Second day of a workshop organised by DoxBox that really has put an emphasis on establishing a so-called industry section of the two year old festival. Mikael Opstrup and I tutor 6 filmmakers with projects and 6 with no projects. The projects have been selected by the organisation – there are people from Egypt, Syria and Lebanon. Most of the film proposals have a very personal starting point, very European I would say, the author driven film tradition, auteur tradition, thank you Truffaut and Godard, high quality, but little money to be found in this region. Most of them have been abroad, two live abroad, and they have collected some funding from foreign sources.
To generalise: The reason to support them and not the Europeans who come here for a couple of weeks or months to shoot their documentaries… they know their world much better, they live here, they have personal experiences and so on. It sounds banal, so why are there not more Arab documentaries shown in Europe. One thing is of course lack of knowledge from our side, and promotion from the part of the region, this is what DoxBox rightfully is working on, the other is that we ask for producers to be involved when we open for calls for the EDN development and pitching sessions, and the training sessions supported by the EU MEDIA Programme.
But we dont have producers in this region, they say, and those we have are not good enough. We can make everything by ourselves. Build teams from your own generation are our easy answers, easier said than done, but the only way. Workshop is over tomorrow monday, 6 two page project descriptions will be ready to be presented the days after, to invited funders and filmmakers. More about that later. Photo: Loyly Sief, Egypt.