Blog

Moving to the UK

After five amazing years in Qatar Mediadante is closing up our Headquarters in Doha and moving to London. We want to say a HUGE thank you to all the people who have supported our work in Qatar – the team behind and in front of the camera, the amazing friends we have made and the fantastic and challenging local creative scene. We will still be visiting often and hope to find fresh ways to tell the story of this wonderful unique country over and again in the years to come.

Please watch this space and bear with us as we find a new way to tell the story of the region to the world in 2017. Qatar…we miss you already, a lot. xx

An International Emmy nomination! For Escape From Isis

We were only a teeny tiny part of a much bigger team that made this possible

Directed by Ed Watts

Iraqi producer Hassan Ashwor

ITN Productions - George Waldrum and Siobhan Sinnerton for Dispatches

Ronachan Films - Sam Collyns and Angus Macqueen

Evan Williams Productions

The team is aiming to be in New York September 21st in the company of amazing people also nominated in the category. See you there! (P.S. Anyone got a limo we can borrow?)

 

 

New government guidelines for filming in Qatar

The Qatar News Agency has sent us new advice for how foreign visiting news can film inside Qatar. This is the first time they have issued such clear guidelines and although the bar is high at least we know what we have to do…the most crucial parts are highlighted. Covering the story of the workers is still considered a matter of national security so please do not expect any requests in that direction to lead to a film permit. You can request a tour of the camps through the Government Communications Office.

****below is their full official letter with a couple of format changes to make it work for this blog****

QNA 2016 Procedures for Filming Permission

In order for us to precede with your request to temporary import your camera equipment to do filming in Doha you are advised to visit the Embassy of the State of Qatar in your country to inform them about your project and provide the embassy with the following information / cc to foreign.media@qna.org.qa

  • A complete list of the names of the crew together with colour copies of their passports.
  • A full complete list of all camera and SNG and or Audio equipment you will be bringing into the country as hand carried accompanied baggage.
  • Areas you would like to film
  • An official letter of approval from your organization as well as an official letter from the organization you will visit to make your film and or broadcast. These letters must mention all the names of your crew and must state the reason and mission of the visit to Qatar. These letters on company headed paper and signed by a senior member of staff.

The official letters to be addressed to:
Mr. Ahmed AL Buainain Director, Foreign Media, QNA

to be

  • The required information must be sent at least 20-25 days prior to your visit to Doha. For further details and/or clarification please do not hesitate to contact.
  • Please be advised not to make any travel arrangements until your documents are near completion.

    The Foreign Media Department, Qatar News Agency Email: foreign.media@qna.org.qa
    www.qna.org.qa

Our film for Rights Watch UK

It was a fascinating journey working with Rights Watch UK as they prepared to launch their latest report on the damaging Prevent strategy in schools. The director, Sasha Achilli was faced with challenges in turning the stories of these pupils into a truly engaging film without exposing them to even more public scrutiny. The producer, Rosie Garthwaite, happened to be friends with Rob Faurewalker and already had a basic (wine-fuelled) education in the damaging impact of Prevent inside his own Tower Hamlets classroom. It was brilliantly edited by Michelle Tsen

All this was released on the same day as the inventor of Prevent, Theresa May, became Prime Minister of the UK….it is going to be a long and tough path towards change. You can sign here if you feel strongly that it should be stopped.

For more detail there is a great report by our old friend Anealla Safdar here on Al Jazeera online.

Escape from ISIS wins at RTS Awards

Escape from ISIS won Best International Current Affairs Programme at the Royal Television Society awards. Tremendous honour!

Thank you to Royal Television Society for recognising the fantastic storytelling of our Director Ed Watts, and for the support of Channel 4 and PBS Frontline that went into making Escape from Isis. Mediadante co-produced the documentary along with Evan Williams and of course ITN Productions.

RTS Awards

 

Honors for Escape from ISIS

Escape

Very proud to be part of the now award-winning team that made Escape from Isis. It won the Foreign Press Association award for best TV Documentary!

Also, a big thank you to Amnesty International for choosing Escape from Isis as their Documentary of 2015.
Directed by Ed Watts and produced by ITN, Ronachan, Evan Williams and Mediadante.

Egypt’s Arab Spring – 5 Years Later

Guardian - Mahmoud
Released on 25 January 2016, our second documentary for the Guardian looking at the 5 Year Anniversary of the Arab Spring.
Two years ago, Egypt’s government detained Mahmoud Hussein for wearing an anti-torture t-shirt. He is thought to be the youngest prisoner of conscience in the Arab world. By law, he should be released today. But will he be? We made this film for The Guardian about his Arab Spring.
Watch the film: http://gu.com/p/4g527/sbl
UPDATE: The Egyptian government has broken their own laws and decided NOT to release or try Mahmoud, despite exceeding the 2-year limit of pre-trial detention. Here is a link to the Amnesty petition for the release of Mahmoud if you want to do something after watching the film:

Watch our documentary for Al Jazeera’s 101 East

In Pakistan, making music can have deadly consequences. For religious hardliners, secular music is seen as un-Islamic and they have silenced musicians’ voices. Some have been killed while others have fled the country. Those left behind face constant fear, death threats and poverty. It’s a far cry from the golden era of the ‘60s where tunes of all genres offered Pakistanis relief from military repression and political uncertainty.

Right to Education

 

It has been an education in hope above hope for the Mediadante team working on this film about children and young people tying to get an education in conflict and violence.

Made with Education Above All for release at the UN conference with PEIC at WISE.

Directed by Adam Sobel and Produced by Tom Lancaster.