Madame la Président de la Commission FONDS SUD CINÉMA, trèschère Dora BOUCHOUCHA,Ladies and Gentlemen, former Presidents of this Commission,Madame la Président du CNC, Dear VéroniqueMesdames and Gentlemen, the representatives of the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, my friend Bernard KOUCHNER,Dear Raja AMARI,Ladies, gentlemen, Dear friends,
To be seen gathered here, at the CNC, the large family of FONDS SUD CINÉMA for
pay tribute to the men and women who, together, have
built, made it live and prosper, I must say that some emotion
How would it be otherwise when the former president of the
SOUTH FUND Commission that I am find here the vivid memory
long afternoons spent, in your company, in the exchange, the
debate, the communion of mind around a passion that brings us together?
When I get ready to share with you, in a few minutes, the
discovery of the new opus of Raja AMARI, a great artist
by the SOUTH FUND with a surety of intuition confirmed by the
biggest international festivals?
When so many faces and things around me evoke this land
that I loved and still love, to the point of making it almost
How not to feel a great emotion, especially, when our friend
Dora has been doing us the honour of
President of the SOUTH FUND, bringing him his immense talent of
producer and its constant commitment, for years, to the service
films from the South, notably as part of the
Carthage, with the success that everyone knows?
However, I do not want, of course, to settle for this feeling well
natural of emotion. The message I hear before you goes beyond,
and from afar, my own person as that of each of us.
It is a collective message, based on the reality of a common project.
This reality is beautiful to say: 26 years of existence and action have made
SOUTH CINEMA FUND a success – a real success.
Firstly, by the number of films assisted: more than 400, carried by
300 filmmakers from more than 70 countries.
A success, also, by the size of the public funding
been devoted – with a total of more than €50 million,
representing on average 15% of the total cost of each work.
A success, above all, by the quality of the films supported, which made the
FONDS SUD a precious sesame for producers and distributors
a label in some way, a guarantee of quality, a
artistic recognition as well as financial support.
I’ll take just one example: the 20th anniversary of the FUND,
in 2004. Who won the Silver Bear in Berlin that year, as well as
that of the best actor and the Grand Prix of the Jury? The Son of Elias, of
Daniel Burman, helped by the SOUTH FUND. Who stands out in
official competition in Cannes for his second feature, La Niña
Santa? Lucrecia MARTEL, helped from the beginning by the SOUTH FUND. Who
finally seduces the Venice Mostra in the “Horizons” section? Pablo
TRAPERO, for the family trip: helped by the SOUTH FUND.
I have only one regret, perhaps: that we do not always have
success to its full extent. However,
Other countries, such as the Netherlands, Sweden
or even Germany, were interested in the SOUTH FUND very early, have
with great ambition and brilliance. The European Commission
reflects, even today, on how to back our own funds
support for film production in the countries
through the MEDIA MUNDUS mechanism, and I train
the wish that this one is very quickly operational, because it is very expected and made
raise high hopes.
All in all, there is little more than one thing that our partners
In the case of the South Fund, the Commission
budget allocated to it has increased very little since the
26 years ago. An effort must therefore be made to
feel, and I am announcing that I will be working on it for 2011.
In this regard, I am therefore particularly pleased to be able to greet this
the commitment recently made by the Ministry of
and European countries to continue, this year, the
always been his in the financing and management of the SOUTH FUND,
since this fund is the result of exemplary cooperation between the two
It is not, moreover, a question of responding to expectations alone
immediate professionals: I am firmly convinced that the
cross-examination of our two departments contributes to the accuracy of the choices
long-term operations by the FUND. It is also
it seems, in the appropriation of the device by all the actors
in France and abroad.
I will also make every effort to ensure that our two
departments and the SOUTH FUND itself make the most of the
reorganization that is emerging, with the creation of the future Agency
French culture. I know how to count, in this task,
on the goodwill of my friend Bernard KOUCHNER, and I am delighted.
We will naturally have to look at other projects to consolidate
the SOUTH FUND building. Times have changed in 26 years; the economy
of the cinema has changed.
Should we keep a list of eligible countries that takes little account,
today, the weight gained by some major emerging countries,
Like India or China, in world cinematography?
Should we keep certain countries in the SOUTH FUND for
historical or political considerations, perhaps far removed from reality
the needs of the film sector?
Should we continue to focus support from the SOUTH FUND on aid to the
production and post-production of films, reserving only one character
In the alternative to scenario rewriting aid?
These are all questions that you will have to decide. You will
see, this great tool that all of you have helped to sustain,
still deserves, and will always deserve, a permanent work of adjustment and
The European Parliament has a duty to respond to the new developments which are constantly emerging.
I hope that Dora and all of you can contribute to this work, by
drawing on your invaluable experience and expertise
This is how we will continue to best serve
the most fragile cinematography, even within countries
eligible for the SOUTH FUND. I am naturally thinking of state cinemas
of sub-Saharan Africa, many of whom, as you know, are celebrating
the 50th anniversary of their independence, and my department is there
associated naturally. I remain, indeed, struck by the lag that
seems to exist between the presence of incredible talents in these countries and
the small number of projects carried and, consequently,
effectively supported by the SOUTH FUND.
To my knowledge, this number has only decreased in the last 26 years,
although the movement seems to have eased under the presidency of
Mahmet-Saleh HAROUN, whose action I would like to commend.
It is not, I am convinced, a question of fatality, and I cannot
solve. That is why I wanted to set up, as soon as the next
a mission tasked with drawing up an inventory of the cinema in
Sub-Saharan Africa, in association with the Ministry of Business
It will be entrusted jointly to Messrs. Patrick OLIVIER and Benoît
PAUMIER, Inspectors General for Cultural Affairs, who will
of Dominique WALLON, former Director General of the CNC,
former president of IFCIC (Institute for Film Financing and
Cultural Industries) and author of remarkable analyses on the
Some of the findings are well known: production companies and
theatres have almost completely disappeared from these countries, for lack of
find a viable business model, due to asset piracy
and the lack of involvement of broadcasters, in particular
television operators, in the financing of local production.
It is also well known that the structures for initial training
and ongoing African professionals must be strengthened.
I want this mission to focus on recommendations
operational, likely to federate the energies of all donors
funds, French, European and global – and there are many – and
explore the most promising avenues to develop another
cinema consumption model, able to reach a wide audience,
particularly African, while offering fair compensation to artisans
local and international film creation.
The task is beautiful, ambitious, exciting. I form wishes for
that it is as successful and as meritorious as the
All of you here have already won the SOUTH FUND.
May we meet again in 25 years to celebrate its fruits!
Place, now, to the cinema and the Secrets that will, if not reveal us,
at least highlight our dear Raja AMARI, to whom I
wishes the best reception by the public.