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Panel Discussions

On panel discussions I am pleased to contribute fanning out the complexity of a subject or of a film or to share knowledge, be it e.g. economic questions or historic research and experience.

The following selection of events shows to what kind of group discussions I can contribute.


(photo: PFI)

New Waves in Distribution
Palestine Pavillion Cannes Film Festival - Online 2020
New digital platforms have been emerging as a way of distribution for sometime now, and due to the Covid 19 Pandamic, these platforms have been seeing an intensive viewing rates, indicating that the time has come to move forward with such distribution channels, but also this indicates a shift in the watching habits for audience, how this can be useful for Palestinian image makers, especially for an industry that doesnt own its theater or tv channels, how can this be an economy that producers should think about. This panel will address these issues forecasting an alternative future to reach wider audiences around the world bypassing the classical gatekeepers.
Participants: May Odeh, Tariq Abu Lughud, Irit Neidhardt; Moderator: Ola Sheikh
On air at Radio Alhara (Arabic) and online at the Palestine Film Institute

(photo: al-Quds University)

1989: The fall of the Berlin Wall seen from Arab Capitals
Al Quds University East-Jerusalem / Palestine 2019
Irit Neidhardt (mec film) is invited to the panel "1989: The fall of the Berlin Wall seen from Arab Capitals" at the conference "1919/1989/2019: Regards croisés/Crossed perspectives Europe-Middle East", which is organized by the Goethe Institut togther with the Institut Français in Jerusalem, the IFPO (Middle-East French Institute) and the Quds-University in East-Jerusalem (Palestine). Panelists: Afif Safieh (Diplomat), Sarah Daoud (Sciences Po Paris), Irit Neidhardt (mec film) und Moussa Dweik (Al-Quds University), Moderator: Mohammad Iriqat (Al-Quds University).

(Photo: DoxBox)

Tackling Documentary Distribution: case studies of theatrical distribution of Arab feature documentaries
at the Documentary Convention in Leipzig / Germany 2019
Documentary distribution in general in challenging, with very few examples of Arab region documentaries that are distributed either outside or in the region itself. Highlighting cases that successfully gained exposure and circulation as well as potential alternative or specific strategies, this panel will coer a variety of topics: realistic expectations and turnouts, successes and disappointments, how to tackle the actual problem of ‘non-distribution’ from, and inside, the region.
Panelits: Mélanie Simon-Franza (Just Doc, France), Ahmed Sobky (Zawya Distribution, Egypt), and Irit Neidhardt (mec film, Germany); Moderator: Jad Abi Khalil.
(Within the module: Distribution, Circulation & Sales) more

The Circulation of Palestinian and Arab Cinema in Europe
at the Festival Ciné-Palestine Industry Days / Cité international des arts Paris / France 2018
From art house cinemas to festivals and to alternative exhibition venues, the panelists will discuss their experience of distributing, curating and programming independent Palestinian and Arab cinema in Europe.
Speakers: Béatrice Grossi - Programmer - Cinéma Le Studio, Irit Neidhardt - Distributor, mec film, Christophe Postic - Co-Artistic Director of Les États généraux du film documentaire de Lussas; Moderator: Mélanie Simon-Franza - Distributor, Juste Doc more

Kuwait Film Festival 2017 | Distributing Arab Films (Photo: KFF)

Distributing Arab Films
Kuwait Film Festival / National Library Kuwait 2017
Panelists: Moshira Farouk (MAD Solutions),  Reem Bader (minaa.org), Mona Deeley (BBC Arabic), Irit Neidhardt (mec film), Moderator: Peter Belsito (Film Finders)
Program (PDF)

Free Zone Belgrade 2016 | Night Talk (Photo: private)

What’s left in Syria?
Late Night Conversations at Free Zone Belgrade / Serbia 2016
Wars are filled with stories ranging from everyday deaths to miraculous survivals. In between are the stories that are never big, but they are the most numerous. Those are the stories of people who have been caught in the middle of the war by madness, stupidity and essentially weakness of politicians. Those are the stories of those who hate the war, who are not leading it, nor have started it, they are those whose only resistance is to survive. They can’t say a lot, because there is not much to say about that nightmare that has existed from the beginning of humanity. Yet this movie gives a chance to speak to them, to the people who have nothing to say. Continue

