Sheffield Fringe

List of streaming platforms MENA region +

23 March 2020

In addition to the many resources that have popped up in the current Covid-19 crisis, including the listings of archives and streaming platforms made available on the Visible Evidence listserv, the Centre for Screen Cultures, Film Studies For Free, Sabzian blogs and MoMA Magazine I have pulled together some online resources specifically focused on film cultures from the Middle East and North African region.

The below list tries [and may fail] to avoid any overlaps with the above lists and besides MENA-focused resources includes resources relating to Austrian, Greek, Irish and international film cultures that are in addition to those listed on the abovementioned blogs.

I welcome contributions from cinephiles anywhere, so please get in touch. The information provided will, of course, be attributed to you.

Be well; may this list grow and may conversations continue.

Minou

Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (HCAS)

E: minou.norouzi@gmail.com

 

LIST OF STREAMING PLATFORMS

 

(1) MENA region:

 

  • 858 Archive is an initiative by activist filmmakers, Mosireen Collective, to make public the footage shot and collected of the uprising in Egypt from 2011 – 2013. Much of it is raw, unedited footage being made publicly accessible. (thanks Özge Çelikaslan)

  • aashra: an open-access video streaming platform that makes available a rotating selection of 10 films and videos from Ashkal Alwan’s audiovisual archive.

  • Abbout Productions provides the opportunity to catch up with Lebanese cinema for a limited time period. Check their Facebook page for whats on.

  • Abounaddara Collective stream short documentaries from Syria made anonymously.

  • aflamuna (our films) is an initiative launched by a group of Arab filmmakers and film institutions, lead by Beirut DC. They promise to bring you some of the best, most thought-provoking and independently-minded works of contemporary Arab cinema to enjoy for free on their website for a limited time. A new issue will be released every 15 days. (thanks to Francesca Msr)

  • AfriDocs is a free streaming platform exclusively for Africa, bringing African and international documentaries to audiences anywhere in Africa.

  • Animation; experiment is a Collective focused on the promotion and archiving of and research in the field of Animation Arts and Experimental Moving Images founded in Tehran in 2017. (thanks to Amirali Ghasemi)

  • Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) founded in 2007 is currently making available online, for free, for a period of up to 7 days, a wide selection of Arab independent films produced between 2011 and 2016.

  • Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V. (Berlin), known for their MENA focus, is uploading 10-15 films for free every week from their program. Since October 2019, it has been used by Arsenal members as an exclusive streaming area. While arsenal 1 + 2 are closed, arsenal 3 is open for all. Username: arsenal3; Password: stayhealthy. (thanks to Edwn AN for the reminder to include this here!)

  • Ashkal Alwan’s aa-archive (Beirut) is a publicly-accessible archive of art, performance-based, and discursive practices in the region. It includes films and performances, recordings of previous editions of Home Works Forum, Home Workspace Program lectures, and numerous seminars and talks held over the past two decades.

  • bak.ma is a digital media archive of social movements in Turkey. The collection gathers audio-visual recordings, documentations, and testimonies of social movements, protests, marches, human rights violations from the 1960s onwards.

  • Centre Cinématographique Marocain (CCM – Moroccan Centre for Cinematography) allegedly maintains an archive of Moroccan film heritage. Working on getting more information on this.

  • Cinémathèque de Tanger promotes world cinema in Morocco and Moroccan cinema in the world and has a collection of documentary films, films and videos by artists and experimental cinema. No streaming platform that I’m aware of at this moment but a pdf of their catalogue is available on their website. (thanks to Yasmina Reggad)

  • Cinemaghrebia is a Youtube channel for Moroccan cinema. (thank you Léa Morin)

  • Fandor streams carefully selected films from the MENA countries in all genres. Though it’s a paid monthly subscription service, 50% revenue share goes to the films’ rights holders. (thanks to Fateme Ahmadi)

  • Filming Revolution is an interactive data-based documentary archive by Alisa Lebow about independent and documentary filmmaking in Egypt since the revolution.

