Mr President, dear Costa-Gavras, Mr Director General, dear Serge Toubiana, Mr Commissioner of the Year of the French Overseas, dear Daniel Maximin, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

What a long way since 1968 and the exits of When the grass
Christian Lara’s short and Jacques Ferly’s “Chronicle of a Comeback”.
You all know, dear Euzhan Palcy, dear Constant Gros-Dubois, dear
Sarah Maldoror, dear friends, how pleased I am to participate
today at the launch, at the Cinémathèque française, of the «Images
of Overseas Territories” which traces the tremendous vitality of cinemas and cultures

I am also thinking of the time of the Municipal Action Service workshops
of Fort-de-France, the Sermac, created by Aimé Césaire, whose
President of the Republic celebrated the memory last April at the
Pantheon. The commitment of Aimé Césaire allowed the birth of a
vocation in so many of you.

This retrospective, skilfully developed by the Cinémathèque française and
Daniel Maximin, whose work I commend once again for
the Year of the Overseas, offers us a remarkable perspective on more
of fifty years of ultramarine cinema. Because through films such as
“Ô Madiana” by Constant Gros-Dubois, which you will have the opportunity to
rediscover tonight, or even «Coco La Fleur, Candidate» by Christian
Lara and «Folie Ordinaire d'une fille de Cham» by Jean Rouch with Jenny
Alpha, to quote only them, is all the wealth and uniqueness of
Ultramarine cultures that are illustrated here.

On the occasion of the Year of the French Overseas, I wanted to express my
conviction that the territories of the three oceans constitute for the metropolis
a real laboratory in cultural matters. By doing overseas
one of the main priorities of my action and
the necessary political ambition, I wanted to contribute to a
look at the ultramarine cultures that I believe essential for the

In this field, so much remains to be done, even if the Year of the Overseas
will be a point of no return. I’m going to Guyana tomorrow
to close the General States of Multilingualism in the French Overseas Territories: the
consideration of the linguistic dimension, essential to heritage
and creation in the French Overseas Territories, is a key
my action.

I also attach particular importance to the consolidation of
the film and audiovisual development agreement between
the State and the Overseas Regions. I hope that the authors and
The European Union’s Member States are
their talents, and that all French overseas have access to
a film and audiovisual creation in which they can
recognize themselves. It is for the same reasons that I also wear a
a favourable view on the extension of the Centre’s support mechanisms
National Cinematography and Animated Image Department

It is through our shared commitment that we will succeed in filling this gap
which Daniel Maximin calls an “image deficit” and which in some
time, I hope, will leave us the memory of an anachronism.

Thank you.