Bidayyat for Audiovisual Arts announces the launch of the OPEN CALL for its second intensive training program “Introduction to Documentary Film Directing” for emergent Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinians (residing in both countries) artists.


8 participants will be offered the opportunity to follow a practical and theoretical, hands-on intensive training. The emerging talents must demonstrate interest in arts and film and must have the desire to specialize in directing documentary films that engage and question society. The candidates must have an idea for a documentary film that will be implemented with the assistance of their instructors over the course of the training, resulting in a short film not exceeding 10 minutes.


NEW deadline      Monday 15th August, 2016  

Period of training           October 2016 – March 2017

Place of training             Lebanon


The overall objectives of the training are:

  •  To foster the development of a new generation of Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian documentary filmmakers who wish to direct films to critically question and reflect on their societies;
  •  Encourage exchange, openness and mutual cooperation among emerging talents from Syria, Lebanon and Palestinians residing in both countries.

The training content and timetable

The program will consist of 4 intensive modules of around 13 days each in alternation with individual mentoring phases and will be held over a period of approximately six months. Throughout this period, the participants will not only be introduced to basic theoretical knowledge about documentary cinema, but will also acquire specific skills that will be applied while directing the short documentary film. 

The curriculum has been developed with the help of specialists and educators in the field of filmmaking, and will be implemented by a group of the most prominent Arab and international instructors and filmmakers. Professional trainers will instruct and supervise the participants in groups and in one-on-one sessions in addition to mentoring between each training module.


The training will be divided into the following stages:

Session I

  • Introduction to main trends, styles and ethical questions in the history of documentary filmmaking through film viewings and practical exercises;
  • Writing and developing film ideas in group and individual writing sessions;
  • Introduction to international and Arab documentary filmmaking;
  • Introduction to Cinematography and Sound part 1: Camera and Sound Workshops to acquire basic understanding/skills in filming, lighting, sound recording and sound design.


In-between sessions: individual working phase 1

Research/Writing treatment/ Visual material (photos and video), assisted by mentors.


Session II

  • Developing film ideas with feedback from participants and trainers.
  • Experimenting and drawing out the participants own visual language.
  • Introduction to cinematography and sound part 2: the development of camera and sound skills in preparation for production.
  • Film viewings with guest filmmakers and Q&A.

In-between sessions: individual working phase 2

  •     Filming with assistance of technical crew if necessary/wanted.
  •     Presenting the filmed material to the trainers/mentors.
  •     Finalize filming.


 Session III

  •  Introduction to editing;
  • Group presentations and feedback: Each participant will present selected rushes and talk about vision for storyline and structure of film.


In-between sessions: individual working phase 3

Edit 1st cut with junior editors if wanted/needed with consultation from mentors and editing trainer. 


 Session IIII

  • Screening of first cuts of each film project and group discussion;
  •  Receive feedback and suggestions for further work on film.


In-between sessions: individual working phase 4

Edit final cut with junior editors after consultation with mentors and editing trainer.


Conditions to apply

  • Be an emerging talents from Syria and Lebanon, including Palestinians residing in both countries, without previous specialized studies in filmmaking or similar fields of studies;
  • Living in Lebanon or Syria (capable of traveling to Lebanon);
  • Show a demonstrated interest in arts and film and the desire to specialize in directing documentary films that engage and question society;
  • Have an idea of a documentary film that can be implemented over the course of the training that does not exceed 10 minutes;
  • To be dedicated and available to all phases of the training: development, production, editing and in-between working periods;
  • Submit a complete application, only complete applications will be considered for the selection. An audio-visual sample required, could be a completed film or a sample of work.  


Selection process

A first selection and shortlisting will be done based on the submitted application and the motivation of the applicant.

The selection committee will interview the shortlisted applicants personally or via Skype. Based on the interview, the committee will select the final participants. 

All applications and supporting documents must be sent to: