Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Netflix Partnership: Saving Film and TV Community in Lebanon

Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Netflix Partnership: Saving Film and TV Community in Lebanon

The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture – AFAC and Netflix announced the establishment of an emergency relief fund, worth USD 500,000, in support of below-the-line crew, craftspeople and freelancers in the film and television industry in Lebanon.  The AFAC-Netflix partnership falls under the umbrella of the USD 100 million hardship fund, which Netflix had announced in March, to support creative communities across the world who have been impacted by the pandemic, and which has since increased to USD 150 million.


From 26 October, members of Lebanon’s film and television community will be able to apply for the fund by filling out an online application form and providing supporting documentation including a list of the five most recent projects they worked on, two references, an overview of any other emergency support that they might have received this year and a brief description of the applicants’ challenges such as cancelled or delayed projects.

The fund’s call for applications will run from October 26 to November 9, 2020. Detailed guidelines, eligibility criteria and online application form for intending applicants will be available on the AFAC website starting 26 October.

The fund comes at a critical time for Lebanon, which has witnessed tremendous social, political and economic changes, coupled with the spread of a global pandemic and the recent catastrophic port blast. The fund will provide financial support in the form of individual grants ($2000 per grant) to members of Lebanon’s film and TV community, who are facing economic hardship resulting from the disruption of normal life, halts in productions, little to no opportunities in the Film and TV industry, in addition to the impact of the blast.

Arab film artwork supported by AFAC.

About AFAC

The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture – AFAC was founded in 2007 through the initiative of Arab cultural activists as an independent foundation to support individual artists, writers, researchers, intellectuals, as well as organizations from the Arab region working in the field of arts and culture. Since its launch, AFAC’s programs have steadily expanded to cover cinema, photography, visual and performing arts, creative and critical writings, music, documentary film, in addition to funding research, trainings and cultural events. Based in Beirut, AFAC works with artists and organizations all over the Arab region and the rest of the world.

AFAC strives to build a flourishing cultural and artistic scene across the Arab region that contributes to establishing open and vibrant societies, where young and seasoned voices engage with each other in the wake of the massive transformations being witnessed by the region.

AFAC seeks to promote engagement between Arab societies and their diasporas, especially after such a large number of Arab artists have become refugees or been forced into exile across the world, which has reflected on them personally and the art they produce, as well as on the various societies they are now working in and expand the space for civic engagement through the offerings of intellectuals, artists, researchers and civil society organizations; a space for dialogue, questioning, critical reflection, and tolerance

AFAC programs include:

  • Grants: AFAC offers close to two hundred grants every year through open calls to submit applications. These grants are spread over nine programs: Performing Arts, Visual Arts, the AFAC Documentary Program, Music, the Research on the Arts Program, Creative and Critical Writings, Training and Regional Events, Cinema, and the Arab Documentary Photography Program.
  • Training and Mentorship: In addition to the grants, AFAC sets up programs that offer training and mentorship to develop missing skills and practices, as is the case with the Arts and Culture Entrepreneurship and the Arab Documentary Photography programs.
  • Knowledge Building and Sharing: AFAC’s extensive database includes more than 10,000 applicants and 1,350 funded projects, which has made it into a considerable source of information on cultural trends, modes of artistic production, social impact, geographic contexts, and all the relevant statistics. AFAC shares this information through reports, info-graphics, grantees’ stories and studies that it commissions.
  • Broadening the Pool of Supporters for the Arts: AFAC is committed to strengthening philanthropy for the arts, and to working with the private sector to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship in the field of cultural and artistic production. Our aim is to expand and diversify sources of funding for artists, writers, intellectuals and researchers, as well as organizations that present artistic and cultural content.
  • Building Audiences: AFAC seeks to cultivate appreciation for and engagement with arts and culture production to reinforce the transformational power of creative expression.

Netflix Work in the Middle East 

While getting the copyrights to make a lot of original Arab works in television and cinema available on its platform, Netflix has also produced lots of works by Arab artists and tailored to an Arab audience such as Dollar starring Adel Karam set in Lebanon. Recently it announced the release of the documentary “Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb” on ancient Egypt. In November it will show a new Egyptian series on paranormal activity starring Egyptian actor Ahmad Amin and based on a famous novel by the Egyptian writer Ahmad Khaled Tawfeeq.

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