Research Articles

Untold Stories

Author: Irit Neidhardt (mec film Berlin, Germany)

  • Untold Stories

    Research Articles

    Untold Stories



Since the mid 1990s the European Union (EU) and its member states, most prominently France and Germany, have encouraged cinematic co-productions between Europe and the Middle East. A large number of films were completed within various EU support and cooperation programmes, ranging from special interest documentaries to Oscar-nominated movies like Paradise Now (2005) or Ajami (2010). As Arab Middle Eastern countries do not have a cinemafunding system of their own, the film-makers depend on cooperation with Europe. While the European partners pride themselves on the success of supported films, the Middle Eastern side is increasingly denouncing a ‘new colonialism’. The displeasure derives from the assertion that the subjects of supported films are limited to Western stereotypes of the Middle East, as well as the fact that a core condition of nearly all financial support is the employment of European crews. Within this scope, how can stories be told, and which ones remain untold?

Keywords: new colonialism, misunderstanding, international cooperation, film-funding, co-production, Arab cinema

How to Cite:

Neidhardt, I., (2017) “Untold Stories”, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture 7(2), 31-50. doi:

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Published on
13 Jun 2017
Peer Reviewed