Terms of Reference for the Production of a Documentary Film on the Status of Refugees in Serbia and Macedonia

Published on April 13, 2017


Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) in partnership with the Association Atina (Serbia) and the Macedonia Lawyers Association (MLA) started with implementation of the project Building Together: Community Monitoring and Advocacy which is financially supported by the European Union. The overall objective of the project is to improve the position of refugees and other migrants, especially children and women in local communities in Serbia and Macedonia. During the project KAS, ATINA and MLA will develop participatory community-based mechanisms for continuous monitoring and advocating for the implementation of effective integration and protection policies and services for migrants, especially women and children.

The expected outcomes of the projects are that: Local Monitoring and Advocacy Networks are able to monitor local policies and protection practices in regards to integration of migrants; Local policies and services for migrants (especially children and women) are improved; similar initiatives gathering CSOs and institutions are implemented in Macedonia, Serbia and the region.


The migrant and refuge crises in Europe from 2015 became the worst humanitarian crises since the Second World War. Since the breakout of the crises over 1 million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe in search of better opportunities. The main countries of origins of the migrants are: Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. With its central geographical position Macedonia and Serbia played a crucial role within the Balkan Route of movement of migrants toward Western European countries.

The crises posed a serious challenge to both countries in terms of facilitating their journey and accommodating their temporary residence. With this being the case, both countries establish temporary registration centres in August 2015 as entry points where migrants and asylum seekers had their data recorded with the possibility to stay in the country for 72 hours.

However, the situation changed dramatically in October/November 2015 when the main countries of destination (Austria, Germany and Sweden) reversed their welcoming policies for the migrants and began to negotiate with Turkey for stemming the influx of migrants through Greece and the Balkan route further on. Finally, after months of negotiations the EU and Turkey struck a deal for stemming the flow of migrants from Turkey and in early March 2016 the Balkan Route was effectively closed which left the migrants in limbo.

The situation left several thousand of migrants in the temporary centres in Macedonia and Serbia who were left with two options: apply for asylum or head back to Greece and return to their home destination.

As was the case with other countries in the region, the Governments of Serbia and Macedonia were initially overwhelmed with the large influx of new arrivals. While Serbia and Macedonia had recently established reception and asylum systems, the implementation of the asylum law has been deficient and services inadequate, the more so as these systems were designed for much smaller numbers. In an effort to better cope with the situation and prompted by international actors and national NGOs, in the autumn of 2015 both Macedonia and Serbia adopted emergency plans in case of mass influx of migrants, with the support of international actors. However, the plans focuses on the immediate priority of increasing accommodation  capacity and winterizing shelters and, as UN Women observed, while      referring to the need of special assistance for vulnerable groups, they are weak in addressing protection and gender concerns.

Recently, there have been some promising developments at the policy levels in both countries. For instance, in Macedonia, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) have been developed for processing unaccompanied children (November 2015), and for other categories of vulnerable refugees and migrants, including the elderly, pregnant women, single parents (April/May 2016), while SOP for the prevention and response to SGBV in the refugee crisis are currently under consideration.11 The Serbian government adopted the “National Strategy for Gender Equality for the period 2016-2020”, which includes women refugees as a vulnerable group at risk of discrimination. A new draft Law on Asylum and Temporary Protection is currently being considered, which should improve the asylum procedure.

Migrants’ protection is a complex issue involving a wide range of aspects which need to be addressed by adopting a multidisciplinary and intersectoral approach. Dominant discourse in policy debates emphasises migration aspects, transnational collaboration and national actions, leaving out human rights and protection aspects and the most relevant actors in protection of migrants, especially the most vulnerable ones – local communities.


Objective: To raise attention, advocate, and trigger local awareness and political discussion about the position of refugees, especially the most vulnerable refugees, including women suffering from violence and separated and unaccompanied children in the Balkans (especially in Serbia and Macedonia) and the need for their sustainable integration. The KAS is looking for a production studio or agency to produce the film.

KAS welcomes creative ideas and suggestions for an impactful and innovative delivery of the message. The documentary is to be empathy driven, moving and motivational, told mainly from the perspective of the refugees with the inputs from local communities.

The film should be produced in English, with Serbian and Macedonian subtitles, at highest market quality standards, high-definition, fast paced and colorful, with clean stylistic touches.

The entire film production i.e. writing, filming, editing, voicing/narration etc. should be done by the contractor, delivering a final ready-to-air product in broadcast standards and in HD technology format 16:9.

The entire development and production process will be closely monitored by the KAS project manager, together with the co-managers from Atina and MLA, providing continuous review, comments and thematic inputs support when needed.


  1. Consult with KAS project manager and national co-managers from Serbia and Macedonia and communicate with partners, stakeholders, and beneficiaries;
  2. Review all documents and materials (Project documents, activity reports, any other visibility material produced such as brochures, press releases, social media content, etc) in order to better understand the project objectives, project aims and results to be achieved;
  3. Develop the Inception report including detailed work plan, a structure for the documentary and a script (in close consultation with the Project team) for comments;
  4. Prepare final version of the script and narration for overall project documentaries and videos;
  5. Make arrangements for logistics including accommodation, local transport, equipment, communication and translation services and any other needed details;
  6. Advise KAS and partners on issues related to the assignment in a timely manner;
  7. Produce a documentary film in both long version and short versions in English, with Serbian and Macedonian subtitles;
  8. Present the documentary film to the Project team;
  9. Finalize the documentary film incorporating the comments arising from the presentation to the Project team.


