THESE CINEMA FESTIVALS ARE GROWING MUSHROOOM!

“Every year, at the festival …, the unseen stars leave the film and dedicate themselves to watching mortals”. Edgar Morin.

HISTORICAL

In the late 1970s, there were cinema meetings in Mohammedia, Mekènes and Tangier. But historically, the 1st International Festival of African Cinema of Khouribga in March 1977 was the 1st film festival created in Morocco, and organized by the National Federation of Cine-Clubs of Morocco (FNCCM), followed in 1982 by the creation and organization of the CCM at the 1st edition of the National Film Festival. Khouribga thus remained the only independent film festival until its 2nd edition in March 1983. Then a 2nd festival, the Mediterranean Film Festival in Tetouan, was created in March 1985 by the association of cinema friends. in Tetouan. And it wasn’t until the 90s that imitation led to the birth of several national and international film festivals. This trend was supported in the 2000s by the creation of newly renowned national and international film festivals, including in particular), the International Film Festival in Marrakech (2001), the Mediterranean Short Film Festival in Tangier (2002) , the International Women’s Film Festival. by Salé (2004) …

Then the festivals start to grow like mushrooms! We, according to statistics of the Moroccan Cinematographic Center, all genres combined, in at least 120 festivals, established in the most remote bloods of the country with no cinematographic infrastructure, no cinema, or cultural center, ni wala! And, to make matters worse, the last session of the Commission on Support for Film Festivals and Manifestations chose to support at least 60 festivals under the 2nd session in 2021, which distributed- distributed to them, in the sense of sharing (louziaa), more than 17,000,000 dhs!

INFLATION AT THE FESTIVAL

Contacted in this regard, the CCM director confirmed that “the transformation of film festivals is abnormal and has almost no positive impact on the development of national cinema”. In fact, due to the continued closure of cinemas, the declining public in a drop and the notable decline in national production, film festivals have been increasingly transformed into a state festival, with no any additional amount of sector development. “We really need to rethink and better structure and regulate the organization of State-supported festivals”. One of the professionals accustomed to the festivals said nothing explicitly: “We see more visitors in places where food is served and other festival activities, where they gather a lot, than in sessions. at screenings, debates and meetings where rooms remain empty ”.

“There is also this lack of originality in most film festivals that always end up offering the same products according to the same concepts”, says another professional, adding “not to forget that we always find the same guests, honored and speakers, making. festivals that are repeated and customary “.

It also gives full meaning to the famous quote from Christina Aquilera: “So where’s the Cannes Film Festival taking place this year?”

INCREASED PRICE AND SERVICE

Another aspect, which arose following the devastating consequences of the Covid 19 pandemic on the lives of the festivals, posed an economic and financial problem for the organizers. A president of one of the pioneer festivals, who defended his vocation and his cinephile traditions, raised the “shocking rise in prices and costs of services that exceeded 40%, especially in areas of accommodation, catering and transportation! It disrupts the financial balance of the festival, risks imposing severe restrictions and also leads to the search for new sources and forms of financing. ”Therefore, these risks have an impact on the quality of services and on conditions of admission and retention of participants.

It is understood that one should not mix things up or generalize and put all the festivals in the same basket. Festivals that respect each other and respect the rules of the genre still exist and ensure a contribution to the development of national cinema. As the right to the existence of small festivals in small localities is especially desired, because they are small cultural windows open to the world. The essential problem remains in choosing a reasonable regulation of the allocation of public support to these festivals.

Finally, this short inventory makes inflation at film festivals detrimental to the growth of the sector and requires an in-depth overhaul of their regulations, including a more accurate classification of genre and category. .

It also reminds us of Jean-Luc Godard’s famous quote about film festivals: “Today, film festivals are like congresses of dentists. It’s so folkloric that it’s sad.

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