(ANSAmed) - ALGERIA, NOV 28 – An International Film Festival in Algeria, this was the proposal brought forth by Ginella Vocca, the President of the MedFilm Festival, at a meeting with Algeria’s Ministry of Culture, Nordine Beliefs, the and all the ‘giants’ from the local film industry, in order to help relaunch a country which has suffered for the past ten years under islamic terrorism, claiming victims among the country’s filmmakers, journalists, intellectuals and playrights.
This proposal met with an immediate consent and could already be carried out by next year, with Italy as the guest of honour. The MedFilm Festival has a long its knowledge and experience in events such as these, purposely chose Algeria to be the first stop of their tour entitled ‘From Damascus to Rabat, Italian cinema in six Mediterranean capitals, an event organized by the Italian Embassy and Cultural Institute during the week dedicated to Italian culture. Bertolucci’s film The Last Emperor opened the Festival which consisted of seven films, contemporary and classics, selected among 45 titles, and for the first time in the history of Italian cinema, the films had subtitles in Arabic, having been presented by MedFilm Festival at the Cairo Film Festival, which on December 3rd as the closing screening 'Buongiorno, Notte' by Marco Bellocchio. The tour moves on to Damascus, Beirut, Tripoli, Tunisia, and Rabat, and introduces some of Italian cinema’s greatest works to the Arab world, as Ginella Vocca explains: ‘because we believe that cinema with its wealth of languages and variety of narrative forms helps bring the people from distant lands much closer, and is an indication of a solid and credible mission." A concept on which the creation of the MedFilm Festival was based on, which develops collateral activities with the festivals, such as training operators in the sector, or working in association with national European and Mediterranean film schools enabling students to be partake as members of the International jury for the Methexis Award as well as other jury members chosen amongst prisoners from Italian jails
“Since cinema is not only two hours spent in a dark room in front of a screen” but “ a joined force”. In exchange for the help in organizing the International festival of Algeria, Ginella Vocca has officially asked and made sure that “ at least two Italian films “ be distributed in the Algeria’s theatres each year, and has suggested that an actual Film school be founded “ which could be created with the help of our own Experimental Center and financial help from the European Commission. A lot of projects are in the works, as was expressed by Aip-FilmItalia’s President, Giovanni Galoppi - who attended the inauguration of this event together with Producer and Distributor Andrea Occhipinti (Lucky Red) just released 'The Penguins ' – to help with the remodelling of the theatres in Algeria, which because of terrorism have been reduced from 500 to a mere 20 in the entire country. Galoppi forsees the possibility of making an agreement similar to the one which Istituto Luce ( with the support of the Lazio region ) made with Morocco for Ouarzazate. In his mission to promote Italian cinema abroad, Galoppi also expressed his hope to develop a direct exchange between Italian producers and Algerian distributors, “ essential in allowing the small percentage of Italian films which reach Algeria to fall into the hands of French distributors, as has been the case up until now.”
The language problems could be easily avoided suggests Occhipinti, " it is a question of getting organized, I can easily ask the French distributor for a copy in French, which then I can personally hand over to the Algerian distributor.” Another problem raised by Galoppi, is the fact that in regards to promotion “ Italy does not invest enough”. “ We need to create a system and find sponsors, using specific marketing strategies, because film is also a commercial product “ he was quick to underline.