(one cycle in 2017) 

The RESIDENCY IN EXILE provides support for Arab documentary filmmakers who were recently forced to live outside of their countries of origin, and who are currently editing their documentary film project and have an advanced rough-cut. Eligible projects should be of social relevant and importance reflecting reality.

TheRESIDENCY IN EXILE comes in form of an editing residency award in Berlin, Germany. Grantees who are strictly editorial teams (directors and editors working together) are offered the resources to edit their documentary films to completion. They are offered dramaturgical and creative support and consultancy in a safe, stimulating and understanding environment. This includes covering accommodation and costs of living in Berlin (for non-Berlin based filmmakers), as well as providing a fully-equipped professional editing studios, technical and artistic support, supervision and dramaturgic consultancy by experts.

The RESIDENCY IN EXILE is a one-time cycle that has been launched as a response to the increasing need of providing support to exiled filmmakers, it is possible thanks to the support of Ford Foundation.

Application cycle opens from the 3rd until the 31st of July 2017.

Applications can be submitted in Arabic, Tamazight, Kurdish, English, French and in German.

If after reviewing the information here and in the FAQ you have further questions, please send an email to residency2017@dox-box.org.

SupportEligibilityRegulationsHow to ApplyFAQsApply Now
  • The duration of the individual award period can range from 3-12 weeks and is to be estimated by an independent Selection Committee based on the length and nature of the material submitted, the level of experience of the filmmaker(s), the stage of editing, and the specific needs of each project. DOX BOX shall determine final awards based on available allocations.
  • Professional editing facilities for each documentary film project/team will be provided.
  • Dramaturgic consultancy will be provided offering in-depth analysis and feedback to the creative team on structure and style.
  • Accommodations in Berlin for the duration of the award will be provided for all grantees who don’t reside in Berlin. For grantees who reside in Berlin, expenses shall be covered, when requested, to a cause. This, will fall under DOX BOX’s evaluation of the living situation of the grantees. This also applies to per-diem, health insurance (when necessary) and local transportation.
  • Support and assistance in arranging for the German visa shall be provided when needed. DOX BOX provides no guarantee that a visa shall be granted.
  • Eligible applicants are:
      • Directors and editors working together on an eligible documentary film project are eligible.
      • of any age over eighteen,
      • of any level of professional and educational experience,
      • nationals of all Arab countries  who were recently forced to live outside of their countries of origin, particularly nationals of Algeria, Djibouti, Eritrea, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
  • Eligible projects:
    • Only documentary film projects are eligible. Fiction is not accepted.
    • Documentary films of any sub-genre or length
    • Documentary films with themes relating to reality and of social importance and relevance.
    • Documentary films should be currently in an advanced editing stage (rough cut). Since this program is aimed at helping editorial teams finish their films, only developed film projects (clear treatment, structure, visual material, etc.) are considered.
    • Only independent productions are eligible. Propaganda films, commercial films, and films commissioned by corporate, political or religious institutions are not eligible.
  • What is exempted:
    • There is no prerequisite for an applicant’s proficiency in English or German.
    • Regional and international co-productions are eligible, if the editorial team applying and topic is from the Arab countries/realities.
  • Grantees to sign a binding agreement only revocable in the event of force majeure (natural disasters, war, death).
  • Grantees to sign and return the agreement within one week. In case of non-compliance, DOX BOX reserves the right to revoke the award and offer it to the next candidate.
  • DOX BOX expects the full participation and dedication by grantees in the entire period, including being present full-time in the editing studio.
  • Grantees are required to submit an evaluation of their award experience at the end.
  • Grantees are expected to complete their film edit to a picture-lock during the award period and before end of 2017 to be screened internally in DOX BOX and to its members.
  • DOX BOX requires acknowledgement in the credits of the film and on all promotional materials.
  • DOX BOX reserves the right to include the finished film in the DOX BOX online Academy, the archive, and in educational workshops.
  • DOX BOX may grant non-disclosure and confidentiality to participants and projects when such agreement is made and arranged with grantees.
  • The online application form is available in Arabic and English. The application form can be filled out and submitted in Arabic, Tamazight, Kurdish, English, French, or German.
  • A complete application should include a link or DVD with a rough cut of maximum 3 hours that reflects the filmic style and narrative structure. (Please visit the FAQ for further details.)
  • Shooting should have been completed and all other footage are should be on hand and cleared by the time of application is made. Footage includes, but is not limited to, shooting, archive, video activist material, citizen journalist audiovisual material, diaries, sound recordings.. Etc.
  • A clear treatment reflecting the story, the background, the director’s point of view, main characters and the major editing challenges.
  • A complete application form must provide at least two references (local and regional/international) and their full contact information.
  • While filling out the online application form, it is not possible to save entries and return to the application at a later date. Therefore it is advisable to save responses to questions requiring written text statements in a separate document in advance in order to avoid losing responses in the event that the internet connection is broken or browser quits.
  • All applicants will be notified of the results of their application within six weeks of the application deadline.
  • Successful applicants (residing outside the Schengen region) will be required to apply for a visa at the German consulate in their country of residence. DOX BOX shall assist with the visa procedure but provides no warranty or guarantee that a visa will be granted.
  • In the event that a visa is not granted to a selected applicant, DOX BOX reserves the right to offer the award to the next shortlisted candidate on the waiting-list.
  1. Who is eligible for the RESIDENCY in Exile?

