as much tickets as possible. It’s normal. And I don’t think it is worth criticizing that attitude. I do not wish to defend this vision in general, but I don’t think they are the bad guys. I totally understand the logic that leads a cinema owner to priorities Transformers 2 over a Lebanese film that, four times out of five, is not likely to reach more than 20.000 entries, even if it’s kept in the theaters for a whole year.
I think Lebanese producers and directors should play the market’s game as the international distributors and producers do, whether they are betting on a “commercial film” or on an “auteur film”. Trying to deny the market reality is useless. Players should know the market, know their target and play the game accordingly. Producers of “auteur films” in Europe usually know that they can’t really fight against an American blockbuster and that they can’t win the competition in national multiplexes. However, they have alternatives, independent theaters which promote this kind of cinema. I find that the Metropolis theater plays that role beautifully in Lebanon. Maybe it is not enough and maybe other alternative theaters should be created, I don’t know… but I know it is useless to expect Planète, Empire and other circuits to play the part of the promoters of Lebanese Cinema. This will simply not happen.

It is an extremely vast subject. I just wanted to share with you these thoughts.

I wish you all good luck in all your projects.

Gilles Tarazi