Screen Institute Beirut is now accepting applications for its newly-established film fund, which will seek to provide production grants and technical facilities to selected documentary filmmakers. Submissions will be accepted until January 30, 2010.
Initial funding for the Institute’s activities has been secured from International Media Support IMS in Denmark. However, the Institute will need further funding in the future to guarantee its sustainability, commented executive director, Paul Baboudjian.
“Our main objective is to support and promote filmmaking in all its forms as an important means of expression of cultural, artistic and social values. We are looking to provide advanced education and training for those involved in the film-making industry and the media sector, thereby making an effective contribution to the region’s socio-economic, cultural and democratic development,” he commented.
“We hope to promote and develop an Arab screen culture that reflects the views, issues and interests of the audiences and communities of the Arab world. It will encourage filmmakers to tackle issues and stories of interest as well as world issues from an Arab perspective, including those pertaining to minorities and marginalised groups. We will also provide new equipment and techniques in filmmaking so that young professionals can benefit from its grants, while encouraging critical analysis of screen production,” he added.
The Institute will also provide equal training opportunities for women in the media field, and promote the making and distribution of programmes that reflects women’s perspectives, issues and role in society, Baboudjian claimed.
“We will pursue these aims through two main activities – The Screen Academy and The Film Fund,” he confirmed.
The Film Fund will be used to offer production grants to documentary filmmakers. Support will include cash grants as well as access to recording and editing equipment.
“The Film Fund will offer grants to young professionals who have already acquired enough experience to take on projects of their own. Priority will be given to creative teams that work together on realising their artistic vision, thereby helping to strengthen independent filmmaking in the region,” he stated.
Baboudjian stressed that the documentary grants “will allow the production and distribution of low-budget films”.
Candidates will be shortlisted based on the written projects in the first phase followed by meetings in the second phase.
Application forms can be downloaded from www.screeninstitutebeirut.org.