    The program is designed for documentary directors and editors from the Arab world who were recently forced to leave their countries. Applications are welcome from both emerging and experienced filmmakers over the age of eighteen.

  2. Which nationalities are eligible?

    All Arab nationals who satisfy the eligibility criteria are welcome to apply for this cycle. We highly encourage applicants from the following countries to apply: Algeria, Djibouti, Iraq, Eritrea, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

  3. Can international directors or producers making work in the region apply?

    This is a support program aimed at empowering exiled documentary filmmakers from the Arab countries who face multifaceted challenges. Therefore, priority is given to projects with main creative and production teams from the Arab countries, as well as projects featuring stories and themes stemming from the reality of exiles.

    Co-production projects with international productions can be considered, provided that the “nationality of authorship” is, in essence, exile-related.

    It’s at the discretion of the selection committee to judge on special cases such as the case of 2 co-directors, one exile and one non-exile.

  4. How is “nationality of authorship” defined within international projects?

    Factors to be weighed when considering the nationality of authorship include the nationalities of the editorial team (including that of (co)directors, (co)producers, editors, writers, and creators of footage), location of shooting, intended audience, content/theme, and context of any archival material used. It’s at the discretion of the selection committee to judge and nominate.

  5. May we apply as a team?

    Yes, if you are an editorial team comprised of 1 or more director and an editor or more you may apply as a team. On the application be sure to note all names, roles, and contact numbers of every team member. A total of three team members from a project are eligible to attend.

  6. When may I apply?

    You can only apply during the application cycles specified on the DOX BOX website for one time a year. 

  7. Can my producer submit an application on my behalf?

    Yes. In such a case, the producer should provide the complete information of his/her director(s) in the application form.

  8. I am a producer. May I attend?

    The Residency in Exile is intended for directors and editors.  As a producer you can apply on behalf of your director(s) and editor(s), and you can visit your team while attending at your own cost.

  9. Why does the RESIDENCY in Exile support editing only?

    Due to the numerous challenges facing documentary filmmakers in Exile, it has become commonplace for many to forego the time needed to properly discover and develop their points-of-view and voices as storytellers, especially in the crucial process of editing and during the outstanding experience of exile. Therefore the Residency in Exile aims to provide editorial teams with a safe, professional, and inspirational yet challenging space to bring their edits to completion.

  10. I do not have any funds secured to date. Can I still apply?

    Yes. Prior funding commitments are not required.

  11. I applied and was rejected. Can I reapply with the same project for subsequent cycles?

    Yes. If another cycle is open. Currently this is one-time cycle during 2017. We don’t have confirmation of any funds for next year. 

  12. I participated in the RESIDENCY (MENA) with a project. May I reapply with a new one?

    Yes. Previous grantees of DOX BOX may apply with a new project for future cycles, provided he or she has successfully completed their commitments and delivered all obligations.

  13. I am not a DOX BOX member. Am I eligible to apply?

    Yes, you don’t need to be a DOX BOX member to be eligible.

