Category: Qatar

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

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

  • 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:

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.

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.


The Skeleton Structure – Jungle Post

Word from the Mediadante team is that Wednesday saw the Adventurers really relax into the routine of getting the build done. They have now decided the final design so with the foundations finished they turned to putting up all the wooden poles and supports needed to build the actual structure.

Meanwhile preparations in the village have begun for a festival to celebrate when the school is finished – hopefully this Saturday. We are looking forward to seeing what a festival means in this part of the world. People are going to come from all around the region.

The Adventurers are finding the physical aspect of the building hard – there are splinters and blisters galore. But that is not stopping them and they are learning to work as a team to support each other. And they are also learning their individual strengths and weaknesses.

أبلغنا فريق ميديادانتي أنّ المغامرين بدأوا بالاعتياد على روتين أعمال البناء، وقد اتفقوا على التصميم النهائي للمبنى. والآن، ونظراً لانتهاء عملية حفر الأساسات، انتقل المغامرون إلى نصب الأعمدة الخشبيّة والدعامات الضرورية لتشييد المبنى.

في هذه الأثناء، بدأ سكان القرية بالإعداد لمهرجان للاحتفال بانتهاء العمل على المدرسة – يوم السبت ان شاء الله. ونتطلّع إلى الاطّلاع على المهرجان وكيفيّة الاحتفال به في هذه المنطقة من العالم. ومن المتوقّع أن يحضره أشخاص من كافّة أنحاء المنطقة.

يواجه مغامرونا عدداً من الصعوبات في أعمال البناء، ويعانون بشكل خاصّ من شظايا الخشب والتقرّحات. لكنّهم لم يتأثّروا بذلك؛ إذ يتعلّمون العمل معاً كفريق لدعم بعضهم البعض، ويتعرّفون إلى نقاط قوّتهم وضعفهم الفرديّة.

Digging the foundations – Jungle Post

On Tuesday work began on digging the foundations for the new building. It is hard work – it is hot and humid. More humid that Qatar even! But the work must be done so the team is working together in shifts to get through it all.

When they are not digging they have been working out the best way to meet the needs of the local population. The girls went to speak to one of the teachers from the old, burnt down school and met some of the best and brightest students to find out how they would like the new school to look and what services they hope it will have.

The whole team also got a lesson in carpentry as well from a local craftsman who taught them how to use jungle materials in order to build the school. It turns out some of them have quite a talent for woodwork!

After all they have endured the last few weeks…climbing mountains, sleeping in the jungle, battling insects, cleaning a new space for prayer several times a day, eating very simple food…Aisha, Maqdeem, Mohammed, Tameem, Sami, Leila and Noor say they are relieved to have the clear task of the school to focus on.

The team is going to be getting a visit from a local politician on Friday who is keen to know more about these people who have come such a long way and endured such difficult conditions in order to build them a new school. He is coming to thank them.

بدأ الفريق العمل يوم الثلاثاء على حفر الأساسات للمبنى الجديد، وهي مهمّة شاقّة – خاصّة في المناخ الحارّ والأكثر رطوبة من قطر حتّى! لكنّ العمل يجب أن يُستَكمل. ولهذه الغاية، يعمل أعضاء الفريق على مناوبات لإتمام المهمّة.

وحين لا يعمل المغامرون على الحفر، نراهم يفكّرون في الوسائل الفضلى لتلبية حاجات السكان. وفي هذا الصدد، توجّهت الفتيات للتحدّث إلى أحد المدرّسين من المدرسة القديمة التي احترقت ولقاء ألمع الطلّاب فيها لمعرفة آرائهم من حيث شكل المدرسة الجديدة والخدمات التي يأملون أن تقدّمها.

إضافة إلى ذلك، تلقّى أعضاء الفريق درساً في النّجارة من حرفيّ محلّي علّمهم كيفية استخدام المواد المتوفرة في الأدغال لبناء المدرسة. ويبدو أنّ عدداً منهم موهوبون في أعمال الخشب!

بعد كلّ ما عاناه المغامرون في الأسابيع القليلة الماضية، كتسلّق الجبال والنوم في الأدغال والمعاناة مع الحشرات وتنظيف مكان جديد للصلاة عدّة مرات في اليوم الواحد وتناول طعام بسيط، اعترفوا لنا أنّهم سعداء بالتركيز على مهمّة واضحة هي بناء المدرسة.

يوم الجمعة، يستضيف الفريق أحد السياسيين المحليين الذي يرغب بمعرفة المزيد عن هؤلاء الأشخاص الذين قطعوا مسافات طويلة وواجهوا ظروفاً صعبة ليتمكّنوا من بناء مدرسة لقريته. وسيقوم السياسي بالتعبير عن شكره للمغامرين.