New support for African film


The European Commission has launched a €30 million support programme for film and culture in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific at the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO).

According to a statement the new programme will ensure that the achievements of the current film and cultural support programmes have a lasting legacy. The new programme will provide support to every link in the film production chain, from creation and production to distribution and promotion. It also includes the development of vocational training courses.

The current programme has made possible acclaimed African films, including Un homme qui crie by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun from Chad, Prix du Jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010, and The last flight of the flamingo by Mozambican director, Joao Ribeiro, which won the award for best feature film at the 3rd International Film Festival of Luanda in Angola.

“The dynamism of African cinema, Caribbean music and Pacific artists opens a window onto the reality in these countries. Culture is a vital element in social cohesion and identity. It is also a sector which generates wealth and jobs. My wish is that our support for the cultural sector will contribute to the economic, social and also political development of the ACP countries’, said the Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs.

The first call for proposals for the programme will make it possible to finance schemes of €12 million, €7 million of which will be in the film or audio visual domain.

The new programme continues the activities carried out under the ACPFILMS and ACPCULTURES programmes financed by the 9th European Development Fund, still under way. A second call for proposals is scheduled for mid-2012.

The European Commission supported the organisation of FESPACO with funding of €1.74 million for the 2011 festival. It also provided a grant of €70 000 for the first African Television Day held on 27 February. This event made it possible for seven private African French-speaking television channels to offer the same schedule of 100% African productions, potentially reaching some 100 million viewers in Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Niger and Senegal.

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