  14. Can I apply with a project if I am related to a DOX BOX employee or General Assembly member?

    Projects in which DOX BOX employees and/or General Assembly members have a professional and/or financial stake are not eligible.  All projects are vetted exclusively on their own merits and eligibility criteria and that all applications are evaluated according to a fair and sound process.

  15. What editing softwares are supported?

    Projects can be edited in multiple versions of Avid and Final Cut Pro and in some cases Adobe Premiere

  16. I do not speak English or German. Can I be accepted and participate?

    Yes. For grantees who don’t speak any English or German, a volunteer translator will be provided.

  17. How do I get a visa for Germany?

    DOX BOX shall provide all necessary assistance  for obtaining the proper visa. As soon as you are selected, DOX BOX will contact you to guide you  through the visa process.

  18. Is there an application fee?

    No, applying is free of charge.

  19. Do I need to pay for anything?

    All costs – including editors’ and consultant editors’ fees and studio rentals in Berlin – are covered by DOX BOX, including participants’ per diem and accommodation (for non-residents of Berlin). However, applicants must pay for their  travel (if needed) and visa costs or seek mobility funding for it. There is a possibility that DOX BOX might be able to offer support depending on existing secured financing.

    For applicants residing in Berlin, living expenses such as per diem, accommodation and transportation within Berlin can, upon request, be covered to a cause. This shall fall under the discretion of DOX BOX and shall be evaluated on case to case basis.

  20. May I apply with a short film or web series?

    Film projects of any duration or documentary genre (investigative, artistic, observational, animated documentary, hybrid, etc.) are eligible. Documentary films for this program are expected to be in the range of 20 to 120 minutes.

  21. I want to edit a teaser or a trailer. May I apply?

    No. You are only eligible if you are working to complete the editing of a documentary film.

  22. At what stage of editing should my film be at the time of applying?

    You should have at least an early rough cut. Assembly cuts and first cuts are not eligible as they don’t show enough of the director’s vision and overall film merits for the selection committee to be able to reach a decision. You have to have completed all principal photography and have all your audiovisual material edited into an initial or advanced rough cut.

    Films are expected to reach picture lock (completion) by the conclusion of the Residency in Exile award and before end of 2017. Therefore, it is best that you apply when the film structure, narrative and style are somewhat shaped but not yet achieved.

  23. What kind of visual material should I submit when applying?

    A full assembly edit or rough cut that demonstrates the overall film language, storyline, characters and that is no longer than 180 minutes.

  24. Do I need to subtitle my visual material?

    You do not need to provide subtitles if the language of all the visual material is in either Arabic, Tamazight, Kurdish, English, or German. However, subtitles in English and/or Arabic are appreciated.

  25. In what format should I submit my visual material?

    We accept samples with online streaming links or file-transfer services (i.e., Vimeo, Dropbox, WeTransfer… etc) or on a DVD to be received in our office by the deadline.

    Important Note:
    *If you choose to send your rough cut either via POST or Transfer service, please make sure they should arrive at our office during our working hours before the deadline. Otherwise, your application will not be considered as complete and will not be processed for evaluation committee. Please note the address of DOX BOX at Turmstr. 70, 10551, Berlin, Germany.

  26. Will I be notified when my application is received?

    Yes, you will be automatically notified of your application’s receipt upon electronic submission. If you haven’t receive any automatic notification, please send us an email to residency2017@dox-box.org to investigate any technical problems.

  27. When will I be notified of the results of my application?

    You will be notified by email within six weeks of the application deadline. If you haven’t receive any emails from us, please send an email inquiry.

  28. Will there be an interview?

    In some cases, yes, the selection committee will require further information or clarification before they are able to make a fair and informed judgement.

  29. Are any specific factors taken into consideration by the selection committee?

    The selection committee shall strive for thoughtful deliberation that accommodate the editorial teams in exile, when possible. However, there is no specific quota with regard to nationality, gender, religious and ethnic background, level of experience, age, and artistic styles and genres. The merit of the film is more important than the experience level of the applicant(s). DOX BOX reserves the right to solicit candidates to apply.

  30. How many projects shall be granted?

    Depending on the number and quality of applications that we receive and the available funds, we aim to grant up to three projects in the year 2017.

