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Wednesday 28 June 2017
Application deadline

OPEN CALL for emerging Syrian film-makers to join a training program entitled “Syrian Stories” - A partnership between The British Council, Scottish Documentary Institute and Bidayyat for Audiovisual Arts
The closing date for applications is 28 June 2017

The British Council, Scottish Documentary Institute and Bidayyat for Audiovisual Arts are pleased to announce the extension of Syrian Stories into Turkey, a training program for emerging Syrian and Syrian-Palestinian filmmakers. The Syrian Stories programme seeks to support a new generation of documentary filmmakers who wish to create engaging films that reflect on and question their society.  

In July 2017 we will be holding a workshop in Istanbul to support 14 to 16 Syrian and Syrian-Palestinian emerging film-makers based in the local area to develop their skills, plan and realize their own creative projects and reach new local and international audiences through their work. 

During this 13-days practical documentary workshop participating film-makers will be supported to develop their skills and explore documentary creativity for the international film festival market.

This practical workshop in documentary will allow participants to:

  • Develop an understanding of creative documentary for international festivals
  • Develop an idea into a short creative film
  • Work with characters, sound and visuals dramatically and emotionally
  • Produce a 5 minute documentary 

The workshop will be made up of a mixture of seminars and consultant-led advice sessions and during the course of the workshop the participating film-makers will work in teams of 4 (director/ camera/sound/editor) to produce their own 3 to 5 minutes short documentary film. Each film should offer an original insight into the identity of the locality where the participants are based, working through a personal/character led story.

For more information on the content of the 13 days workshop please see the attached draft training programme.


The programme is open to emerging Syrian and Syrian-Palestinian filmmakers based in Istanbul and the surrounding area. 

Candidates must:

  • Be between 18 and 35 years old
  • Hold a Syrian or Syrian-Palestinian nationality
  • Not have completed a university-level degree in film-making
  • Be able to demonstrate an interest in film-making – the programme is for emerging film-makers so candidates with only basic or limited experience are encouraged to apply
  • Reside in the area where the workshop is taking place
  • Have an idea of a character or a film they would like to make
  • Be able to commit fully to the 13-days training period (mid-July 2017)    

We believe diversity should be celebrated and talent exists in all levels of society. We therefore encourage people from across all sections of Syrian society – in particular women - to apply.  


Films produced through previous iterations of this workshop have screened at international festivals including Locarno Film Festival and Sheffield Doc/Fest and we hope that could happen for these films too!

All films produced through the workshop will be distributed and marketed by Bidayyat for Audiovisual Arts, Scottish Documentary Institute and The British Council.  Once the films are created we will develop a distribution strategy targeting local and international festivals and leading online platforms but this will all be communicated to the participants along the way.  The underlying rights to the films will be held by the British Council although the filmmakers will have the right to screen their films subject to the communicated distribution plan and an online holdback.  


If you are interested in taking part please apply online by clicking here (the application form is in Arabic).

The deadline for applications is 23.59 GMT on Wednesday 28 June, 2017.  

In case of technical problems with the application form you can also submit your application via email. For a copy of the application form please contact us at


The applications will be evaluated by an experienced panel representing the three project partner organisations and applications will be assessed based on the following criteria:

  • The relevance of the candidate’s past experience & the quality of their previous creative work 
  • Their motivation to take part in the course
  • The strength of their film idea(s)

Candidates will be contacted by email to let them know if they’ve been selected for the programme. We aim to respond approximately one week after the application deadline.