  • Habibi Collective‘s instagram feed is worth keeping an eye on for new developments that celebrate “Fem Film from in and around the Middle East + North African Region”. (thank you Lilly Markaki)

  •  IMVBOX streams recent and older Iranian films. It’s the Iranian equivalent to Netflix and all films are available with English subtitles. There are other platforms like Hashure, Filimo, Aparat, but none of them as organised as IMVBOX especially regarding subtitles. Some free content, with full content available for a very small monthly sign-up fee. (thanks to Fateme Ahmadi)

  • Jameel Art Center (Dubai) has an online video library of recorded conversations, talks, lectures, symposia.

  • Limited Access is an Iranian moving image/sound and performance festival. There have been 8 editions since 2007. Videos are not online, but researchers can search for names and titles and many will show up on Vimeo. (thanks to Amirali Ghasemi)

  • Mosaic Rooms (London) started their first online cinema event on March 21, 2020. To watch films from the MENA region they offer a link and password (restricted to 48 hrs on a given date). Check the Digital Events programme titled “Sofa Cinema” on their website for future events.

  • New Media Society (Tehran) formerly Parking Video Library is a library, archive and project space hosting residencies, regular video programs including Rokhdad-e Tazeh Documentary Nights and open studios. You can sample their curatorial work including video links here. (thanks to Amirali Ghasemi)

  • Pad.ma – short for Public Access Digital Media Archive – is an online archive of densely text-annotated video material, primarily footage and not finished films. It was initiated by a group consisting of CAMP, from Mumbai, 0x2620 from Berlin, and the Alternative Law Forum from Bangalore. Two other organisations from Mumbai, Majlis and Point of View were part of its initiation. (thanks to Ahmet Gürata, University of Agder)

  • Sarkhoshi is an Iranian, Persian language magazine dedicated to Art, Media and the City. There are video/multimedia works featured here. (thanks to Amirali Ghasemi)

  • sinematek.tv is mainly dedicated to film books and journals but there are also a few films. Turkish language only. (thank you, Ahmet Gürata, University of Agder)

  • turkishcine.ma is a collection of Turkish archival films and contemporary ones. There are around 500 titles on the database. The films are available to all researchers for viewing, annotating or playing with. You simply need to sign up as a user and get your status upgraded to a researcher. This would allow access to most functions. (thanks to belit sağ)

  • Vitascope makes available writing on film cultures, classic and contemporary Iranian cinema as well as international archival treasures. The site is in Farsi and there are some videos available for streaming too. (thanks to Amirali Ghasemi)

  • Vox Populi is an ongoing project by Lara Baladi, which includes a series of media initiatives, artworks, publications, an open-source timeline and portal into web-based archives of the 2011 Egyptian revolution and other global social movements. (thanks to Alisa Lebow)

 

(1.1) Individual artists/filmmakers:

 

  • Some 80+ videos from Israeli artist-filmmaker Keren Cytter have long been freely available. Der Spiegel is a must-see!

  • Iranian artist-filmmaker Bahar Noorizadeh opened up her Vimeo feed declaring “i don’t have gallery representation and no one’s bread is yet dependent on the privacy of my work”.

  • Turkish artist belit sağ‘s documentary/activist/video works have long been freely available on Vimeo.

 

(2) Austria:

  •  INDEX Edition releases are available as DVDs, Streaming and Downloads to schools for educational use, as well as universities and libraries. Run by sixpackfilm since 2019. Films by VALIE EXPORT, Lisl Ponger, Kurt Kren, Peter Tscherkassky, Gustav Deutsch, Dietmar Brehm and Mara Mattuschka are available freely on their Vimeo channel.

