The DOX BOX ASSOCIATION (DOX BOX e. V.) is a non-profit organization established in Berlin, Germany. The Association emerged out of the DOX BOX International Film Festival in Syria, established in 2008. The Association was created with the overriding mandate to support emerging and established documentary filmmakers in the Arab World while promoting the values and principles of justice, dignity, and human rights.
We at DOX BOX believe documentary filmmakers possess the capability to be agents for change. Guided by this belief, our goal is to build and nurture the expanding community of Arab World filmmakers and to support this community in its common goal of making impactful films. Using our vast knowledge and connections in the international film marketplace, DOX BOX will offer indispensable support and services to both established and emerging filmmakers in all aspects of production.
DOX BOX’s overriding objectives:
In line with our mission, DOX BOX is building an online platform, which will host The COMMUNITY, a virtual space for the rebuilding of an active community of documentary filmmakers, citizen journalists and media activists from the Arab Region. This secure online portal will provide a space for networking, sharing experiences and using whatever tools we have at our disposal for bringing together Arab World filmmakers and activists across all generations and career levels.
Through the portal, registered members will have access to a broad range of artistic and academic content available for different levels of expertise. The materials will be available in English, Arabic, Kurdish, Tamazight (Berber), and French.
All activities and support programs will give priority to those makers and projects that take on brave and daring approaches in filmmaking to promote justice, human rights, dignity and equality – or, the exposure of violations of such. The population of filmmakers will consist of both established as well as emerging professionals. This includes citizen journalists and media activists. All activities are based on individual needs and varying levels of experience.
Developing Activities and Programs:
The ACADEMY: a diversified online academy that supplies a broad range of pedagogical material offered for different platforms
The LIBRARY: a regional and international documentary online film library in several languages
The CATALOGUE: an annual printed comprehensive reference on Arab World documentary film productions
The RESIDENCY: a support program for the completion of documentaries reliant upon using archival and uploaded materials from citizen journalists
The FUND: an emergency funding and support program for filmmakers working in risky and/or dangerous circumstances or environments
The EVENT: a think-tank meeting of both regional and international policy makers and influential decision-makers to develop and discuss strategies and policies for documentary cinema and media politics in the Arab World
The DOX BOX Association is a transition from the DOX BOX International Documentary Film Festival, an annual event in Syria inaugurated in 2008 under the auspices of ProAction Film, a Syrian independent film production and distribution company. It fast became the largest and most important documentary film festival in the Arab World bringing the public back to the cinemas in record numbers.
The festival was renowned for the high quality of its film selection, free admission to all screenings, public debates and Q&A sessions with directors and producers. Screenings took place in various cities throughout Syria where audiences could directly participate by voting for their favorite films, making it a one-of-a-kind, all-inclusive, community cultural event.
For industry guests, the festival created a number of professional career-advancing and capacity-building activities. The Campus became a pitching forum for Arab World documentary films in development. Takween offered a chance for both emerging professional, as well as amateur, filmmakers to network. Tabadol was an event for further networking with organized, intimate exchanges between filmmakers and regional and international professionals. Each year, the festival hosted over 100 industry guests to participate in this vibrant and multifaceted program.
Because of the political and economic situation in Syria, the festival was not able to have an edition in 2012. Instead, the team created DOX BOX Global Day for Syria, a worldwide event that meant to speak in direct opposition to the violations of human rights and the unjustified and excessive use of power against Syrian civilians and activists by Syrian authorities. DOX BOX Global Day took place on the very same day of the anniversary of the final closing ceremony of the festival in 2011. Global Day was made possible with the collaboration and partnership of international documentary and human rights film festivals in 38 cities around the globe.
In 2013, the team produced a second Global Day for Syria, creating a documentary series of six videos in homage to the brave citizen journalists of the country. It was called Citizen With a Movie Camera, and was re-screened globally in cinemas, as well as on the Web. You can watch selections from Citizen with a Movie Camera online here.