Documentary filmmaking is challenging, especially for filmmakers taking daring approaches to sociopolitical topics. The roadblocks faced by documentary directors and producers often lead to a compromise of individuality, bravery, and liberty. A lack of adequate financing and public screening opportunities can deter many makers from realizing their films.

The problem runs deeper, though, with many aspiring documentary filmmakers frustrated, as well, by a lack of educational and training opportunities, and by tight restrictions on filming and shooting in the Arab region. With so many hurdles to overcome, many succumb to a fear of building partnerships with collaborators and find themselves bound to social norms, submitting to censorship, and producing work solely for the available and often politicized mainstream media outlets.

Years of struggling against the tide have driven many filmmakers to compromise their daring visions and settle instead on more conventional content and formal approaches. Unfortunately it has become commonplace for many documentary filmmakers to forego the time needed to properly discover and develop their points-of-view and voices as storytellers, thereby resulting in shorter development and editing phases. The DOX BOX FUND was established to help at these crucial phases when creativity is stifled and the integrity of a film project is compromised. The FUND is meant to specifically respond to the challenges faced by filmmakers with projects in the stages of development, partnership building, and editing.

The DOX BOX FUND was created to support documentary filmmakers from Arab countries regardless of previous experience, choice of documentary genre or form, or of the themes in which they are interested as long as these are situated in a relevant sociopolitical context. DOX BOX understands documentary filmmaking to be a complex and demanding collaborative process. Therefore, we believe and invest in fostering the team efforts of directors, producers, and editors.

The DOX BOX FUND launches its first financial support scheme in early summer 2015 with The RESIDENCY. This will provide an opportunity to actively support completion of sociopolitically daring documentary films that recontextualize, and integrally utilize, pre-existing audiovisual materials from citizen journalists and video activists’ audiovisual material. Eligible for The RESIDENCY are projects of any genre of documentary filmmaking and duration. The RESIDENCY is aimed at documentary filmmakers and video activists regardless of age (18+), level of professional experience and education, choice of filmmaking partners, or political, ethnic, religious, national or social backgrounds and views.

Filmmakers can apply for The RESIDENCY in Arabic, Tamazight, Kurdish, English or German.  Complete information.