The contractor will deliver the following:

  1. An inception report that will include: the implementation strategy, plus a detailed production and post-production schedule for filming process; a draft script including proposed interview questions of the documentary for comments by the Project team (15 May 2017);
  2. Raw footages captured in project areas;
  3. First cut of the documentary on DVD for comments;
  4. A documentary film with one long version;
  5. Two short country-focused version segments;
  6. A presentation of the documentary film to the Project team;
  7. The Products should be available in English with Serbian and Macedonian subtitles in HDV 1080i50 broadcast quality;
  8. 5 copies each of the final films (long and short versions) to be delivered in the DVDs and VCDs.

Note: The minimum standards for the video quality are as follows:

  • frame size and image dimensions 1440 pixels wide x 1080
  • Base temps 25 ips
  • Variable Bit Rate 18,50 Mbits/s max
  • Screen Aspect Ratio 16:9
  • Interlacing Compatible version
  • Other appropriate formats that enables the films to be uploaded to KAS and partners’ websites, YouTube, flickers, etc in five (5) working days from receipt of final Project team’s comments and clearance.


  1. Organize an inception coordination meeting between the contractor and project team (a Skype meeting can be an option);
  2. Establish and facilitate contact with field staff involved and any external contacts needed;
  3. Review and approve the work plan, including schedule for filming, timeframe, script and approach to be used;
  4. Provide reference material;
  5. Provide feedback when and where necessary;
  6. Meet the relevant costs related to this production, as agreed in the contract upon approved offer;
  7. Review and approve the draft and final production as stipulated in the deliverables section and contract.


The assignment is to last eight months and should take place from 5 May to 31 December 2017 (film should be finalized by 31 December). The Inception report, including the implementation strategy and detailed production and post-production schedule and a draft script is due on 15 May 2017. Detailed timeframe will be agreed after the Inception meeting, following the submission of the Inception report.


KAS reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if work/output is incomplete, not delivered, or for failure to meet deadlines. In the event of the producer ending the contract prior to delivering all agreed upon products, a portion of the payments shall be returned to the KAS.

The contractor undertakes to maintain confidentiality on all information that is not the public domain and shall not be involved in another assignment that represents a conflict of interest to the prevailing assignment. The Contractor shall undertake to refrain from promoting any political or religious beliefs in the documentary movie which is the subject of this contract.


There will be two-step selection process. Based on the following evaluation criteria, three shortlisted teams with highest points will be invited to present their concept to the Project team. The winning offer will be selected after the presentation of the 3 teams.

Evaluation criteria are as follows:

1. Expertise of the company: DVD samples of previous works of similar nature as well as full list of productions completed and in process, including references from previous clients: 20%.

2. Brief presentation of the team, with CVs and functional responsibilities of the key people to be engaged in the production of the documentary: 20%

3. Proposed methodology, approach (creative and innovative ideas) and brief implementation plan with proposed timeframe for pre-production and postproduction: 40%.

4. Financial proposal – break-down of all estimated costs, including estimated days of shooting, production team, days of editing, travel costs, music, etc.: 20%

Please note that all costs, including transport and translation, should be included in the total sum, no additional payments will be made outside of the total budget.


Payment will be made in three instalments. 40% payment will be made upon receiving and reviewing the Inception report following the inception meeting, 40% will be made upon approval of the draft versions of the long and two short versions and remaining 20% will be made after successful delivery of the final videos.


The contractor will work closely with the Project manager of the KAS project and the co-managers in Atina and MLA. All reports and draft documents/resources will be submitted to the Project manager within dates specified in the work plan as agreed during the inception meeting and stipulated in the contract. It is the responsibility of the contractor to ensure timely and quality reporting for each phase and deliverable in the assignment. The reports will be reviewed within KAS and input will be provided for best execution of the task at hand. Reports should be sent via email to aleksandra.galonja@kas.de.


The bidding proposal should include:

1. Links of previous works of similar nature as well as full list of productions completed and in process, including references from previous clients ;

2. Brief presentation of the team, with CVs and functional responsibilities of the key people to be engaged in the production of the documentary;

3. Proposed methodology, approach (creative and innovative ideas) and brief implementation plan with proposed timeframe for pre-production and postproduction;

4. Financial proposal – break-down of all estimated costs, including estimated days of shooting, production team, days of editing, travel costs, music, etc. The proposal should be prepared using following template:


























Please include budget categories (preparation, production, post-production and other) and specific subcategories.


All bids need to be submitted no later than 26 April 2017, at 17:00h in electronic version, to the email aleksandra.galonja@kas.de. Presentation of the proposals of the three short listed candidates will be organized on 3 and 4 May and the assignment is to start on 5 May 2017. Only short listed contractors will be contacted.