The Middle East Film Initiative

The Middle East Film Initiative (MEFI) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization based in New York City. The first organization of its kind in the U.S., MEFI was launched by Ruth Priscilla Kirstein in 2013. MEFI conducts

  • interdisciplinary training
  • curriculum development
  • project development
  • consulting
  • research
  • outreach
  • advocacy

with the purpose of promoting media diversity and equal employment opportunities (EEO) in United States film, TV and new media. It advocates for U.S. media and entertainment professionals who are of Middle Eastern descent or are working on topics of importance to U.S. Middle Eastern communities.

The MEFI community serves those involved in the making and life of film, TV and new media, such as actors, writers, directors, composers, designers, technicians, producers, journalists, academics, casting directors, agents, distributors, policy makers, and audiences. The group is particularly attentive to the role women play both behind and in front of the camera, and aims to diversify the representation of women in film, TV and new media. MEFI is non-political, non-religious, and has no affiliations with organizations based abroad.

The New York City-based Middle East Film Initiative (MEFI) conducts interdisciplinary training, project development, consulting, research, outreach, and advocacy, with the purpose of promoting media diversity and equal employment opportunities for United States media and entertainment professionals.

Supported by:  

Middle East Film Initiative - Awesome Without Borders (AWB)

Awesome Without Borders (AWB) is a project of The Harnisch Foundation.



Middle East Film Initiative - Cardozo Indie Film Clinic

Thanks to the Cardozo Indie Film Clinic who provided legal guidance on portions of this project.

Middle East Film Initiative - Alex and Ani



Thank you to GoDaddy and Troutman Sanders


© 2018 The Middle East Film Initiative