HAVANA, June 24th The seventh art constitutes an essential part of Cuban culture. The movie theaters that still remain, in Havana and throughout the country, are testimonies of the political will to spread this artistic manifestation with an informed public eager for enriching and varied cinematography. However, the difficulties that Cuban filmmakers encounter today to direct, producing and promoting a new generation of works and artists can be verified.
In this context, the project arose: “Support for new cinemas and the Cuban film industry” that comes from the Solidarity Fund for Innovative Projects (FSPI). It is intended to finance bilateral interventions within the framework of France’s official development aid.
The French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) has this instrument that works in the form of aid for projects with broad thematic and geographical scope. Supporting initiatives in the fields of democratic governance, culture, the French language, higher education and research, it is a very worthwhile project.
Thus, the FSPI has been developed in almost 60 countries and, for the first time, it is implemented in the Cuban cinema scene, to contribute, through a specific mechanism, to the strengthening of civil societies, with a rapid and visible impact on the benefit of these populations.
With a duration of 2 years (24 months), this Fund intends to support the new ways of making cinema in Cuba today, as well as the much-needed professionalization of the members of the Cuban film industry.
“This is a fairly broad project, with various actions and priorities,” French Cultural Attaché Solen Rouillard said in a recent interview.
Because betting, in the long term, on independent cinema means fostering a field of cultural expression, guaranteeing the public a diversity of audiovisual proposals, and offering artists a space for innovation and creative freedom.
The general objective of the project is to encourage independent film production in Cuba, which is inserted, on the one hand, in the wake of promising proposals initiated by the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC) and, on the other, that supports the development of an ecosystem conducive to the professionalization and internationalization of Cuban cinema.
In this sense, the first component is to support the winners of the Fund for the Promotion of Cuban Cinema (FFCC): directors, screenwriters, or producers. The intention is to support the Institute in maintaining this young fund, which represents important support for independent cinema, and for those filmmakers registered in the Registry of Audiovisual and Cinematographic Creators.
The second aspect to consider is attention to the development of a Franco-Cuban network of professionals in the seventh art through the establishment of training and support for internationalization.
Create a sectoral dynamic and open a dialogue so that, later on, professional opportunities can be taken advantage of organically.
“Our will, from the beginning, was to work in collaboration both with Cuban public institutions, as well as with the independent and private sector, which is not the case with the Norwegian Fund for Cuban Cinema or the Netherlands,” he reaffirmed. Rouillard.
“We want to have an open and constant dialogue because that makes everyone grow. Exclusion is not good for anyone,” added the cultural attaché, referring to the innovative nature of the project in question, in which French collaborators (CNC, INA/INASup, French Institute, Cinemanía, Campus France, and Alliance Française de Cuba) and Cubans (ICAIC, ISA, FAMCA, EICTV and International Festival of New Latin American Cinema).
Likewise, gender equality is another of the essential and cross-cutting objectives of the FSPI, which aims to accompany the efforts of ICAIC for this cause, particularly encouraging it to create a gender category in the FFCC calls for projects.
Our Fund will also program films that talk about discrimination to reduce these inequalities, as well as take advantage of and be present at the main events and festivals that are held annually on the Island to propose any type of intervention to filmmakers and producers. or required training.
The French Embassy in Havana will contact those winners of the Promotion Fund with whom it would like to work. He will send them a form asking them about the progress of their films and their specific needs.
Also, it will communicate with several festivals that will carry out a selection of projects. Action for action.