  31. How are the timetable, duration and conditions determined and granted?

    Depending on the  length and nature of each project, the level of experience of the editorial team, the stage of editing, and the specific needs of the project, grantees shall be assigned an award with a definite duration, timetable and conditions. This could range from three to twelve weeks. The coordinator of the residency will be in contact with grantees to understand further details.

  32. Can I participate and remain anonymous?

    Yes. In the case that film projects, filmmakers and/or protagonists must remain anonymous in order to protect the parties involved and/or to realize the film, the grantees and project can participate anonymously. However, in order to process the application, identities shall be revealed for the selection committee.

  33. What topics can be explored during the award?

    Each award is customized to accommodate project’s specific needs and status.  Grantees should expect to explore questions related to the following documentary filmmaking topics:

    • structure, style, language
    • international and local audiences
    • objectivity vs. subjectivity
    • ethics of point-of-view filmmaking and the contextualization of footage
  34. Does the Residency in Exile support post-production (finishing)?

    At the conclusion of the Residency in Exile, your film should be at picture lock. The film should be ready for finishing and post-production. No support is given for post-production.

  35. What if I do not complete the editing of my film during the award period?

    Films are expected to be completed (picture lock/final cut) at the conclusion of the award period. The selection committee will take this into consideration when selecting projects that have a realistic chance of being completed during the awarded residency period and shall accordingly award an appropriate number of weeks to achieve this goal. Finished films have to be completed before end of 2017 and delivered to DOX BOX to be included in DOX BOX Academy, archive and for further workshops.

  36. Will DOX BOX be a co-producer or acknowledged funder of my film?

    DOX BOX is a grant-giver and will not hold shares. The Residency in Exile is legally considered as a grant into the shares of director(s)/producer(s). DOX BOX retains the right to make the film available for free viewing in our online Academy, accessible to DOX BOX members only.

  37. Will DOX BOX own my film?

    The Residency in Exile is a financial support in the form an editing grant managed by DOX BOX.  Since no funds need to be recouped, none of your exploitable rights are encumbered. Our contract requires acknowledgement in the final credits of the film and on your promotional materials, that the final film be included in the DOX BOX Online Academy, and that a final narrative report and evaluation form be submitted. We may ask you to offer professional support to other filmmakers and the independent film field globally.

  38. How is the value of the fund and shares determined?

    The agreement to be signed by grantees shall state clearly the value of this grant.  The value of this grant shall be transferred to the producers’ or directors’ shares in the film’s financing.  Detailed agreements shall be extended to grantees upon selection.

  39. Is the award meant to empower the director or the producer?

    Shares are split 50-50 among the director(s) and producer(s) when applicable. If the agreement is with non-exile director or producer, the award and shares are granted automatically to the exile partner.

  40. When a team applies, who benefits of the financial value?

    Shares are split 50-50 among the director(s) and producer(s) when applicable. If the agreement is with non-exile director or producer, the award and shares are granted automatically to the exile partner.

  41. If I become a grantee, what are the terms of the contract?

    A complete contract detailing all obligations of grantees shall be extended for signature upon agreement (all briefed in this FAQ). Conditions of participation include:

    • All grantees shall enter into agreement with DOX BOX.
    • DOX BOX reserves the right to include the finished films online DOX BOX Academy.
    • DOX BOX must be cited in the credit sequences of finished films and in all forms of promotional materials as a supporter based on DOX BOX’s identity guidelines.
    • Grantees are required to submit a narrative and evaluation form for DOX BOX at the conclusion of the Residency in Exile.
  42. What kinds of follow-up support will DOX BOX offer at the conclusion of the Residency?

    If a grantee is not yet a member of the DOX BOX, he or she receives automatic membership scholarship for 1 year. A final feedback screening session of the film final edit/picture lock shall be arranged. This includes recommendations for a successful festival, distribution and circulation strategy for completed films.  No further support is given.  Films completed are highlighted by DOX BOX at industry events, in DOX BOX publications, newsletters and other public relations and communications materials.

Application is open 3-31 July  2017

The RESIDENCY in Exile is one-time exceptional cycle, exclusively targeted towards exiled filmmakers from the Arab countries working on documentary film projects focusing on socio-political themes and in an advanced level of editing.

Before you start an application for your documentary film project. Please confirm the following: