Category: Documentary

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?)



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.

Honors for Escape from ISIS


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:
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:

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

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 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.

The Qatar Brazil Challenge – NEW EXTENDED DEADLINE!!!

Make SUMMER 2014 one you will never forget…join The Qatar Brazil Challenge!!


We are searching for Qatar’s next great group of explorers to GO TO Brazil this  August 2014.

If you are Qatari and between 17 and 24 years old and think you have what it takes to join a group of other young Qataris on a visit to the Amazon this August then you NOW have till May 17th to submit your application!

The selected six girls and boys who join us will be climbing, trekking, biking and canoeing their way through the dense Amazon Rainforest before spending a week building a school classroom for a Brazilian village.



Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Thani  – the first Qatari ever to climb  Mount Everest -  is giving you the chance to spend your summer catching piranhas, building rafts and rope-bridges, and surviving off the jungle; safely looked after by one of the best adventure companies in the world,  True Adventure.

The Qatar Brazil Challenge is also a part of the Qatar Museum Authority’s Year of Culture 2014.

Watch Sheikh MOE explain why he is so excited by The Qatar Brazil Challenge here.

Making an IMPACT!

You’ll also be a part of the Middle East’s first ever interactive online documentary and social media experience. The production team from Mediadante, the same team that followed Sheikh Moe up Everest for QTV (watch the series here) – will be following all the action, and beaming it to the world directly from the heart of the jungle; we’ll upload almost daily updates with video, images, social media and blogs.

Go beyond your physical and mental limits…see the world and have the summer of a lifetime.

Download your information pack and application form now and get involved!


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