Euromed Audiovisual's financing working group meets at La Rochelle´s Sunny Side of the Doc

Participants discuss how to air more South Mediterranean independent films on Arabic television

Programme Activities

Euromed Audiovisual's financing working group meets at La Rochelle´s Sunny Side of the Doc

The European Union's Euromed Audiovisual programme brought together its financing working group (FWG), a team of film and television professionals from the South Mediterranean region, in the French coastal town of La Rochelle last week.

During the town's Sunny Side of the Doc international documentary film market, they discussed how best to encourage Arab television broadcasters to show their own region's independent fiction and documentary film productions, such as those in Euromed Audiovisual's new catalogue of over 130 South Mediterranean films made since 2011.

Although Egyptian fiction films typically enjoy wide diffusion on Arabic language television channels, only one satellite channel out of 25 showing Arabic films shows non-Egyptian films, according to cinema analyst Alaa Karkouti. Independent fiction and documentary productions have difficult access to the region's broadcasters, even in their own countries.

In La Rochelle, Euromed Audiovisual's financing working group discussed how to improve this situation. South Mediterranean public broadcasters mentioned their editorial lines and budgets as restricting their choice of productions to air on their channels.

For example, in Algeria, it is difficult to air films that are against the national policy of reconciliation such as Djamila Sahraoui's award-winning fiction Yema, even if they have been co-financed.

Money-wise, public broadcasters have always been interested in investing in drama series over single films, added Hala Zureiqat from Jordan's private Royal TV, who previously headed the public Jordan TV, because they draw in an audience five times a week rather than just once. But broadcasters should be investing in their country's young talents, because their freedom to create without self-censorship produces hugely different films from those public broadcasters typically make about tourism or cultural heritage.

"Here you have dreams that come true," she said, holding up Euromed Audiovisual's new catalogue of over 130 independent South Mediterranean films, encouraging more broadcasters to show them.

Independent producers in the financing working group also asked broadcasters to more clearly announce their planned programming grid for the year so that they could pitch relevant productions.

At the end of the discussion, the group recommended that a guide of good practices, inspired by countries with legal frameworks to encourage independent films to be broadcast on television, be drawn up and disseminated as a tool to boost the relationship between broadcasters and independent producers around the region.

Beyond this debate, members of the financing working group, together for the fifth time since its launch in Cannes in 2012, further discussed potential private investors in a possible South Mediterranean development fund, only one of their ideas to boost audiovisual production in the region.

For more information about the financing group, please click here.

Members of the financing working group attending the La Rochelle meeting:


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.



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.



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.



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.


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



Lyes Belaribi
ENTV, Algeria

Hala Zureiqat , Roya TV, Jordan

Jalel Lakhdar
Télévision tunisienne, Tunisia

Paola Parri

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