Algerian Film Industry Calls for Action Against Abolition of Film Fund | New

Algerian filmmakers have banded together to issue a stark warning about the future of cinema in the country following the cancellation of a national fund.

More than 50 directors, producers, actors and screenwriters have signed an open letter to Algerian Minister of Culture Malika Bendouda to “sound the alarm” on the abolition of the National Fund for the Development of Cinema Arts and Techniques and the Promotion the cinema. Arts et Lettres (FDATIC), which was abolished by the government last year.

A key question is what will replace the industry support fund in the North African country. “The last remaining tool to publicly finance films [in Algeria] disappeared, without official communication from our institutions on the future of film funding policy in our country,” the letter said.

“The unilateral decision to cancel public funding of cinema in Algeria, without prior consultation with its filmmakers, automatically deprives the public of their access to a free and independent Algerian cinema.”

Among the signatories was filmmaker Kamir Aïnouz, whose Honey cigar screened in Venice in 2020; Sofia Djama, whose first feature film The Blessed won three prizes in Venice in 2017; and Amin Sidi-Boumediene, whose Abu Leila premiered at Critics’ Week in Cannes in 2019.

“If we can’t tell our own stories and film our own worlds, we run the risk of others doing it for us; we take the risk of being dependent only on foreign financing and of not being able to carry our voice freely; we take the risk that our audience will no longer feel represented,” the letter reads.

It follows a letter sent in October 2021 raising concerns about the future of cinema funding in Algeria, which received no response, and an appeal in April from the Association of Algerian Cinema Producers (APAC) to Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, who also went unanswered. .

“Today, the Algerian cinema is in mortal danger”, adds the letter. “We rely on our governmental institutions to support us, to promote our creation and to keep this creation free.

About Herbert L. Leonard

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