5 grants awarded for Middle Eastern documentary films

‘Cursed be the Phosphate’ tells the story of a revolt in Tunisia in 2008.

BEIRUT: The Screen Institute Beirut has announced its latest bushel of five grant-winning projects.

The five winning projects were selected from 45 submissions from nine Arab countries – Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia. An SIB spokesmen noted that most of the filmmakers who applied were female.

SIB is a Lebanese nonprofit association whose objectives are to strengthen filmmaking and its infrastructure in the Arab region, with a particular focus on supporting feature-length documentary film.

The five projects which have been awarded funding are from Lebanon, Syria, Tunisia and Morocco.

Syrian director Hazem al-Hamwi’s “Childhood of the Place,” an attempt to draw a portrait of a place through memory, won a SIB production grant.

“Bab al-Tabaneh,” Lebanese writer-director Remi Itani’s story of three young men raised in the poorest neighborhood in the Mediterranean has won a development grant.

“Cursed be the Phosphate,” by director Sami Tlili, focuses on a revolt in Tunisia’s Gafa mining basin in 2008, and has won the postproduction grant.

Development grant winner “Waiting for Dawn,” by Lebanon’s Mary Jirmanus, tells the tale of Fatima Khaweja, who was killed during a Lebanese Army assault on a peaceful strike outside Gandour chocolate factory in 1972.

Moroccan co-directors Mirieme Addou and Rosa Rogers have won a production grant for their “Pirates of Sale,” a film about the relationship between gender, religion and art in Moroccan society.

For information about application

deadlines and such, please see

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 08, 2012, on page 16.




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