Cannes, 22 May 2013/ ACP Press Release: The ACP Group of States and the European Commission were present at the Cinémas du Monde Pavillion* to present the current state of the ACPCultures+ Programme to an audience composed of representatives of institutions and professionals.

Mrs. Michèle Dominique Raymond welcomed the selection of Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s film Grisgris, competing for the Palme d’Or. The film, centred on a paralzed man with dreams of becoming a dancer who falls into petrol smuggling, was one of 20 projects supported by the ACPCultures+ Programme under its first call for proposals. Mrs. Raymond said that if the engagement of the ACP Group of States has served to support the development of the cinema and audiovisual sector of the ACP, the determination and talent of professionals like Mr. Haroun, the epitome of ACP cinema, can only reinforce this development.
Regarding the results of the 2nd call for proposals, Mrs. Raymond noted that the evaluation was currently in its final stage, and that the delays encountered are due to the extreme amount of attention paid to each of the proposals received. Regarding the preparation of applications, she insisted upon high quality partnerships established on a long term basis, noting that fictional or one-sided partnerships for a project could lead to a suspension of funding. Lastly, the increased geographical scope of applications was highlighted. The Caribbean, East Africa, and the East Indian Ocean, notably, are today better represented, thanks to the actions and participation of the Commission and ACP Secretariat in numerous festivals. The observations are, thus, largely positive. ACPCultures+, still little known a few years ago, is now recognised as one of the most important funding programs of the ACP film and audiovisual industry.
Her Excellency Dr. Mary Margaret Muchada, Ambassador of Zimbabwe and President of the sub-committee for political, social, humanitarian and cultural affairs, expressed her intention to work with her colleagues in Brussels to ensure that support to the cultural sector, in the framework of the intra-ACP Funds under the 11th EDF, is not only maintained, but reinforced.
Mrs. Denise Richert of the European Commission in turn highlighted the importance of ensuring that the cultural rojects presented are also development projects, engaged in the fight against poverty notably by improving the well-being of the people within the ACP region and contributing to the economic development of States. The presentation was very supportive of the programme and its results, emphasising the numerous developments achieved since the launch of the programme in 2000. The clear increase in the number of applications between the first and the second call launched by the ACPCultures+ Programme, combined with the increased financial reserves made available, should allow to finance about forty projects.
In order to make the actions of the Programme more concrete, four grant beneficiaries selected under the framework of the first call for proposals continued with a presentation of their experiences and their activities.
Mr. Olivier Barlet, director of the Africultures Association, presented a summary of the state of development of the cultural diversity portal “Sudplanète”. The project aims to create 21 websites, linked to a common interface, aimed at national cultural operators in ten African, seven Caribbean, and four Pacific countries. The future publication of newsletters by each of the 21 sites will facilitate the creation of an effective, perennial network between cultural operators, who will in turn be encouraged to contribute to the content of the newsletters.
Mr. Enrico Chiesa, director of the Africa Films TV-MobiCiné project, took the opportunity to present the developments of the On Demand Video platform specialised in the distribution of ACP films and audiovisual productions. It currently boasts over 600 titles, and its indexation is undergoing considerable improvement. Mr. Chiesa took the opportunity to officially announce the establishment of a partnership with YouTube and Google Africa.
Mr. Moctar Bâ, Director of Mediatik Communications, announced the finalisation of his work Dakar Trottoirs, the second feature film of the young Senegalese director Hubert Laba Ndao, which will be completed in July, with a release date in October 2013.
Closing the session, Mrs. Elisabeth Bocquet of the Films de l’Astre production company, thanked the ACPCultures+ Programme, responsible for 40% of the financing of the feature film Cristo Rey from Dominican director and producer Leticia Tonos, without which the film could not have been made.
In the afternoon, the Grisgris team, led by Mahamat Saleh Haroun, ascended the stairs at the Palais des Festivals to attend the screening of the World Premiere of his film. After the little jig danced on the red carpet by comedian and lead star of the film Souleymane Démé, the director and his team received an ovation from a full house upon entering the Lumière theatre. Following the screening, the public gave a standing ovation of several minutes to the film’s team, leading the radiant young actress of the film, Anaïs Monory, to tears.
*Since 2009, the Cinemas du Monde Pavilion has been run by the Institut français.
Pictured above: Assistant Secretary General Mme Michele Dominique Raymond makes a presentation on ACP Cultures Plus in Cannes; Poster for the film GrisGris.
– ACP Cultures Plus/ ACP Press