Brussels, 7 September 2012/ ACP: Film makers, artists and other members of the creative and cultural industries in Europe and ACP regions gathered in Brussels to share updates on projects they manage with backing by ACP Cultures Plus – a funding programme for cultural initiatives within the European Development Fund (EDF).

The two day workshop for beneficiaries included presentations of their projects, and discussions on project management, visibility tools, and their contribution to the socio-economic development in ACP regions.

“You have as mission to contribute to the growth of the creation of the production of cultural goods and services in ACP countries, and to strengthen the capacity of the actors and entrepreneurs of the sector. You can understand the political will of the ACP Secretariat and ACP Group to contribute to the development of cultural industries to the promotion of trade between its member states, its peoples, and those of the European Union,” ACP Assistant Secretary General in charge of Political Affairs and Human Development, Michèle Dominique Raymond told participants at the opening of the session.

“Of the 30 million Euros at the disposal of the ACP Cultures+ programme, 8.5 million has been committed to finance 21 projects in 37 of the 79 member states of the ACP Group, implemented by 62 cultural operators from the ACP regions in partnership with 22 from the European Union,” she reported.

The first call for ACP Cultures+ was in June 2011, receiving 216 proposals. The 21 that were accepted for funding ranged from projects in cinema, graphics animation, architecture, and professional development amongst others.

Examples included two separate cinematic collaborations amongst producers in France, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. One of the films, “Cristo Rey” (Les Films de l’Astre, Linea Espiral, Fastforward) shows the complexities in the Dominican and Haitian diaspora, while “Murder in Pacot” (Velvet Films, Figulier Productions, Producciones Testmonio) follows the daily fictional lives of three people after the 2010 earthquake in Port au Prince.

Another project led by the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Studio Malembe Maa, working with partners in Burundi and Belgium, will train young artists in the production of animated films. The results of the training will be shown at a special screening in Kinshasa next year.

Meanwhile, the Africa Festival Tour project will see over 60 groups scheduled on a three year music tour around four countries – Senegal, Benin, Cameroon and France.

“We must still do more to ensure that the cultural and creative industries have a positive impact on the national economic spheres of ACP states, and count significantly in the flow of international trade in cultural property which remains one of the most dynamic sectors of the global economy,” added Mme Raymond.

The second call for project proposals under ACP Cultures+ will be launched later this month.

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(Photos: (From top) Maud Lambert from Les Films de l'Astre briefs the group about the film project "Cristo Rey"; ACP ASG Michele Raymond [second from right] leads a discussion group; Mediatik Communication's Moctar Ba presents thefeature film project "Dakar Trottoirs"; Participants at the workshop)

– ACP Press