The creation of SIB followed a major regional survey of the conditions for film education and production conducted in 2008. The initiative was due to International Media Support, IMS, an independent Danish NGO, whose focus is media in conflict, media and democracy, freedom of speech and building of partnerships.In 2009 SIB was set up as an independent Lebanese association.
SIB has received its funding for grants and overheads from International Media Support, approximately $400,000-$500,000 per year. No additional funding has been acquired.
Due to drastic reductions of IMS’ overall budget 2016, funding for SIB has been cut by 74% compared to the 2015 allocation. A basic grant has been made available that will cover the basic operating costs needed to assist the completion of on-going productions.
But SIB will not be able to offer any new production grants or continue a much needed course activity.
WHAT IS AT STAKE
The diverse range of films that flows out from SIB’s activity testifies of the need for telling stories of people’s lives, thoughts and endeavours that contribute to self-understanding and identity and communicate across cultures and borders.
A talented and enterprisingyoung generation has taken up film as their means of expression, but the conditions for producing documentary films in the region are paved with restrictions. The support in cash and kind offered by the Screen Institute has played a decisive role for the realisation of each film and for the progress of its originators. All that we stand to lose.
THE HARD FACTS
From 2010 to 2015 SIB has been offering approx. 16 annual production grants between $10,000 and $ 20,000 which makes up between $200,000 and $275.000 each year – a total of $1,200,000 over the 5 years.
The demand for grants is constantly increasing across the region and a realistic assessment of actual production costs suggests that an average increase of the size of grants to between $20,000 and $30,000 would benefit the feasibility, production and completion of the projects. This brings the need for funding up to $300,000-$400,000 in order to maintain the current production activity.