Documenting Syria - Films by Barbara and Winfried Junge
Filmmuseum Potsdam / Germany 2016
On the backdrop of the war in Syria the Filmmuseum Potsdam dares a look back to older cinematic images of the country. Documentarists Barbara and Winfried Junge (»The Children of Golzow«) shot films in Syria in different periods of times which now seem like a long term observation. Film screenings and panel with Barbara and Winfried Junge, Irit Neidhardt (mec film), moderator: Stephan Ahrens (film museum Potsdam). Continue in German

Landscapes for Hope 2016 (Photo: Action4Hope)

Do you hear me?
Landscapes of Hope / Radialsystem Berlin / Germany 2016
How do artists and writers see themselves, their work and the world today? Conversations between Syrian and German artists and writers, hosted by Jafaar Abdul Karim. In conversation: Irit Neidhardt, Khaled Abdulwahed, Rasha Abbas, Merle Kröger, Rafaat Al Zakout, and Jochen Sandig.
program leaflet (Arabic and English PDF)

Robert Bosch Stiftung | RBB Inforadio 2016 (Photo: rbb)


So Near Yet So Far – How Films can build Bridges
Robert Bosch Stiftung | RBB Inforadio Berlin / Germany 2016
Radio debate with public in the Berlin  representative office of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, recorded by public radio RBB Inforadio. With: Roman Paul, Producer of German-Arab coproductions like „Wadjda" (Saudi Arabia); Jalal Maghout, Nominee of the Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung for cooperation Germany and the Arab World; Frank W. Albers, Robert Bosch Stiftung; Irit Neidhardt, mec film, distributor of Arab films in Germany; Viola Shafik; Moderator: Harald Asel (RBB Inforadio). Continue in German

How to Reproduce Cinema Archives 2015 (Photo: FilmLab Palestine)

How to Reproduce Cinema Archives
Days of Cinema at Khalil Sakakini Center Ramallah / Palestine 2015
This panel addressed the issue of cinema archives, their importance and value. What is a cinema archive? How should they be maintained, in what form and where? What is the status of the Palestinian cinema archive? How can the archive be integrated in everyday life and in the dynamic cultural presence of Palestinians? How can it be used as a tool to reproduce identity?
Panelists: Rola Shahwan, Palestine TV – Head of Archive Department (Palestine); Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Director of National Fairground Archive (UK); Irit Neidhart, Producer, Distributor (Germany); moderator: Muhannad Yacoubi, Independent Filmmaker and Curator (Palestine) More

Berlinale Talents 2015 (Photo: Berlinale)

Crossroads to Culture: Cinema(s) in the Arab World
Berlinale Talents at Hebbel am Ufer (HAU) Berlin / Germany 2015
Panelists: Hania Mroué (Metropolis Beirut), Irit Neidhardt (mec film Berlin), Youssef Shazli (Zawya Cairo), moderated by Jean-Pierre Rehm (FID Marseille)
The past decade has witnessed a boom in filmmaking in the Arab world, which has in turn seen a marked return to the local art house cinema as a space of viewership, meeting and cultural exchange for both local audiences as well as in a broader international context. Noted distributors and cinema exhibitors from Beirut, Cairo and Berlin committed to bringing Arab films to local and international audiences will explore the current opportunities in and challenges to exhibition and distribution. This session will explore not only how local cinemas are reemerging as bustling hubs of alternative culture, but it also will examine the difficulties faced by distributors and filmmakers as they try to transfer Arab culture to spaces outside of the Arab world. Continue with information and video of the talk

DFM Forum: What are The Challenges of Distributing Arab films? (Photo: DIFF)

What are The Challenges of Distributing Arab films?
Dubai Film Market Forum of the Dubai International Film Festival 2014
Arab films enjoy a unique positioning. With a readily available audience of more than 300 million people the challenges of reaching the end user should be minimal. Yet, the distribution of Arab films presents numerous obstacles. Distributors and filmmakers come together to discuss marketing and distribution strategies to help Arab films realise their true potential.
Panelists: Mario Jr. Haddad, Vice President, Empire International; Ali F. Mostafa, Filmmaker, From A to B; Irit Neidhardt, Director, mec film; Hania Mroue, Director, Metropolis Cinema; Hisham Zaman, Filmmaker, Letter to the King; Moderator: E. Nina Rothe, Cultural Activist and Blogger, The Huffington Post. watch the video

Glow of Memory. Presentation of an academic research on German-PLO cooperation in Palestinian filmmaking
Goethe Institute – Institut Francais Ramallah / Palestine 2014
The Film Festival in Leipzig seems to be a vague yet positive Palestinian memory with respect to cinema. For her academic research Irit Neidhardt completed a first viewing of the paper archives of the festival for the years the PLO attended the event. She will present her project exemplified by files regarding the PLO production Al-Manam that won an award in Leipzig in 1987.
In a second part of the evening the Al-Manam will be screened. Panelists: Mahmoud Al Labadi, Irit Neidhardt, Oraib Toukan and Mohannad Yacoubi. more

The  insistence  of  the  past  in  the  present  –  Film-Making in Lebanon today
in the program: Sights of Memory – Films from Lebanon at Arsenal Institut für Film und Videokunst Berlin / Germany 2013
with: Eliane Raheb, Ghassan Salhab and Rania and Raed Rafei as well as Irit Neidhardt (mec film) and Rabih El-Khoury (Metropolis Art Cinema, Beirut), moderator: Saadi Nikro (ZMO). More in English | program leaflet (Geman PDF)

International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2012 | Mavericks, Mouvements, Manifestos (Photo: Kurzfilmtage)

Mavericks, Movements, Manifestos
International Short Film Festival Oberhausen / Germany 2012
A discussion on temporary affiliations between film-makers, artists and intellectuals who make themselves heard through manifestos, rallying cries and declarations of intent and whether they are fit to face present-day challenges.
with Margit Czenki, artist and film-maker (Hamburg); Sarah Günter, film scholar (Frankfurt/M.); Irit Neidhardt, mec film (Berlin); Jed Rapfogel, Anthology Film Archives (New York); Moderated by: Ralph Eue, curator of "Mavericks, Movements, Manifestos" (Berlin). More information and video

Middle East Docs 2012: Mirage or Reality?
Sheffield Doc | Fest / UK 2012
Independent filmmakers from the Middle East are enjoying unprecedented global interest in their productions as a result of the Arab Spring. Untold stories are searching for new markets. Coproduction opportunities are beginning to emerge along with the new media industries of the Gulf region. Could this be the right time to partner with a Middle East producer, to pitch to a TV network or funding organisation from the region? Is this a new documentary industry in the making or just an illusion? Find out as our team of filmmakers, scholars and distributors from across the Middle East and Europe investigate Middle East Documentary production in the wake of the Arab Spring and what it could mean to you.
panelists: Irit Neidhardt (distribitor, mec film), Mostafa Nagy (head of Al Jazeera Documentary Channel), Nadim Mishlawi (director, Db Studios), Talal Al-Muhanna (producer, Linked Productions), moderator: Viola Shafik More 

WCF-Day “Cinema in Palestine” 2009 (Photo: Berlinale)

World Cinema Fund: It’s All about Cooperation
Berlinale World Cinema Fund Day / Germany 2009
On February 11, 2009, WCF Day will once again provide an opportunity to learn more about the programme, successes, funding strategies, films, initiatives, and partners of the World Cinema Fund (WCF).
On this same day, WCF directors and producers, as well as international representatives of the film branch and the press are invited to attend a panel discussion. Under the heading “Cinema in Palestine”, a public debate on the topic of cinema in the Palestinian autonomous territories will be held with film experts from the region. Participants: Alia Arasoughly (Director of Shashat’s Women’s Film Festival), George Khleifi (director), Irit Neidhardt (Mec Film, production and distribution for films from the Middle East), Irina Orssich (MEDIA Mundus), Georges David (Royal Jordan Film Commission) More | Photos

Ex Oriente Pix
Berlinale Talent Campus in co-operation with Euromed Audiovisual II Programme, Germany 2007
This panel examines the production chain within the MEDA region (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey) in order to get a clear view of the regional possibilities to finance, produce and market films. After discussing the role of local and international TV stations as well as state support and private funding, the panel will concentrate on local and global distribution of films and on perspectives for structured intra-MEDA region co-operations. Panelists: Simone Bitton, Dora Bouchoucha, Férid Boughedir, Michel Khleifi, Bärbel Mauch, Irit Neidhardt