DOCmed – Training program for Arab producers in the field of Creative Documentary Film
For DOCmed project, the beginning of the year 2012 was very hectic, since three training sessions for three different groups were held in parallel in « La Marsa » region in Tunisia, between the 18th and the 24th of March 2012.
Around 35 producers and directors from the Arab world attended the one-week training. These were divided into 3 groups as follows: DOCmed 2011, DOCmed 2012 and last but not least DOCmed LOCAL. The idea behind this decision was to give the chance to the participants of the three groups to meet, encounter and get to know each other’s work.
The groups gathered in a charming hotel in one of the suburbs of Tunis away from the city and its haste. Each group had a tutor with whom the participants spent most of the time in what we call group work.
After the first and second sessions done last year, the third and final session of DOCmed 2011 group took place in 2012. For the first two days of the training, the 2011 group worked with the French producer Jacques Bidou on preparing the pitching sessions that were about to follow. The participants then moved to the one-to-one meetings with ten of the most esteemed decision makers in the documentary film industry representing the most prestigious companies and TVs in the world: ARTE France, ITVS USA, mec film, DIFF Dubai, Al Jazeera Documentary Channel, Al Arabia, France Télévisions, RTBF Belgium, WDR and AFAC.
In parallel, the first session of DOCmed 2012 was also taking place. It assembled 10 projects from the following countries: Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Morocco. These projects were selected among 52 received applications. The group was formed of 6 projects - where the director attended with his producer - and 4 projects - where the producers were also the directors of the movies.
The tutor of the 2012 group was the Syrian director and producer Hala Abdallah. The French producer Serge Lalou also joined this group, as a supervising tutor and as an expert holding, in parallel with Jacques Bidou, one-to-one meetings with the producers and directors to discuss their projects.
The DOCmed LOCAL group consisted of eleven Tunisian producers and directors. For the second year in a row, DOCmed gave an opportunity for young professionals to develop their projects. It is to be noted that this session is held only once every year, and welcomes Arab producers and directors who are residents of the Arab host country.
The pedagogical team of this group was formed by the Lebanese director Ghassan Salhab, tutor of the group, and the French producer Marianne Dumoulin, who held one-to-one meetings with the producers and directors to discuss the production side of their projects.
In addition to the training sessions and collective group work, the participants of the three groups gathered daily around a series of plenary sessions:
· “Copyright”, presented by Me Nader Obeid.
· “Producers and production companies”, presented by the French producer Jacques Bidou.
· “Financing and distribution means”, presented by German producer Irit Neidhart.
· Case study of the movie « Yamo » followed by a discussion with the director Rami Nihawi.
· Case study of short movies from Syria followed by a discussion with the director Hala Abdallah.
In an attempt to strengthen networking, a dinner was organized, involving DOCmed three groups and ACCESS participants. ACCESS (Access to Markets in the Digital Era program) is another project supported by Euromed Audiovisual program, aiming at developing the participants’ skills to enter markets in the digital era. This encounter contributed to the two groups getting to know each other, at the individual and collective level.
At the end of the sessions, a closing ceremony took place, during which certificates were awarded to the producers who took part in the three sessions of DOCmed 2011. The Syrian producer and director Soudade Kaadan was given a certificate on behalf of her colleague Bahraa Hijazi who did not attend the last session due to being arrested in Syria; she handed it over to her as soon as she was out of jail.
This one-week training session established a professional working atmosphere amongst the producers and directors of the three groups; it also enhanced the potential of the participants coming from various Arab countries to establish a solid network between them.
It is to be noted that DOCmed is a training program over three years, addressed to Arab producers and directors in the field of creative documentary film, organized by Beirut DC (Lebanon), EURODOC (France) and Doc à Tunis (Tunisia), with the collaboration of ARTE France and the support of Dubai International Film Festival and Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC).
For more information, please visit our website www.docmed.me, as well as our Facebook page, titled “DOCmed”.
This document has been produced with the help of the European Union. Its content is the sole responsibility of DOCmed and cannot be in any case a reflection of the position of the European Union.
This program is co-financed by the European Union, in the framework of Euromed Audiovisual.