About Us

Close Up is a training, development, and mentorship program for documentary filmmakers from
Southwest Asia and North Africa.

Positioned at the intersection of arts, media, social change, and peace-building, Close Up is the only initiative of its kind in the region, creating a transformational experience for emerging filmmakers, coming from diverse ethnic, religious, cultural, and political backgrounds, including Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Egypt, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.

Close Up was founded as a non-profit organization in Brussels, Belgium by five independent partners who collectively believe that working with emerging filmmakers from our region is essential to creating and maintaining cultural awareness and protecting our future. The partners include: Sigal Yehuda, Ahmet Boyacioglu, Bruni Burres, John Appel and Vincent Melilli.

Our Program

We support filmmakers in developing and creating compelling documentaries that illuminate the social and political realities of our complex and ever-changing region.

News & Newsletter

Join our mailing list to hear updates about our program and activities

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1 day ago
Close Up

Congratulations to director Hussein Al-Asadi (Close Up Alumni 2020-2021) and producers Huda Al Kadhimi and Huma Gupta for recieving a MENA – Feature Documentary – Post-Production grant from the @dohafilm Institute for their film “She Was Not Alone”.

“She Was Not Alone” also won the Best Film in Post-Production award at The @maffswe Industry Days (MID) last month.

“She Was Not Alone” follows Fatima, a nomadic woman, who fights to keep her beloved buffaloes alive in Iraq’s dying marshes, as her island and way of life are threatened by the effects of climate change.

Sending a huge congratulations to the team for these wonderful achievements!

For more information on “She Was Not Alone” or the Doha Film Institute, check the link in bio!
... See MoreSee Less

Congratulations to director Hussein Al-Asadi (Close Up Alumni 2020-2021) and producers Huda Al Kadhimi and Huma Gupta for recieving a MENA – Feature Documentary – Post-Production grant from the @dohafilm Institute for their film “She Was Not Alone”.  

“She Was Not Alone” also won the Best Film in Post-Production award at The @maffswe Industry Days (MID) last month. 

“She Was Not Alone” follows Fatima, a nomadic woman, who fights to keep her beloved buffaloes alive in Iraq’s dying marshes, as her island and way of life are threatened by the effects of climate change.

Sending a huge congratulations to the team for these wonderful achievements! 

For more information on “She Was Not Alone” or the Doha Film Institute, check the link in bio!
4 days ago
Close Up

We create crucial opportunities for Close Up filmmakers and provide a number of highly prestigious awards at Close Up Pitching Forum each year. We believe it is vital to the success of our filmmakers to provide them with additional opportunities to support the progress of their films!

The 2023-2024 Close Up Pitching Forum Awards include cash prizes, wonderful residency fellowships in USA and invitations to attend prestigious documentary markets and film festivals. We are happy to continue our fruitful collaboration with Docs Up Fund, @silversunfoundation, @jbfc_pville, @medimed_docmarket, @moviesthatmatterfestival, @middleastnow.festival, @whickerawards, @iefta_org, @idaorg, and @pointsnorthinstitute.

In addition to the awards that will be given at the Pitching Forum, each year we select Close Up alumni projects to participate in prestigious film festivals around the world. Filmmakers are invited to present their work-in-progress materials in Florence, Italy at the wonderful Middle East Now Film Festival and invited to participate at the Rough Cut Service organised by the amazing Movies that Matter Film Festival in the Netherlands!

We are delighted to be collaborating with such strong international organizations that are deeply dedicated to supporting and nurturing original and innovative documentary cinema from Southwest Asia and North Africa. These awards and opportunities highlight our shared commitment to encouraging emerging filmmakers from our region to create outstanding films, as there continues to be a great need and urgency for support for our community of filmmakers.
Sending a huge thank you to our wonderful collaborators and supporters, @whicker_girl, Jess Gormley, @liannellewey, @margjedk, @michaelstuetz, @karensgoodman, Adriek van Nieuwenhuyzen, @lisachiari, and @robiruta.
Remember to hurry and apply to the Close Up 2024-2025 program if you don’t want to miss out these wonderful opportunities!
... See MoreSee Less

We create crucial opportunities for Close Up filmmakers and provide a number of highly prestigious awards at Close Up Pitching Forum each year. We believe it is vital to the success of our filmmakers to provide them with additional opportunities to support the progress of their films!

