Jordan/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.6 Film, video and photography

The activities of the audio-visual industry operate through The Royal Film Commission whose roles are outlined as follows.

“The Royal Film Commission – Jordan (RFC) was established in July 2003, with a mandate to contribute to the development of an internationally competitive Jordanian audio-visual industry through the advancement of human, technical and financial capacities. In addition, it provides comprehensive production support services to local, regional and international productions. The RFC is a financially and administratively autonomous government body, led by a Board of Commissioners chaired by HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein.”[1]

The activities it governs are not only directly in film making or production, but also includes TV, radio and advertising production, photography, cartoons and animation, games and gaming. The RFC is responsible for marketing Jordan as a location for filming and the facilitation of film productions including permits for filming, and entry of equipment, hiring local production teams etc.

The RFC is simultaneously working on building local capacities in the industry in order to create working opportunities for local professionals, through regional and international productions in all aspects of audio and the audio visual industries.

The law under which it operates allows it more freedom than other official bodies in Jordan. It operates with a board of commissioners, the head of commissioners is appointed by Royalty (HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussien), who in turn appoints a director. The RFC can hire both local and international employees - other bodies may hire Jordanians only. And their annual budget is secured from both government allocations as well as international funding. The RFC may also establish companies that operate within the scope of work of the RFC.

The autonomy of the RFC, alongside its initiation with a select number of persons who have worked in the field, and the King’s personal involvement in the setup of the commission, has made its activities distinct from other official bodies. The RFC has played a role in attracting international productions for filming in Jordan, which has also played an important role in building capacities, professionalising the industry and creating more job opportunities. The Royal Film Commission also joined efforts with the University of Southern California in the creation of a Master level film school in the city of Aqaba, The Red Sea Institute for Cinematic Arts, located in the city of Aqaba. It operated from 2008-2011, and merged with the SAE Institute from 2012.

The RFC also supported the initiative of the Film Club, which focused solely on capacity building for the sector through various local, regional, and international programs, one of its most successful program examples is for screenwriters working in the Arab world called Al-Rawi. Overall the audio-visual field has developed greatly since 2004 as a result of these different programs and organisations.

Other organisations and initiatives in the field of film and photography include Darat al Tasweer, an independently registered organisation that aims to stimulate, inspire and introduce the art and craft of photography and its new technologies to both amateurs and professional photographers in Jordan, with the following facilities: Dark room, studio, library, lecture and exhibition halls.[2]

Also, the Institute Francais Amman, launched the Image festival in 2011, an annual festival that incorporates photography as well as film and video.[3]




Chapter published: 04-05-2016