The Screen Institute Beirut (SIB), Lebanese non-profit association based in Beirut, was created in 2009 to support and strengthen creative documentary filmmaking in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with the aim of promoting freedom of expression and furthering film’s role socially and culturally thereby contributing to the progress of those communities and to further regional and inter-cultural understanding.
SIB offers financial support for production of documentary films, access to production equipment and post-production facilities – and assists with professional expertise throughout the various stages of the production and distribution process.
SIB’s permanent facility in Beirut is equipped with modern editing suites and operates on a daily basis. SIB offers specialized documentary film courses acknowledging individual needs for training and education as young people in the MENA region have had limited access to professional training. For every course or workshop we are choosing the expert tutors among established filmmakers from Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Denmark.
More than 240 filmmakers have been or are involved in key roles in the productions (director, producer, cinematographer, editor) and many more in assisting roles. It is remarkable that 43% women have occupied key roles, which far exceeds Western statistics. To date, the fund has received applications from the whole MENA region and Iran, with over 500 submissions in response to 15 calls for production and development funding. Each application represents two to five filmmakers in various capacities of specialization.
Thus young filmmakers from Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Iraq and Iran have benefitted from our grant program and course activities.
More than 80 projects have been funded and are in various stages of production and post-production; by the beginning of 2016, 39 films are in distribution.
SIB supported projects have been accepted to film festivals and markets in the Arab region, Europe, Far East, Latin America, the United States and Canada; many have been screened publicly in cinemas while distribution on DVD and internet sites as YouTube and Vimeo have made the films available to larger groups of individuals and communities. Film festivals and film/TV markets play an important role in securing wide exposure, as this is where television networks and distributors acquire films.
SIB keeps a record of the performance of all films in distribution and closely follows the future career of its grantees.
Every time a film is being produced young filmmakers take the next steps up their carrier ladder and add to the human resource base of their countries.
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