 

(3) Greece:

 

  • Anemon/Cinedoc has the rights to many films, but none are free at the moment. Their Vimeo On Demand content is available here. (thanks to Despina Pavlaki)

     

  • Athens Ethnographical Film Festival organises an annual summer school in visual ethnography. Their vimeo channel makes available a selection of ethnographical documentaries curated by the festival. Also available, 2015 student-made films. (thanks to Despina Kalogianni)

  • Cinobo (available by paid subscription) is the new Greek streaming platform that specializes in independent and arthouse cinema and streams content from around the world and Greece. They also hope to create synergies with organizations active in the Greek and Cypriot cinemas by organising screenings and events. (thanks to Natasa Segou)

  • Exile Room is a non-profit organization based in Athens. They offer documentary film education and for the past 10 years have organized free documentary screenings twice a month, complemented by masterclasses and workshops. They also run social outreach programs in the city, in prisons and remote areas of Greece, while also operating as a documentary production company and resource hub. (thanks to Despina Pavlaki)

  • flix.gr is publishing some Greek documentaries online. While the blogpost and site are mainly in Greek with limited content in English, a lot of the films in this particular blogpost have English subtitles. (thanks to Despina Pavlaki)

  • Greek Film Archive will be providing online restored Greek films from their archive collection. A changing roster of programmes is available for 72 hours between 8 – 20 April 2020. This includes some never before presented films, for now, in Greek only. (thanks to Despina Kalogianni)

  • Marni Films has been uploading content on their Facebook page and keeping them up for 3 days at a time. (thanks to Christina Phoebe)

  • Onassis Foundation provides filmed performances here. (thanks to Despina Pavlaki)

  • Thessaloniki International Film Festival may upload more films to its Youtube channel, but for now, the content is limited. (thanks to Despina Pavlaki)

 

(4) Ireland:

 

  •  experimentalfilmsociety.com is an Irish company dedicated to the production and screening of experimental cinema. There is a VOD service +  nearly 300 short films are available for free on their Vimeo channel.

  • mexindex.ie is a searchable online database with free access to information and writing on experimental and visual arts-based moving image works by Irish artists. Curators can ask for free access and perhaps this would be extended to educators. (thanks to Mairéad McClean)

  • Northern Ireland Screen’s Digital Film Archive (DFA) originally launched in November 2000 as part of the British Film Institute’s Millennium Project. It is a free public access resource. Constantly updated and expanding, the DFA contains hundreds of hours of moving image titles, spanning from 1897 to the present day. Primarily focused on Northern Irish society. (thanks to Mairéad McClean)

 

(5) International:

 

  • covideo19.art screens international contemporary art videos with a focus on the Global South. One video, under 19 min, per day. Released from Rio de Janeiro. (thanks to Yasmina Reggad)

  • DINAMO (Distribution Network of Artists’ Moving Image Organizations) is an international coalition for distribution organisations supporting and promoting artist’s moving images.

  • e-flux video & film is a platform dedicated to the moving image, gathering conversations, lectures, and symposia recorded at e-flux since 2010. On view from Tuesday, March 24 through Tuesday, March 31, 2020 is the first in a series of film, video, and live event collaborations between Serpentine Galleries and e-flux to be hosted on e-flux video & film in the coming weeks.

  • Hyperallergic released a list of experimental films and video art to head to once we’re through with CoronaNetflixing endlessly.

  • Indiancine.ma is an annotated online archive of Indian film. At present, it is being utilised as a backbone structure for several research projects on Indian film, including a project for an ‘Annotated Repository on the Art Cinemas of India” being conducted by the University of Chicago Center in Delhi, a project on the Left and the early Malayalam cinema. The archive is still under construction and is always open to contributions from cinephiles, scholars and students alike. (thanks to Ahmet Gürata, University of Agder)

  • Rep Cinema International publishes news, interviews and opinions on repertory and archival cinema programming from around the world.

  • vdrome.org provides a free but time-limited streaming platform of artists’ moving image work. Programmes change on a two-weekly basis.