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09 December 2010

African Cinema and Audio Visual Fund

Press Release
Ref. : CP/COM/AB/33/10

Tunis, 28th October 2010

On the sidelines of the Carthage Film Festival

A new step towards the creation of the African cinema and audiovisual Fund

The Tunisian Producers’ Union Chamber, the International Organisation of la Francophonie (IOF) and the Federation of African Filmmakers (FEPACI) presented the results of a study on the feasibility and the method of implementation of an African cinema and audiovisual Fund at the 23rd Carthage Film Festival.

IOF organised a press conference on 28 October 2010 at the 23rd Carthage Film Festival (23 to 30 October 2010) on the feasibility and method of implementation of an African cinema and audiovisual Fund, known temporarily as “cineA”.

This press conference follows the joint announcement by IOF and FEPACI at the World Cinema Pavillion at the last Cannes Film Festival, of their plan to set up a new instrument for the promotion and funding of African cinema and audiovisual production. At the time, IOF agreed to respond to FEPACI’s request by contributing its acknowledged expertise in defining projects of this kind and by financing a feasibility study.

By supporting this ambitious African initiative, IOF continues to fulfil its constantly asserted objective of providing concrete responses to African professionals’ regular requests to boost cinema production capacity in Africa and in the long term to establish an African policy for the development of the cinema and audiovisual arts. In this way, IOF will help fulfil one of the African Union’s key recommendations which asserts Africa’s legitimate desire to acquire the means for its own cinematographic expression and which highlights the need to manage these resources by focusing on inter-African complementarity and cooperation.

This new structure could mark a turning point in aid to cinema in the South. Indeed, its objective is to mobilize a large-scale public private partnership that would unite efforts so that cinematographic creation meets the needs and aspirations of the African public. The Fund’s objective is to offer close to one billion Africans the means to reclaim their histories, consolidate their identity and share their visions with the rest of the world.

During the press conference, Mr. Frédéric Bouilleux, IOF’s Director of French Language and Cultural and Linguistic Diversity, highlighted the reasons why IOF responded enthusiastically to FEPACI’s request for assistance in setting up this scheme. IOF has 22 years experience of managing the Francophone Fund for audiovisual production in the South, which has enabled the production of over one thousand films since its creation. Over half IOF’s members are African countries and it is one of the main organisations capable of uniting momentum around this innovative project which is already supported by many countries and professional groups.

The presentation of the main findings of the feasibility study for this new Fund, which was carried out by Media consulting group, was followed by a productive exchange between professionals. Several operational proposals were made. As well as the festival guests, the conference was attended by the Chairman of FEPACI, Mr Charles Mensah, the Vice President of the Tunisian Producers’ Union Chamber, the Chairman of the African Guild of Directors and Producers living in France, the Director of South Africa’s National Film and Video Foundation, the Director of the African Film Festival of New York, as well as the directors of the National Cinematography Centres of Gabon and Egypt, the Moroccan Ministry of Culture’s Regional Director for Grand Casablanca, the Chairman of the Algerian Producers’ Union, and a representative from Canal Horizon. The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) has already pledged its support for this initiative.

Over the next few weeks, IOF will work hard at encouraging cooperation, uniting partners around this scheme and finalising the Fund’s governance structure with its partners. The governance structure must be strong, have sufficient resources and be able to ensure impartial choices, transparency and the Fund’s durability.

The 22nd edition of the Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), which will be held from 25 February to 5 March 2011 could serve as a venue for the presentation of the Fund’s virtually definitive profile, notably its first partners, the schedule for its creation, its management and governance structures, and its operating rules.

This IOF activity coincides with the organisation’s 40th anniversary and confirms its commitment to serving diversity and solidarity in a world where individual cultural expression is sometimes threatened.

The International Organisation of La Francophonie has 56 member States and governments and 19 observers. www.francophonie.org

Contact:
Department for French Language and Cultural and Linguistic Diversity
Mrs Souad Houssein, Cinema Project Manager
Tel. : (+33) 1 44 37 33 20 - souad.houssein@francophonie.org

PRESS CONTACTAnissa Barrak, Communication Director, Commissioner for IOF’s 40th anniversary anissa.barrak@francophonie.org - (+33) 1 44 37 33 65

The additional document on funding information and requirements will be sent to DFA members only.

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