Up and coming filmmakers spoke of their contributions to the film industry in developing countries and the need for more support to break into global markets during a special UNESCO event held on the sidelines of this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Organized in collaboration with the Better World Forum, the event on the theme of cinema and diversity in Cannes on 18 May, highlighted the work of UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity and celebrated the important contribution of movie makers from emerging countries towards economic and social development.
A group of young directors and producers including Tapiwa Chipfupa and Benjamin Mahaka from Zimbabwe and Carlos Francisco Manatad, from the Philippines, shared their experiences and challenges faced in carrying their projects through. Tapiwa Chipfupa outlined the need for more support for women directors.
Joining them were representatives of several foundations and UNESCO who stressed the need to support young talent from developing countries. “We are here tonight to stimulate more diversity in the creative industries and to pay tribute to the scriptwriters, directors and producers from emerging countries, who are concretely carrying this diversity,” said Eric Falt, Assistant Director-General for External Relations and Public Information, UNESCO.
The event was also endorsed by internationally renowned actor, Forest Whitaker, who is also UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation. In a video message, he stressed that, "empowering creative people in the developing world is key to building strong societies. Artists hold a mirror to society and help us understand our world--conflict and all--as it truly is, while simultaneously allowing us to reimagine and rebuild our world as it should be. Arts also give us reprieve in times of darkness, allowing us to celebrate, through tears and through laughter, that which makes us fundamentally human. Through UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity we can help artists, musicians, performers, and filmmakers foster dynamic cultural policies and creative industries--giving them the capacity to make positive and powerful changes in their communities." Hollywood Director Harvey Weinstein and the Chairperson of UNESCO’s Executive Board, Michael Worbs, also attended the event.
The trade in cultural goods and services such as film, music and art worldwide is still largely dominated by industrialized nations and UNESCO’s 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions serves to change this by calling on all Governments to introduce preferential treatment and measures to support the balanced flow of cultural goods and services worldwide.
The event in Cannes was made possible thanks to the support of the Aileen Getty Foundation, the Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde of the Institut Français, Unite4good, Champagne Armand de Brignac, BMW and Albane communication. The International Fund for Cultural Diversity, established by the 2005 Convention, supports projects linked to the creative industries in developing countries, notably in Africa, will also benefit from financial contributions generated through this event.
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