Planting the Seed for Quality: A PRIX JEUNESSE-MENA Workshop Week
A report by Fadi Taher
Children of the Middle East deserve to know, to be in the center, to have a voice and to be respected and taken seriously. These are some of the take away lessons our students have learned in the first PRIX JEUNESSE workshop in Egypt and the MENA region.
In a region where children represent more than 30% of the population there is a serious shortage, if not a complete absence, of children’s TV. The few attempts of children’s productions are not good enough to give the young audience what they need and deserve.
As a producer passionate about the well being of children around the world and particularly in Egypt and the Middle East, I am always dreaming of achieving excellence in children’s TV in Egypt and the MENA region. In February 2023, we organized for the first time in Egypt and the MENA region a PRIX JEUNESSE workshop with the aim to develop the ideas of producers and filmmakers in the region to reach the standards of excellence promoted by PRIX JEUNESSE.
The workshop consisted of very condensed three days of interactive training, hosted by the French Institute in Cairo. During the three days our great trainers Dr. Maya Götz and Mr. Jan Willem Bult worked with 13 filmmakers to develop their ideas to reach the international standards of PRIX JEUNESSE. Many screenings with programmes from the PRIX JEUNESSE Suitcase took place, followed by intense discussions. The aim of this workshop element was to give those trainees a wide exposure to excellence in children’ TV worldwide. In addition, many lectures and training on pitching ideas were provided. The trainees’ feedback was very positive and they left the training eager to produce high quality programmes.
An additional event was an evening invitation to a PRIX JEUNESSE festival orientation ceremony that was attended by local producers and international and national NGO representatives. These three days represent a seed in the world of children production in Egypt and the MENA region, promoting excellence in children’s TV and preparing for the first PRIX JEUNESSE Television Festival in Egypt.