Blog

5 Years after Ben Ali

Produced by Samar Media – ” سمر”, in collaboration with Mediadante, this film was released on 14 January 2015, the 5 Year Anniversary of the end of Ben Ali’s rule.

Bouhdid Belhadi was part of the protests as a teenager. Today he still struggles against injustice as a member of Shams – a local LGBT rights organisation fighting to decriminalise homosexuality.

Watch his story here: Samar Media

Samar Tunisia

5 Years after the Arab Spring, a film for the Guardian

Do you remember where you were and how you felt when you realised something called the Arab Spring had started? It’s been five years now.

Mediadante worked with The Guardian to produce a film about what’s become of the Arab Spring in Tunisia. Watch the film on The Guardian’s site to see what’s happened 5 years after the revolution caught fire, from the point of view of people who were there from the start: http://gu.com/p/4f6kd/stw

Guardian

 

 

A Struggle for Home

Struggle for Home

 

We are very proud to have co-produced Christina Paschyn’s doc “A Struggle for Home” about the Crimean Tatars. Very few people talk about their fight for rights at home today. There were tears at our first public viewing as people watched Crimean clocks being turned back two hours after the invasion to fit Moscow time. Thanks to Al Jazeera Documentary Festival where the film premiered.

 

Mediadante 2.0

It has been an exciting time for Mediadante over the last few months: refocussing on our documentary and news origins. And we have so much to tell you and release up ahead….

A PBS Frontline/ Channel 4 documentary about the lives of people living under IS in Iraq and Syria we helped produce with Ronachan Films and ITN in London will be coming out in mid July. There will be public screenings at BAFTA in London and the House of Wow in Doha with a chance to talk to the very talented director, Edward Watts, about his experience of filming in Iraq. For more details of those events “like” our Facebook page and we will send you an invitation www.facebook.com/Mediadante

We are in final talks with a very exciting very brilliant co-producing partner in the U.S. for our Workers Cup documentary about the lives of several migrant labourers before during and after a huge footy tournament here in Qatar in 2014.

The Plunder is a “transmedia” (please tell us if there is a better word!) project about the looting and destruction of ancient cultural history in Syria and Iraq.  We are co-producing this with the extraordinary imagination experts, Anagram, which made its early stage debut at a Crisis in Culture conference at the Victoria and Albert Museum. You can find out more about this exciting new adventure by watching this short, rather nervously delivered, film . We are on the hunt for objects stolen and now recovered around the world so if you have any leads let us know.

We’ve helped to Exec Produce a half-hour doc on the history of the Tartar people shot by director Christina Paschyn, up to and beyond the recent annexing of Crimea by Russia, which is about to do the rounds at the festivals.

On the news front we are happy to announce that an investigation we ran for the BBC’s Sue Lloyd-Roberts into the abuse of workers in Qatar by a British Company has been nominated for a One World award.  Some new rule changes in Qatar around filming have kept us on our toes but we are happily working with the government to make sure the story of Qatar gets told in the way it needs to be by responsible, intelligent, thoughtful and empathetic journalists both visiting and local.

In short films, we have enjoyed working with AJPlus in recent months on projects in RenoBarcalona and Qatar and are looking forward to releasing our first venture with OZY films, an impressive up and coming resource for intelligent stories from the U.S. and soon around the world.

And over the summer we are going to become a much more present presence in Beirut and London. In Lebanon we are looking forward to developing our work to date with Samar Media, re-telling the story of the Arab Spring and reviving its original intent. And in London several projects (which we are keeping under our hat for now) in Yemen, India and Pakistan are running along nicely.

These are just the bits we can tell you about….there is so much more….

Jungle Post…The Film

Some of you have been asking about what happened to all the film we shot in the Amazon with the seven young Qatari adventurers this summer.

One Step for a Better Future is the film we produced for the new organisation Qatar Together. Watch it and pass it on. There were so many ways we could have told this story. This is just one of them.

Happy New Year from the Mediadante team.

The story of a lifetime….

We are in a hurry to capture the story of an amazing 96 year old English man who has spent his life improving education for boys and more importantly girls in Pakistan and we need your help. Some argue that Major Langlands has done more for education in Pakistan than any other individual.

