The second meeting with the representatives of the sub-granted projects of the second call took place in Alicante, on 27 and 28 September 2018. The event was hosted by Casa Mediterráneo, a public institution promoting mutual knowledge and cultural exchanges between the two shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Ten representatives of the sub-granted projects and the partners of SouthMed WiA participated together in this meeting of two days which consisted of two interactive trainings on: 1. Monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning – given by the evaluator and international development consultant Ibtissem Jouini, from Tunisia; and 2. Production, marketing & distribution, film festival access with a gender perspective – given by the film producer and director Dima Al Joundi, from Lebanon. On 28 September Casa Mediterráneo opened its doors to the public for a session on “Challenging gender inequality in the audio-visual sector in the Mediterranean”. The panel of speakers was composed by three experts from all over the Mediterranean: Pilar Perez Solano, Producer and film-maker, member of the Spanish Association of Women Filmmakers and Audiovisual Media, CIMA; Dima Al Joundi, Producer and movie director from Lebanon and Fayrouz Karawya, artist, singer and PhD anthropologist from Egypt (also sub-grantees from Tadwein Gender Research Center in Cairo). Accompanied by Mercedes Giovinazzo, Interarts director, and Ignasi Guardans, lawyer and cultural consultant from CUMEDIAE, who acted as moderator, the experts shared and discussed their experiences and debated with the public on the challenges of women working in the audio-visual sector on both shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
The first training session was organized following a “Learning by Doing” format in which each subject was studied through a theoretical introduction, followed by a practical exercise and group work involving both the sub-grantees and the SosuthMed WiA partners. This format proved to be extremely useful because it allowed the participants to immediately put in practice the new concepts learned, applying them to concrete study cases. It also encouraged interactive exchanges between the participants and the trainer, who were invited to include examples from their own experience/projects during the discussions. The important added value of this exercise for the sub-granted projects received all the material and documents on official M&E terminology according to the DAC standards and will apply the knowledge acquired (or refreshed) to their sub-granted projects or future proposals. They were also introduced to the guidelines on how to design and implement a good M&E system and to the importance of agreeing on a project logic using two popular techniques, i.e. the Logframe and Theory of Change.
During the second training, the expert Dima Al Joundi presented her career and experience in the audiovisual sector and shared her knowledge on production, marketing & distribution, and film festival access. Dima’s interesting stories were very inspiring and indicated how gender equality in the audiovisual sector is a major issue all around the Mediterranean, an issue it is very important to tackle with projects like SouthMed WiA. This training was useful not only because of the new knowledge given by the trainer, but also because it allowed the sub-grantees to share among them ideas and useful contacts to cooperate in the framework of their projects and in the future. The session of the training from which the participants probably benefited the most has been the one on how to access film markets and festivals and on distribution methods, where the procedure to access a film festival were explained step by step and information of exiting festival was shared. The participants learned new technical knowledge and information on how to ensure a big impact to their audio-visual products, how to choose their target audience and territories, how to prevent censure, how to access film festivals.
This two-day event was a successful chance for all the participants to reflect on the importance and necessity of joint actions involving cultural experts and operators, activists and civil society organizations to face the persisting gender inequalities of the audio-visual field of the Mediterranean. For, as Fayrouz Karawya stated in her speech during the public session, “Cultural activists are the real promoters of positive change in our societies”.