Third meeting of Financing Working Group concludes successfully

More regional coproduction is necessary to strengthen South Mediterranean production and distribution

Programme Activities, Euromed Audiovisual News

Third meeting of Financing Working Group concludes successfully

This issue and means for achieving more South Mediterranean production and distribution were the focus of the discussions of the finance working group at its third meeting held in Beirut on 23-25 January as part of Dia Sud Med professional meetings.

Mrs Elsa Fenet, Head of the Political, Economic, Commerce, Press and Information Section at the European Union Delegation in Lebanon welcomed the 28 members of the financing working group, film and audiovisual professionals, private and public sectors included, from the 8 Southern Mediterranean countries.

In her opening address, Mrs Fenet emphasized the importance of South-South cooperation in the Euromed partnership and hailed the meeting as part of this undertaking.


The group discussions held in Beirut focused on two aspects:

  1. following up on the work started in November in Tunis on supporting development
  2. and extensive work on the needed recommendations based on existing support to production and distribution.

Mediterranean development fund
Mohannad Al Bakri (SAE, Jordan) presented a model of a “Mediterranean development fund” on the basis of the recommendations made at previous meetings. The model includes two support phases:

  • one is primarily intended for first and second projects and includes financial assistance as well as support to complete project writing and possibly to help find a producer;
  • the second phase could address experienced professionals; it requires the participation of a producer and focuses on market access through a “producer forum” in addition to financial assistance.

The group has approved this model with the members and transfer to professionals in the respective countries a questionnaire aimed at testing its validity by a field survey.

Comparative study on currently available support to production in the region
Diane Aractingi (Fantascope productions, Lebanon) presented a comparative study on currently available support to production in the region and worldwide. The members of the group agreed that primary needs are not financial support but rather include greater exchange of information and expertise, a more favorable legislative framework to increase coproduction agreements in the region and a more consistent participation of braodcasters.

Action plan on tax incentives
The need for private funding was also discussed by the group against the background of the presentation by Linda Beath (Ideal Filmworks, Italy). Linda spoke about the action plan on tax incentives on which the Capacity Development Support Unit has been working. The action plan  provides information and expertise kits to countries in the region that plan to introduce the tax credits or tax shelters to strengthen local production and possibly attract foreign shooting. Many countries in the region have expressed interest in this action plan.

Regional circulation of works of the region
Finally, the group examined the weaknesses of the distribution of films. Dia Sud Med meetings also pointed at the poor regional circulation of works of the region. Mohamed Layadi’s (Marrakech Spectacles, Morocco) conclusion in the study was: support is scarce, subject to language barrier and lack of operator connection. New initiatives will now attempt to bring improvement: Mr Layadi presented MEDIS proposals to the Group; it is the new south Mediterranean distributor network aiming at involving televisions in promotion and at facilitating distributor access to latest films produced in all South Mediterranean countries.

Next Step
The Finance Working Group greeted and approved these new concrete proposals and decided to devote next meetings to an extensive work on the legal tools to strengthen coproduction in the region as it is also the most effective means for the circulation of works.

Members of the financing working group attending the Beirut meeting:


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.



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.



Nada Doumani
Communication & Culture 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).

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.


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.


Rima Mismar
AFAC head of production


Meriem Khatouri
Head of the audiovisual media, film and new technologies department, direction 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.



Ghada Terawi
President of the Shashat board

She was born in Beirut in 1972 to a couple of Palestinian militants. Grew up between Beirut, Tunis & Cairo. Graduated from the American University in Cairo in 1995, holding a BA in International Relations.
She Currently lives in Palestine. Started working in the field of documentary filmmaking in 1998 and she directed and produced 6 films.
"Staying Alive", 28 min. 2001. Palestine
"What's Next", 40 min. 2003. Palestine (Point of View Productions)
"The Way Back Home", 33 min. Nov. 2006 Palestine (Point Of View Productions)
and “The Last Station”, 7 min, 2008 Palestine.
"Golden Pomegranate Seeds” 2009 and “On Air” 2011.

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.

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
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)

Ramses Mahfoud
Producer, Godolphin films


Gabriele Röthemeyer
Director of the MFG Baden Württenberg film fund

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

Claus Josten
Key Expert, adviser of the Team Leader

Associated experts

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)


Diane Aractingi
Producer, Fantascope Production, Lebanon

Linda Beath
Ideal filmworks, Italy

Mohamed Layadi
Marrakech Spectacles, Morocco

share this article by email print this page