Movie Makers Living Their Dream, Changing Lives

An Intel-supported entrepreneurship program helped two filmmakers do work that they love and they are now helping others.

Did you know that youth unemployment is one of the biggest challenges facing countries across the Middle East? In Jordan, for example, unemployment for people ages 15-24 tops 33%.1

With assistance from an Intel-supported entrepreneurship program, two young Jordanian filmmakers are not only employed and doing work that they love, but are also helping other youths follow their dreams.  

The training through Jordan EFE and Intel truly changed my life. They are the reason why I am able to succeed.

Long-time friends Ibrahim Al-Baik and Omar Abdelnabi dreamed of launching a film production company. After graduating high school in Amman, Jordan, both men completed technical filmmaking courses and began doing some teaching and freelance film work. “Every two or three months, someone would come and ask me to make a video for them,” says Omar, “but I wasn’t able to make a living out of it.”

While the young men possessed strong technical skills, they didn’t know the first thing about starting a company. That changed in 2011, when they enrolled in the Intel® Learn Technology and Entrepreneurship program.

Through the unique methodology of the Intel Learn curriculum, Ibrahim and Omar learned how to create a business plan and launch a business, and acquired problem-solving, communications, and teamwork skills that would help them deal with clients, partners, and employees. After completing the training, they put their newly acquired proposal-writing skills to good use and earned a grant to purchase the cameras, lighting, and other equipment needed to launch their own company, 16:9 Productions.

The company became profitable within two years, with Ibrahim and Omar making documentaries, short dramas, television commercials, and films aimed at helping nonprofits and NGOs raise funds. More importantly, the two men have been providing free training in filmmaking to underprivileged young people from a Palestinian refugee camp, a remote Bedouin community, and other areas.

A lot of people think that filmmaking is only for rich people,” says Omar. “Our goal with this company is to change [that] stereotype.

 

When they met one of their protégés, Mustafa Mohammad Rashid, he was a 17-year-old with an eighth-grade education living in a poor neighborhood in Amman. Under Ibrahim’s and Omar’s tutelage, Mustafa and other local youths acquired scriptwriting, photography, lighting, directing, and other skills as they made films about problems in their region. Mustafa was inspired to take additional courses, and now, four years later, he works as a successful freelance filmmaker doing projects for a school, 16:9 Productions, and Aramram TV.

Omar says that he and Ibrahim advise young people like Mustafa to “trust their talents, and never give up."

What you think is a dream will become reality if you work hard enough.

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