Documentary film

We promote dialogue and free expression through documentaries

Since 2005, IMS has worked to secure that documentary filmmaking and visual storytelling contribute to social and political change and freedom of expression in developing countries and conflict areas.

To date, IMS has supported more than 150 documentaries from the Arab world, Iran and China and some 20 co-productions with Nordic production companies. We have thus facilitated a platform for views on developments in society and alternative voices, which are usually overlooked or more difficult for mainstream media to cover.

IMS is collaborating with independent production houses, individual filmmakers and film institutions in the countries where we operate, proactively supporting all parts of work linked to audio-visual production. This includes support to activities on training, production and distribution with the overall aim of increasing professionalism in domestic film environments.

The programme focus on:

  • Strengthening domestic film environments;
  • Improving the quality of documentary film productions;
  • Providing direct support to development, production, and distribution of documentary films that focus on topics of public interest and cover these topics in a professional and ethical manner;
  • Facilitating networking among filmmakers regionally and internationally;
  • Building up strong infrastructures of domestic film environments – e.g. support to film festivals and institutes, collaborate with existing film schools and making TV channels contribute to the dissemination of documentaries;
  • Promotion of female filmmakers and the role of women in documentaries is a priority for IMS.

Currently IMS works to support documentary film initiatives in the Arab world but it is our goal to extent the documentary film and visual storytelling programme to include all countries where IMS is actively involved.

The programme has supported several very successful documentary films – among those are (click on pictures for trailers):

Last Men in Aleppo
2017, Syria
The War Show
2016, Syria
2016, Palestine
2013, Iran



What we do

Safety in journalism

We help journalists protect themselves and report professionally under pressure

Advocating media rights

We help bring attention to press freedom violations and advocate for change

Media law reform

We work for transparent and accountable media policy and regulatory frameworks

Professional associations and media centres

We support media and journalists’ associations, unions, and press councils

Media business development

We help media develop sustainable business plans and compete on the market

New media and technology

We work to safeguard the principles of independent and pluralistic media and Freedom of Expression online

Professionalising journalism

We work to improve the content and quality of media products