Aiming to defeat centralisation and the monopoly of large production companies over the media industry in Egypt, a number of small media production houses owned by young Egyptian artists have been established over the past few years. Bareq is a new media production company whose main aim is to produce movies and programmes that are completely different from what is usually found in mainstream media. Additionally, the company provides a huge number of training courses and workshops to enhance young talents and improve their abilities.
“The whole idea came to our minds in January 2015, but we didn’t start working on it until this year. We established the company in June,” said Abdel Rahman El-Gendy, the marketing manager of the company and one of its founders.
The idea to establish this company began with Mohammed El-Morshed and Mosaab Abdel Hamed who have worked in a number of local and international production companies over the past years. The objective was to provide a platform for young artists and filmmakers to produce professional documentaries and TV shows that can compete in international competitions.
For them, establishing a new media production house was a long journey full of challenges. “We encountered a lot of obstacles, starting with struggling to find appropriate financial resources to start with, searching for a suitable place to build our offices, and planning promotion and marketing strategies,” he explained.
The founders overcame the challenges by adopting innovative self-funding strategies and making the best of the resources available to them. One of their outstanding media programmes was Dardashet Mosaweren (Photographers’ chat), in which they introduced a number of Egyptian young photographers who were able to make a difference with their photos, including Sabry Khaled, Ali Zaary, and Mostafa Darwish.
“We consider this programme a small encyclopaedia or reference for everyone who loves photography and wants to learn the skill. In the programme, the photographers talk about their experiences that range from covering conflicts to highlighting the hard way of life in Egypt’s deprived districts. We want to encourage more people to pursue their dreams and overcome all obstacles thrown in their faces,” he added.
The main criterion for choosing the photographers was the influence he or she may have on the audience.
In El-Gendy’s opinion, the photographer must have a powerful story that motivates any young person to chase their dream and face life’s difficulties.
“We never refuse to help any novice writer or young artist turn his idea into a full project. We produced three video clips by young artist Khaled Gad, which conveyed important messages about peace and the rejection of extremism. Until now, we haven’t provided any training for students, but we plan to start some courses next year, and we are currently contacting some foreign experts to train them,” he noted.
In addition, the company produced a short opera for the students of Helwan University about children in Syria and Palestine, and it was selected as the best graduation project this year.
“We are currently working on producing our documentary and preparing for new training programmes,” he concluded.