Conference on co-production opportunities with Africa

The room that has hosted the 3 winners of the EU/ACP Award invited by the ACPCultures+ Programme was full during the conference "Business and Creative Opportunities: Co-production and Distribution between Africa and Europe", held in Cannes on May 21.

In addition to Alain Gomis (director of Félicité, Golden Stallion at FESPACO), William Mbaye (director of documentary Kemitiyu, best documentary at FESPACO) and Twiggy Matiwana (director of The Bicycle Man, Silver Foal at FESPACO) the panel was attended by Annica Floren (Directorate General of International Cooperation and Development), Giuseppe Abbamonte (Director of Media Policy, DG Connect) and Vincenzo Bugno of the World Cinema Fund of Berlinale.

The participants presented practical cases of co-production between Europe and Africa and highlighted the importance of using local expertise when a film is financed by European funds or a member state.

"We trained a large number of Congolese professionals. We used Senegalese trainers to accentuate South-South cooperation", recalled Alain Gomis. The Franco-Senegalese director explained how he worked with the technicians and the film team of Viva Riva by Djo Tunda Wa Munga. Viva Riva was funded in 2009 by ACP Films, the ancestor of ACPCultures+. This shows that over the years, support for the audiovisual sector in the ACP countries is capable of developing strong and permanent skills. This was confirmed by other program beneficiaries attending the conference, such as Philippe Lacôte (director of RUN), who explained the exxential role of local funding to give credibility to the projects. Ama Ampadu (producer of Lamb), recalled the importance of EU/ACP support as a lever for financing.

Twiggy Matiwana and William Mbaye spoke of the importance of the EU/ACP Prize for the circulation of their film. As a reminder, the Prize consists of a support for the dubbing and/or subtitling of films and the invitation of directors at the Cannes Film Festival and the Dev Days in Brussels. The Prize also allowed three screenings to be held at the Cannes Film Market for the three films.

"The projection at the Doc Film Corner gives us tremendous visibility," said William Mbaye. "Thanks to the dubbing in Swahili we will also be able to tour schools and cultural centers in many African countries. This pedagogical aspect is extremely important to us and could not have been done without the support of the EU and the ACP.

South African filmmaker Twiggy Matiwana explained that thanks to the award, the film The Bicycle Man will be able to benefit from undreamed-of visibility to festival programmers and sales agents. "We young directors from the south need to be accompanied in major international markets. We do not have the expertise and the means to do it on our own. We do not know how to sell our films well and there are few audiovisual markets in Africa. This is why we are constantly looking for scholarships and opportunities to travel, to make contacts abroad and to present our films in Europe, "she concluded.

May 22, 2017
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