He has been given millions of dollars over the years to help support his schools and open new ones but lives on a meagre stipend now just two years into his retirement in Lahore. Now we need to raise around $17,000 to film with him for five days and produce a stunning short film we can use to raise the rest of the support we will need to finish the film.

Normally we could apply for funding from grants and commissioners and expect to receive the funds we need in the next few months. But we cannot wait that long for Major Langlands… amazingly he has a twin brother who is not well and we don’t want to wait till next year.

We have started a Kickstarter project https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/765451390/the-english-teacher any help you can give us would be much appreciated.

A new beginning – Jungle Post

The team is back and I must say stepping off the plane after the 19 hour journey they looked amazing! There must be something in that Amazon water.

They have had at least three nights trying to beat the jet lag to sleep and now it is time for reflection and looking anew at their life back home.

The Adventurers had the toughest of times – suffering from the relentless insect bites, humidity that kept them at a minimum of “slightly sweaty” all the time, a monotonous diet of “rice and fried stuff,” and of course the building of a structure they could never have imagined they could build just a week or two before. These pictures give you an indication of the scale and complexity of what they did. The village chose to make it a meeting place for the region, an outdoor classroom, a stadium of sorts and the start of a larger stone complex that the government will build this year. The reception on the last day from the locals and even politicians was emotional.

But there were smiles all round when we met up last night. The team have made friendships that will last a lifetime and memories too. There were lots of laughs about eating worms…which taste of nuts apparently and pop in your mouth.

While they all agree the experience in Brazil was amazing, oh boy were they happy to be back in Doha! Air conditioning, lights you can turn on at night and flushing toilets…and the food, oh boy the food. And clean and easy places to pray…they list goes on and on. In the jungle it took them a canoe, then a boat, then a taxi, then a bus and finally a car to reach the nearest town. Here everything is just a hop away.

The girls in particular have been overwhelmed with the support from not just friends and family but colleagues and people from all over Qatar. We at Mediadante join them in saying a huge THANK YOU for that. It boosted the team when they needed it most. We hope that this story, a simple one of young people reaching beyond their limits to achieve something for other people, whilst at the same time learning so much about themselves and the world can be one to inspire others to the same.

We will be putting a film together for the group, their families and perhaps an audience beyond showing that human achievement. We are very proud of the team and our team too who worked so hard to finish the project and to come safely back home with new experiences to share and enrich their lives in Qatar.

Time to celebrate – Jungle Post

The team has done it! The school building is complete, even the playing field outside is prepared and on Monday after a very hard earned day of rest the team will celebrate with a football tournament held by the village.

Today girls have been making Acai juice – which is one of the main sources of income for the villagers. The boys have been out spear fishing along the Amazon with a few Brazilian hunters.

The local mayor visited on Saturday as the final touches were being being put into place at the building. We should have pictures for you by Tuesday.

They are extremely proud of the work they have done and all they have achieved to make it this far…. but now only thing the team is talking about right now is quite how good their first shower, proper meal and mosquito-free sleep is going to be when they get back to Manaus tomorrow. The jungle has been amazing, but the insects will not be missed! Goodbye little fellas.

Mediadante salutes the adventurers.

Old to the New – Jungle Post

So….as I write the team should be making the final touches to the school….which has now turned into an assembly hall…and you could possibly call it a sports hall too! The local Brazilians have decided to level a playing field outside with the help of the Adventurers and make a place for sports too. This venue is the only place in the region for the local community to congregate for miles around.

Friday was a day of painting and finalising the building. On Sunday there will be a football match and Tameem hopes to make an impact on a team with all the Qatari boys on it.

Preparing the roof – Jungle Post

Thursday was a day of learning for the team. They worked with local carpenters to put the wooden roof structure in place. They also cut down and unrolled palm leaves to dry out and flatten ahead of putting them up on the roof on Friday.

It was an exhausting day and as usual everyone was in bed by 8pm…with no electricity once the sun goes down it is a quick countdown to sleep! Being just six hours behind Qatar and with the late night summer hours of the team’s homeland there is very little difference between their waking hours and ours back home. So as parents and friends are going to bed so are the Adventurers ready for a new start tomorrow.