The African Film Festival of Tarifa (FCAT) will coordinate, in conjunction with its partners, a seminar on new distribution initiatives for African cinema at FESPACO, the Pan-African Film & Television Festival of Ouagadougou, on 28 February.
The event takes place at the Hotel Azalai Independance Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
New avenues of distribution are possible thanks to ACP-EU, AECID, Casa África, FCAT and assorted African initiatives such as Dockanema digital cinemas in Mozambique, MobiCINE motorcycle cinemas in Senegal and Mali and the online video-on-demand platform AfricaFilms.tv.
The seminar correlates with the theme of this year Fespaco – “African Cinema and Markets’.
There has always been a controversy in the panorama of African cinema in terms of new technologies, new habits of the audiences, coexistence between art movies and commercial production, cultural differences between the European and African audiences and the issues of financial funding.
To help transform this discourse into concrete actions FCAT and its network partners want to establish a network of film festivals, institutions and other representatives of the film industry to improve the production and distribution opportunities of African cinema.
As regards Spain, FCAT presents over a hundred African movies every year in both competitive and non-competitive sections, as well as various retrospectives and monographs. Cinenomada shows African art movies all over Spain all through the year, and so fosters a new generation of cinema-goers and generates profit for African directors and producers. The aim of the Casa África is to bring Spain and Africa closer to one another and it is clearly demonstrated by the financial support for FCAT and Cinenomada, and it has evolved into an official partnership with Fespaco as well.
África Produce, an afro-hispanic co-production forum, celebrates its third edition at this year’s FCAT, where it will present, in cooperation with seven partnering festivals in Africa, America and Europe, selected African movie projects with the aim to find Spanish co-production partners for them.
The Spanish Agency for International Development and Cooperation (AECID) is another organisation to have contributed to the Dockanema project, which is financed from the ACP-EU programme for the support of cinema and audiovisual industry in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP Films). In this regard, AECID has financed a feasibility study necessary for the further implementation of a network of digital cinemas in Mozambique to replace disappeared cinemas which used 35 mm projectors.
The FCAT also participates in another two projects supported by ACP Films, which will be presented for the first time at the upcoming Fespaco. First is the brand new project of “motorcycle cinema’ MobiCINE, which has been put to trial in Dakar and Bamako. The second project is online video-on-demand platform AfricaFilms.tv. Both projects are managed from Dakar and Bamako in cooperation with Idmage (France), the hip-hop activist Didier Awadi and the filmmaker Salif Traore with support from Cooperation Agencies of France and Switzerland, foundations Doen, Jan Vrijman and Lettera 27 and the African Film festival of Verona.
The aim of all these projects is to make African cinema more accessible to the African audiences and to contribute to the economic sustainability of the film art.