The RESIDENCY MENA Fund is the inaugural financial support scheme launched by DOX BOX. Its aim is to support sociopolitically-engaged documentary films reliant upon the recontextualization of pre-existing audiovisual footage stemming primarily from citizen journalist and video activist material.

The first cycle of The RESIDENCY Fund (Fall 2015) was launched in June with a completion deadline of 15 July. Forty applications were received.

Initial assessment:

  • 40 applications were submitted from 10 different Arab countries, as well as the Arab diaspora. The breakdown by country is as follows: Algeria (1), Egypt (10), Jordan (1), Iraq (5), Morocco (3), Lebanon (2), Palestine (2) Syria (2), Tunis (7), Yemen (1), Other (6).
  • 27 out of 40 applications were submitted within the final five days before the deadline.
  • 25 applications were submitted in Arabic, 15 in English. No applications were in Tamazight, Kurdish, or German.
  • 20 applicants are between the ages of eighteen and twenty-nine, 14 between the ages of thirty and thirty-nine, 5 between the ages of forty and forty-nine, with 3 applicants over the age of fifty.
  • 35% of applicants are first-time directors.
  • Except for one application submitted by the producer, all applications were submitted by the directors of the projects.
  • The gender split of applicants is 3 females and 37 males.
  • There were 17 feature length documentaries, 13 short documentaries, and 10 mid-length documentaries.
  • 8 projects have a producer, a co-producer, or both.
  • 4 projects have secured funding prior to applying to The RESIDENCY.
  • Average length of audiovisual material submitted per project is 40 minutes.
  • 7 applications consisted of filmmaking teams with a director, co-director, and/or editor. 33 of the applications requested the appointment of an editor by DOX BOX.
  • Subjects address themes such as: child welfare, cultural heritage, ethnicities, gender equality, justice and jurisdiction, immigration and refugees, revolution and resistance, war and conflict, and workers’ rights.

Final assessment of applications:

  • 29 applicants were notified as being not eligible within 6 weeks of the deadline.
  • 11 eligible applications were forwarded to the Selection Committee for review.
  • The Selection Committee consists of Hala Gala, Filmmaker and Producer (Egypt); Rasha Salti, Film Programer, Curator and Writer (Lebanon); and Dr. Ikbal Zalila, Film Critic (Tunis).
  • The Committee thoroughly reviewed the editing sequences and footage, written treatments, and evaluated the sociopolitical context of each application.
  • The following 3 projects were granted The RESIDENCY Fund:
    • Fatima, or Notes On The Possibility of Permanent Revolution | 70 minutes | Mary Jirmanus Saba | Lebanon | 12 Weeks Residency period
    • My Head Ain’t A Graveyard | 45 minutes | Zaher Omarein | Syria & The United Kingdom | 8 Weeks Residency period
    • Fish Killed Twice | 70 minutes | Ahmed Fawzy Saleh | Egypt | 8 Weeks Residency period