AJB DOC 2021
Industry Report: Europe and the Rest of the World
AJD Industry Days to be launched in 2022
The industry programme of AJB DOC will be launched at the 5th edition of the festival, while an MoU was also signed by the Al Jazeera Balkans and Al Jazeera Documentary managing directors
At a press conference that took place on Monday 13 September in Sarajevo, it was announced that the next, fifth edition of the AJB DOC Film Festival will see some changes and expansion in the form of an industry platform called AJD Industry Days. It is envisioned as an international platform aimed at supporting the development of documentary film productions worldwide, including international and regional co-productions, and it is intended to become one of the largest and most important funding platforms for documentaries.
AJD Industry Days@AJB DOC will provide an opportunity for documentary filmmakers to network with decision-makers from the Balkans and beyond in order to secure funding for the production of documentaries from Southeast Europe, the South Caucasus and the Middle East and North Africa region, and support for their broadcast, distribution, screening and sales worldwide. AJD Industry Days will boast three programmes: Main Pitch, Work in Progress and Balkan Stars. Each project will have an opportunity to win one of four prizes awarded in each programme, in cooperation with AJD Industry Days@AJB DOC partners.
“This partnership between Al Jazeera Documentary and Al Jazeera Balkans is aimed at establishing cooperation and providing support to documentaries and filmmakers in Southeast Europe, the South Caucasus and the Middle East and North Africa through the funding, distribution and co-production of films,” said manager of Planning and Scheduling at Al Jazeera Documentary Channel Adel Ksiksi. He also noted that each year, Al Jazeera Documentary produces, co-produces or buys many films from those areas.
Edhem Fočo, director of the AJB DOC Film Festival, said that AJB DOC started “modestly, but decisively”, noting that the idea behind the festival was always to support and promote documentary films. “We believe that a part of our job has been done well. There is more interest in watching and filming documentaries, especially in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is only the fourth edition of our festival, but it has already become known and recognised by the audience and professionals alike,” said Fočo. He expressed hope that the new AJB DOC project and support for the documentary film industry would be successful. “I hope that this project will give new wings to other similar industry programmes in the region, which have existed for a long time, and that producers and financiers who will be a part of our programme will be able to support colleagues from the region as well.”
At the same press conference, the memorandum of understanding between the Al Jazeera Documentary and Al Jazeera Balkans channels was also signed by the managing directors of both channels, Ahmed Mahfouz and Tarik Đođić, respectively. The memorandum will serve as the basis for further cooperation between the stations and their further activities. Đođić expressed his gratitude for Al Jazeera Documentary’s support of the AJB DOC Film Festival from the first edition in 2018 onwards, while Manfouz stressed his hope that AJD Industry Days would be a milestone for documentary filmmaking in the region.
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