24 April '24

In collaboration with the SAFAR Film Festival, Palestinian filmmaker Saeed Taji Farouky will lead a free two-day project development workshop on 15 and 16 June 2024 for up to six early-career Arab filmmakers (or filmmakers working on projects connected to or inspired by the Arab world.) Applicants must apply with a film idea in mind, but it can be anything from an initial outline on paper to an early script. You don’t need to have a fully developed idea, you just need the enthusiasm and openness to work with others on developing your story.  

During the two-day workshop, we’ll discuss each project in detail and develop the film’s themes, characters, and narrative. We’ll investigate creative storytelling, as well the practicalities of getting a film made and released. The sessions will be intensive, collaborative, and confidential, so you’ll need a willingness to share ideas and foster a supportive environment.  

Any type of film – documentary, fiction, and everything in between – and any length is eligible. We define an early-career filmmaker as anyone from a complete beginner working on their first film, to someone who has made any number of short films but no more than one feature-length film. The workshops will take place physically at the Arab British Centre in Gough Square, central London, so only applicants based in the UK (or who can be present in London during the workshop) are eligible.  

We’ve tried to make the applications as simple and straight-forward as possible. Just answer a short series of questions about your filmmaking, and submit a short (1000 word maximum) synopsis of your film idea. Applications should be submitted in English, and the workshops will be held in English.  

Participants will be selected by the Arab British Centre team and workshop facilitator Saeed Taji Farouky. The selection process will ensure inclusion from underrepresented groups in the film industry and consider; income level, sex, sexuality, gender, race and ability.  

The workshop is free for all participants, and the cost of lunch plus £10 towards travel each day will be provided. Selected filmmakers will also benefit from further opportunities as part of the SAFAR Arab Film Network, for example networking opportunities. Applications are open to anyone around the world, but you must be available to be in London for both days of the workshop, and the Arab British Centre unfortunately cannot assist with the cost of travel or with visa applications.

Applications are now open, and the deadline for submission is Wednesday 22 May 2024. Deadline to apply is 23:59 – any applications received after this will be ineligible. Please do not hesitate to send any questions in the meantime to and if you would like to submit your application in audio or video form, please let us know and we’ll do our best to help.  



  • Wednesday 24 April: Open call Launch  
  • Wednesday 22 May: Open call closing date. Deadline to apply is 23:59 – any applications received after this will be ineligible 
  • Monday 3 June: Applicants contacted with decision  
  • Saturday 15 – Sunday 16 June: Workshop days at the Arab British Centre from 10:00am-6:00pm  



Saeed Taji Farouky is a Palestinian-British filmmaker and educator who has been making films around themes of conflict, human rights, and post-colonialism since 1998. His latest documentary, A Thousand Fires, was the opening film in the Locarno Film Festival’s Critics Week 2021 and won the Marco Zucchi award for Most Innovative Documentary. His previous documentary, Tell Spring Not to Come This Year, premiered at Berlinale 2015, won the Audience Choice Panorama award and Amnesty International Human Rights Award, and was selected for over 40 international film festivals and awarded Best Documentary 4 times. It was bought by Netflix and received a theatrical release in the UK where The Guardian gave it a 4 star review and described as “a powerful, beautifully shot documentary.”  

His first short fiction They Live in Forests, They Are Extremely Shy (2016) was broadcast on Channel 4’s Random Acts, and won Best Short Drama at the Royal Television Society Awards (North East and Boarder). His current feature fiction project Soon We Will All Be History Here was selected for the Torino Script Lab 2021.  

Farouky is also the designer and lead tutor of the radical SLG film school, a free alternative film course supporting people from backgrounds underrepresented in the industry and dedicated to developing a new generation of creative and engaged moving image artists.  



You can save your application online as you go however we strongly recommend candidates save their application in a separate document as well. If you do not receive an automated email confirming your submission, please contact The Arab British Centre at  

When you submit, you will receive a confirmation email with your submission details listed. Please check your junk email for this if it does not land in your inbox.