The Film Residency

There will be 2 residencies offered in 2019.

Residency 1: July 1 - August 31, 2019
Residency 2: September 1 - October 31, 2019
„BACKSTORY“ invites emerging filmmakers:
  • Who already have professional work experience and are up to 40 years old
  • Who plan to realize a film project or part of it (pre-production, production or post-production)
  • Who are working on any film genre except commercial ads
  • Who must be citizens of, and/or currently residing in one of these countries:
    - Algeria – Bahrain – Egypt – Germany – Iraq – Jordan – Kuwait – Lebanon – Libya – Morocco – Oman – Palestine – Qatar – Saudi Arabia – Sudan – Syria – Tunisia – UAE – Yemen           

„BACKSTORY“ will provide: 
  • Accommodation at Beirut Art Residency
  • Inspiring workspace in the heart of Gemmayzeh, Beirut’s artistic district
  • Administrative and logistical support
  • Access to technical equipment according to project needs
  • Specialized mentoring formats and master classes provided during the residency
  • Flights to and from Beirut
  • Monthly stipend of USD 1,000
The program is designed:
  • To support regional filmmakers in realizing their filmprojects (logistically, financially, technically, and thematically)
  • To initiate and facilitate networking in the region and between the region and Europe
  • To create opportunities for exchange 
  • To provide a platform for the presentation of filmworks in order to be exposed to a local public
  • To arrange individual mentoring formats to enhance the capabilities of filmmakers
Goethe-Institut Lebanon
Nahr Ibrahim Street
Facing Sacré Coeur School back entrance
P.O.B. 113-5159

To consult BACKSTORY coordinator Elisa Nobel, please contact phone:   
 +961 1 570131 Ext.: -205 or email:


Residents Session 1: July/August 2018

Leila Basma © Leila Basma

Leila Basma

Leila Basma is a Lebanese filmmaker. She graduated from IESAV with a Bachelor in Audiovisual Arts. Leila has been working as a freelancer in many fields, like Theatre, TV, Cinema and local Film Festivals.


Zeina Alqahwaji © Zeina Alqahwaji

Zeina Alqahwaji

Zeina Alqahwaji is a Syrian filmmaker, with a literature academic background. She started to work in the documentary film industry in 2010.

Sandra Madi © Sandra Madi

Sandra Madi

Sandra Madi is a Palestinian film director, actress and writer. She has 20 plays on her record that toured many cities in Europe. Acting and improvising in theatre, she was awarded three times as best actress.

Vanessa Nica Mueller © Vanessa Nica Mueller

Vanessa Nica Mueller

Vanessa Nica Mueller is a German filmmaker. She studied Film and Timebased Media at the Academy of Fine Arts, Hamburg (HfbK). Besides realizing her own films, she works as a lecturer at HfbK

Residents Session 2: September/October 2018

Mohammed Almughanni © Mohammed Almughanni

Mohammed Almughanni

Mohamed Almughanni is a Palestinian director, screenwriter, and cinematographer, currently studying film directing at the Polish National Film School in Lodz.

Nadine Salib © Nadine Salib

Nadine Salib

Nadine Salib is an Egyptian film director and writer. She studied film directing at the IAMS. She started her career as an assistant director in feature films such as 'In the last days of the city', directed by Tamer El Said.

Ayman Nahle © Ayman Nahle

Ayman Nahle

Ayman Nahle is a Lebanese filmmaker based in Beirut. He studied film and theater at the Lebanese University, Beirut. He has worked as a director, film editor and director of photography in several film productions. His focus lies in feature and short films, as well as experimental film.

Ginan Seidl © Ginan Seidl

Ginan Seidl

Ginan Seidl is a video/installation artist and filmmaker based in Halle/Saale. After she studied plastic arts in Halle (Saale), Berlin, and Mexico City, she participated in the Professional Media Master Class and Master Class Lab of Werkleitz e.V. in 2012 and 2016.

Backstory residents 2017, session 1 © Beirut Art Residency

Residents 2017

Portraits of the 8 residents who worked on their filmprojects in Beirut between June and October 2017.

The Jury

Rania Stephan © Marwan Tahtah

filmmaker - video artist
Rania Stephan

Rania Stephan is a Lebanese filmmaker and video artist from Beirut. Anchored in the turbulent reality of her country, her documentaries give a personal perspective to political events.

Jowe Harfouche © Jowe Harfouche

Jowe Harfouche

Jowe Harfouche is a Lebanese director, based in Beirut. the executive director of the Network of Arab Alternative Screens, a regional organization that supports ​cinema spaces offering alternative film programming in the Arab world. 

Youssef Shazli © Youssef Shazli

Youssef Shazli

Youssef Shazli is an Egyptian director from Cairo. He is currently managing two initiatives of Misr International Films: The Panorama of the European Film and Zawya Cinema, one of Egypt's first arthouse cinemas.

Birgit Kohler © Birgit Kohler

Film curator
Birgit Kohler

Birgit Kohler is a German film curator, based in Berlin. She is co-director of Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art and a member of the selection committee for the International Forum of New Cinema, a sidebar of the Berlin Film Festival.


The residency is an opportunity for those who want to upgrade their professional capabilities through Master Classes that will be available to residents (according to their interests) as well as for individuals who want to realize their filmmaking projects at any stage i.e. pre-production, production and post-production. It provides the chance to concentrate on their project by providing costs of living and accommodation; equipment if necessary and travel expenses.
This project is designed for emerging professionals who are able to work on their projects independently. Additionally, Master Classes will be provided as well as professional guidance and technical help in case residents need guidance in how to use the equipment.

The artists can be working on one or several stages of their filmmaking project:
  • Pre-production including scriptwriting
  • Production
  • Post-production
  • Algeria - Jordan - Morocco - Tunisia
  • Bahrain - Kuwait - Oman - UAE
  • Egypt - Lebanon - Saudi Arabia - Palestine
  • Iraq - Libya - Syria – Qatar
  • Yemen - Sudan
  • Germany
  • Feature
  • Documentary
  • Experimental
  • Animation
  • Short Film
  • Other