The 2023-2024 Close Up Pitching Forum Awards include cash prizes, wonderful residency fellowships in USA and invitations to attend prestigious documentary markets and film festivals. We are happy to continue our fruitful collaboration with Docs Up Fund, @silversunfoundation, @jbfc_pville, @medimed_docmarket, @moviesthatmatterfestival, @middleastnow.festival, @whickerawards, @iefta_org, @idaorg, and @pointsnorthinstitute.

In addition to the awards that will be given at the Pitching Forum, each year we select Close Up alumni projects to participate in prestigious film festivals around the world. Filmmakers are invited to present their work-in-progress materials in Florence, Italy at the wonderful Middle East Now Film Festival and invited to participate at the Rough Cut Service organised by the amazing Movies that Matter Film Festival in the Netherlands!

We are delighted to be collaborating with such strong international organizations that are deeply dedicated to supporting and nurturing original and innovative documentary cinema from Southwest Asia and North Africa. These awards and opportunities highlight our shared commitment to encouraging emerging filmmakers from our region to create outstanding films, as there continues to be a great need and urgency for support for our community of filmmakers. 
Sending a huge thank you to our wonderful collaborators and supporters, @whicker_girl, Jess Gormley, @liannellewey, @margjedk, @michaelstuetz, @karensgoodman, Adriek van Nieuwenhuyzen, @lisachiari, and @robiruta. 
Remember to hurry and apply to the Close Up 2024-2025 program if you don’t want to miss out these wonderful opportunities!Image attachmentImage attachment+7Image attachment
6 days ago
Close Up

✨Close Up Third Workshop & Pitching Forum is just around the corner!✨

The 2023-2024 cohort of Close Up filmmakers have been rigorously working on their projects, and now we are getting ready with full force for our wonderful Third Workshop and Pitching Forum taking place in Tbilisi, Georgia from June 3-9! We are happy to announce the industry guests who are invited as panel members at the Pitching Forum. Our industry leaders come from highly prestigious international cinema foundations, festivals, and broadcasters. This year’s invited commissioning editors and panel members include:

Adriek van Nieuwenhuyzen from IDFA Forum, Alex Szalat from Docs Up Fund, Basil Tsiokos from Sundance Film Festival, Ian LoCascio from the Jacob Burns Film Center, Jane Ray from The Whickers, Jess Gormley from The Guardian, Lianne Llewellyn from International Emerging Film Talent Organization, Lucie Kon from BBC Storyville, Margje de Koning from Movies That Matter Film Festival, Michael Stütz who is Head of Panorama Berlinale, and Sophie Chegaray from France Télévisions.

Stay tuned to follow news about our Third Workshop & Pitching Forum.

If you want to take part in next year’s Close Up Pitching Forum and have the opportunity to meet with key decision makers and leaders from the international documentary industry, go ahead and apply to the Close Up 2024-2025 program!

🔗Link in bio to apply.
... See MoreSee Less

✨Close Up Third Workshop & Pitching Forum is just around the corner!✨

The 2023-2024 cohort of Close Up filmmakers have been rigorously working on their projects, and now we are getting ready with full force for our wonderful Third Workshop and Pitching Forum taking place in Tbilisi, Georgia from June 3-9! We are happy to announce the industry guests who are invited as panel members at the Pitching Forum. Our industry leaders come from highly prestigious international cinema foundations, festivals, and broadcasters. This year’s invited commissioning editors and panel members include:

Adriek van Nieuwenhuyzen from IDFA Forum, Alex Szalat from Docs Up Fund, Basil Tsiokos from Sundance Film Festival, Ian LoCascio from the Jacob Burns Film Center, Jane Ray from The Whickers, Jess Gormley from The Guardian, Lianne Llewellyn from International Emerging Film Talent Organization, Lucie Kon from BBC Storyville, Margje de Koning from Movies That Matter Film Festival, Michael Stütz who is Head of Panorama Berlinale, and Sophie Chegaray from France Télévisions. 

Stay tuned to follow news about our Third Workshop & Pitching Forum.

If you want to take part in next year’s Close Up Pitching Forum and have the opportunity to meet with key decision makers and leaders from the international documentary industry, go ahead and apply to the Close Up 2024-2025 program!

🔗Link in bio to apply.Image attachmentImage attachment+2Image attachment
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