Avenue Louise 209A
- International/Cultural relations
We are individual leaders coming from Turkey, Morocco, Belgium/Israel, the Netherlands, and USA, we are established as an International NGO in Belgium. For the past 14 years we have been dedicated ourselves to maintaining the beautiful and unique community we have created of filmmakers from different countries, cultures, ethnicities, and religions. Our strength has always been our belief in the urgency and necessity of a dialog between individual artists coming from broken societies but aiming to go beyond censorship, and years of indoctrination about the "others". As Founding Partners, we an equal vote in terms of our decision making. Two of our partners are organizing our 3 workshops a year in Morocco & Turkey. Two partners are serving also as mentors. The Executive Director is based on between Israel & Belgium.
We have one staff member who is a producer from Morocco. Our Funders are individual philanthropists and cinema institutions from the Nordic region, Canada and USA. Our yearly budget is around 420,000$
The overall goal of the CLOSE-UP program is to nurture and support a sustainable community of documentary filmmakers from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), this year however Close-Up program will focus on a CULTURAL EXCHANGE between MIDDLE EASTERN & NORTH AFRICAN DIRECTORS together with European emerging producers. Co-Productions between filmmakers from different regions will increase cultural diversity on urgent current global topics and create professional collaborations that will assist filmmakers secure additional funding. Our filmmakers have a great need for a sophisticated and comprehensive understanding of the international marketplace for documentaries. This will considerably improve our filmmaker’s prospects of attracting finance for their projects and help them maximize the revenues from their productions. We are committed to open dialogue and sharpening the necessary skills and dedication to produce extraordinary films that advance justice, democracy, and peace. Utilizing our extensive experience, network, and reputation over the past 14 years, CLOSE-UP brings together passionate, talented, and courageous filmmakers who own a profound understanding of the complexities in their communities. We support them in developing and creating compelling original documentaries that illuminate the most urgent social and political realities of our troubled region.
The CLOSE-UP CULTURAL EXCHANGE – MIDDLE EASTERN, NORTH AFRICAN DIRECTORS & European emerging producers' program will use the same format,
which has been implemented in the past 14 successful years, a structure that has proven to be highly effective. The filmmakers will participate in four workshops in Morocco, Turkey and Europe, each six-seven days long, during which they will work on their projects' content and economic and artistic aspects, until they complete a full Co-production file, including a trailer, which will be presented at the final workshop in the framework of a pitching forum. At the end of each workshop, all participants will be given Assignments with clear instructions on how to make progress on their projects, in the months leading up to the following workshop. In between workshops, the participating filmmakers will work with their mentors, via Zoom/Skype conversations and emails. The fourth workshop added to the 2020-2021 Co-Production Training Program will be held in Berlin in collaboration with the Heinrich Boll Foundation and is designed to increase the networking possibilities of our selected filmmakers with German & European key decision-makers and strengthen the visibility of the projects within the European cinema industry.
Close-Up's filmmakers will work with personal mentors, leading experts in the field of documentary filmmaking; each mentor will guide 3-4 projects and will accompany the filmmakers through the development process. At the third workshop, the filmmakers will present their projects in a pitching session in front of potential financers from the international documentary market, such as ARTE France, MDR Germany, IKON TV the Netherlands, IDFA-Bertha Foundation, the Danish Film Institute, Sundance Film Institute, Catapult Film Fund (San Francisco based Fund), MEDIMED Industry Market in Spain, Chicken & Egg Pictures NY, Hot Docs Blue-Ice Fund Canada, the Jacob Burns Film Center in NY, and others.
The Close-Up essence of inclusiveness & diversity is a great example of how these values could serve the communities we are working with, coming from different countries, cultures, and religions. We believe these values are highly important to promote these days. Our organization inspires and promotes synergies between individual artists and organizations from different cultural backgrounds. We believe that this is essential for the growth of an open and pluralist society.
The Close-Up objectives are aligned with the ALF objectives, we would like to take part in the ALF Network in order to strengthen together with other great organizations the values we believe in and contribute to diversity, inclusiveness, and support to minorities, youth, and women.
Working with incredibly talented and emerging filmmakers from a different culture is one of the most precious and essential ways to maintain our cultural awareness and ensure our future existence. We will not accept the narrow hopeless path that politicians offer. We've witnessed our ability to resist prejudice and ignorance by creating powerful documentaries within our community of filmmakers, who are reminding us all about our common values and the strength of an inclusive society. One that challenges itself to cross boundaries and create a constructive and meaningful dialog with those that politicians would like us to believe are our enemies.
After 12 years working together as partners we are established as an international NGO in Belgium, which enables us to work in an open and pluralist environment that respects the diversity of our filmmaker's nationality as well as the international nature of our organization's management.
Since 2006 we have supported more than 200 filmmakers and created more than 40 completed films, we have persevered and upheld a critical role as a bridge and meeting point for filmmakers, creating a community of documentary filmmakers who are committed to dialogue and understanding. As a result, the program has been supporting and promoting cultural exchanges between the participating countries, by underlining both common values and inherent cultural diversity.
We believe that our experience can contribute to the ALF Network.