Financing working group (FWG)

This working group has been put together in the framework of the “funding component” of the programme which consists in “exploring the possibilities of developing support funding mechanisms in the Region”, where the expected results are to create a “favorable environment” to create such mechanisms and to finalize discussions about the recommended type of support.
The mission of the FWG is particularly important and should give priority to establish a financial mechanism that will be mostly oriented to support South-South co-productions able to reach the regional and international markets.

  • The first Financing Working Group (FWG) meeting took place, at the Cannes film festival, May 22, 2012. It set up the main objectives of the Group: to work on a financial mechanism that will support films and audiovisual works “form script to screen” (script-writing, development, production, post-production, distribution, international promotion and marketing), to go for market oriented projects and for proposing a sustainable model.


  • The second Financing Working Group (FWG) meeting took place in Tunis, at the Carthage Film Festival, on 17 and 18 November 2012 : during this meeting dedicated to development support, it was stressed that active steps fostering writing, re-writing and  facilitating market access should be included in addition to financial assistance.


  • The third meeting took place in Beirut on 23rd-25th January 2013, during the DIASUDMED conference and gave the opportunity to work further on a model for "Mediterranean Development fund" presented by Mohannad Al Bakri (SAE Jordan), as well as to focus on production, co-prodcution and distribution supports. The group´s discussions benefited from the input offered by 3 studies presented by Diane Aractingi (Fantascope Production, Lebanon) about the existing supports for production and co-production in the Region and for Arab films beyond it, by Mohamed Layadi (Marrakech spectacles, Morocco) about the distribution supports and by Linda Beath (Ideal Filmworks, italy) about the possible tax incentives to be introduced in the Region in order to foster the investment of private equity to the film production sector. The group unanimously stressed the importance of spreading the use of those tax incentives that are not used in the Region so far instead of creating one more film fund. But progress have to be made in the legal field to allow more co-productions to happen as well as in the networking of professionals in order to allow more contacts and collaborations in the Region. Concerning distribution that is still the weak link in the Region, the role of broadcasters as well as the positive impulse given by the creation of the MEDIS network of Mediterranean distributors have been underlined.
  • The fourth meeting took place in Cannes on May 18-20, 2013, on the sidelines of the international Film Festival in Cannes. With this meeting, a preliminary assessment of actions taken was established: 5 studies published, providing professionals with practical and strategic information on the available sources of financing and existing co-productions; a project for a financing mechanism for development and market access, which will be completed and promoted end of June; and two new avenues to explore:
    •    How to improve the broadcasting of audiovisual works on television and how to enhance production.
    •    How to improve coproduction in its legal aspects.
  • The 5th meeting of the Financing Working Group, in La Rochelle (France) in collaboration with the international documentary market Sunny Side of the Doc, June 26 to 27, 2013. During its 5th meeting the FWG finalized its project for a new regional financial mechanism (the Mediterranean Development Fund) and added to its recommendations (to be published in September) the establishment and dissemination of a guide of existing best practices to enhance better relation and communication between broadcasters in the region and independent producers and thus a broader broadcasting of regional films and TV programs.

Members of the financing working group:


Ben Chikh-Djoudi Zahia
Director in charge of art development and promotion
Culture Ministry

Nabila Rezaig
Head of Cinema Department
Algerian Agency for Cultural Outreach
In charge of Algerian cinema participation and outreach abroad and bringing foreign cinema to Algeria and of films production and coproduction.

Malek Ali Yahia
Lawyer/Producer/distributor M.D.Cine


Hala Galal
SEMAT Production and Distribution
Filmmaker, scriptwriter, and producer.
Founder & Executive director of SEMAT Production & Distribution.
Working since 10 years in Cairo, she created SEMAT an organization for supporting Independent.
Cinema in Egypt and the Arab World. Was for 3 years the director of the film festival "The Caravan of the Euro Arab Cinema".
Now director of Cairo Cinematheque.


George David
General manager
Royal Film Commission
The Royal Film Commission (RFC) was established with a vision to develop an internationally competitive Jordanian film industry.
Founded in accordance with the Royal Film Commission Law No. 27 for the year 2003, approved by Law No. 22 issued by the Parliament in 2008, the RFC is a financially and administratively autonomous Jordanian government organization led by a Board of Commissioners chaired by His Royal Highness Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein.
The RFC reflects His Majesty King Abdullah II's resolve and commitment to having Jordan play a leading cultural and economic role, regionally and internationally.
The RFC is a member of the Association for Film Commissioners International (AFCI).

Nada Doumani
Communication & Culture Manager
Royal Film Commission

Khaled Haddad
Executive Producer/General Manager Jordan Pioneers

Founder, Executive Producer and General Manager of the Jordanian company ‘Jordan Pioneers Multimedia Production Company’, Khaled Haddad, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Cinema Studies from Cairo University. With over twenty-two years of experience in the audiovisual, communications, film & TV field, Haddad has served as producer, director and media management consultant, leading numerous projects during his professional career.

Mohannad Al Bakri
Regional Managing Director-Luminus Media, Jordan
Managing the Luminus Media, a company acting as an umbrella for
- SAE Mediaschool: the Arab world school that teaches-filmmaking
- Animation-Sound engineering-game Design and digital journalism
- B4 Film and animation production company, offering services for Film and animation at international level and content development (IP)


Maya Defreige
Présidente -Fondation Liban cinéma

“Fondation Liban Cinéma” (FLC) is a non-profit private association created in February 2003, whose objective is to participate in the development of cinema industry in Lebanon, through the support of creation, production and promotion of Lebanese films as well as the promotion of Lebanon as a production centre. Since its creation, FLC is present in several areas (promotion at festivals and markets, training, preservation of audiovisual heritage, promotion of Lebanon as location for shooting etc…) and via its activities it plays a federating role in the Lebanese audiovisual sector.

Paul Chucrallah
Acting director of Berytech Technology and Health
Senior Strategy and Business Advisor to the existing Berytech Fund
- Run of the sites of berytech “system”
- Also a senior strategy and Business Advisor to the existing Berytech Fund
- Working on structuring and raising the new Berytech Fund, which will become the second of such fund. It will have an allocation that will be invested as equity in audiovisual projects, movies and others.


Meriem Khatouri
Director of media development
Ministry of communication
In charge of all audiovisual, film, new technologies, copyright affairs:
- Assessment and monitoring of public policies, proposal of development action plan
- Participation to drafting programmes and specifications, actions plans development.

Sarim Fassi Fihri
Producer, film studio and production facilities owner.
As President of a the main trade association he was involved during these last 16 years in writing and developing all the Moroccan texts interesting the film business in Morocco, including film funds.

Mohamed Beyoud
Artistic director of the Meknes international animation film festival (FICAM)
Festival programmer
Development of training programmes for Moroccan art schools students and professionals
Development of media literacy programmes in schools.


Alia Arasoughli
Director General of Shashat Women Cinema

Shashat is a cinema NGO based in Ramallah involved in Capacity Building of the Palestinian filmmaking sector with emphasis on women filmmakers.
SHASHAT’s also organizes the Annual Women’s Film Festival in Palestine: longest running film festival in Palestine and longest running women’s film festival in the Arab world.

Hani Abu Assad
Film director/producer

Firas Khoury
Director & Screenwriter

A Palestinian director and screenwriter, Born in 1982. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Film and Cinema from Tel Aviv University.
Firas wrote and directed several short films (less than 10 mins), among them are “Islamic” (2005) “Asi & Gil”, and “Hit Man” (2006). He co-wrote and was 1st AD in the short film "Music from the heart". "Seven Days in Deir Bulus" (42 mins, 2007) is Firas Khoury's directorial debut. “Suffir/yellow mums” (32 mins, 2010) is his 2nd short film. Both films won international awards and were screened in TV channels around the world.

Itidal Ismail
Director General of Youth
Higher Council for Youth and Sports

The Higher Council of Youth and Sports is a governmental institution operating under the umbrella of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Jerusalem and Diaspora in Lebanon and Syria.
The youth sector in Palestine includes more 350 institutions working in various sectors that interest youth especially in the field of community development and youth programs, culture and audiovisual.

Abdel Salam Shehada
Black & White Productions


Adnane Khedher
General Director of Tunisian Cinema and Picture National Center (CNCI)

He holds a master in Economics, and started his professional career in 1988 as director of production for fiction dramas on Tunisian television.
On January 28, 2011, he was named director on Tunisian Channel 2, then on November 6, 2011, director of Tunisian Channel 1. On January 7, 2012; he was named president of Tunisian television. On 1st October 2012 he was named General Director of Tunisian Cinema and Picture National Center.
He is teacher at the Higher Audiovisual and Film Institute (Ecole Supérieure de l'Audiovisuel et du Cinéma) for the director of production concentration, since 2006.

Mounira Ben Hlima
Director of Audio-Visual Arts
Ministry of Culture

Anis Lassoued
Director and producer, director of the Nabeul Maghreb film Festival

Coordinator of the caravan "Ana hunna" supported by GIZ in the MENA region
Member of the board of the Association of Tunisians Filmmakers (ACT)

Melik Kochbati 
Producer, Paprika Films

After starting his career in finance and insurance, Melik moved to the film business. He acted during 5 years as financial director within independent French production companies where he participated into numerous feature films. Since 2011he is managing his own production companies, Paprika Films in tunisia and Elefanto Films in France where he produced numerous shorts and documentaries. he is currently developing 3 feature films projects. Melik is a member in the Tunisian producers trade union, founder and director of the Tunisian film Festival and president of the association to the young Tunisians in Paris.

Capacity Development Support Unit Team

Catherine Buresi
Funding Expert
Catherine Buresi is working since more than 20 years in the European and international film industry with a focus on festivals, markets and co-production. She has been amongst others Co-Director of The European Film Market (Berlinale Film Festival), collaborator in different markets, co-production markets and events (Cannes Producers network, Berlinale co-production market and Talent Campus, Dubai Film Connection…, Team leader of the Euromed Audiovisual II programme, CEO at EAVE – European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs, a professional training programme targeting European producers and related professionals.

Berthold Wohlleber
Team Leader


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