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Proteste per la nuova legge sul cinema in Portogallo

LETTER OF PROTEST AND SOLIDARITY
For decades Portugal has distinguished itself in the international film world. Despite being a small country with a miniscule national film market (less than a dozen national feature films are distributed in theatres per year) the percentage of Portuguese films that are shown in international festivals is very high. Systematically, since the 1980’s, Portuguese cinema has been lauded with cinema cycles and tributes; retrospectives about the work of numerous Portuguese filmmakers have been hosted internationally - several of these authors are still active (some subscribing this text), others have unfortunately passed away (João César Monteiro, Paulo Rocha, Fernando Lopes, António Reis, José Álvaro Morais, António Campos and, of course, Manoel de Oliveira). The "miracle" of the high international visibility of Portuguese films in relation to the small number of films produced – throughout decades and generations - is unquestionably due to the merit of the filmmakers, technicians, actors and producers in Portugal. It was also due to a cultural strategy that stimulated the production of a Cinema marked by strong singular proposals and creative freedom.

The cultural policy that allowed for Portugal’s distinctively diverse cinema was established through a Cinema Law and a Public Institute - the ICA. ICA organizes calls for film production financing proposals, defines rigorous participation regulations, establishes evaluation criteria fitting the policy promoted by the Ministry of Culture, and selects the juries to analyze the submissions. The profile for  jury members is defined by law as "personalities with recognized cultural merit and impartiality". Thus, filmmakers and film technicians, as well as film critics, artists, writers, architects, musicians, cultural programmers or university professors were nominated to be part of the board of experts that approve film projects.
From 2013 onwards, a new decree-law (amendment) to the Cinema Law was passed and a new executive board of the Portuguese Film Institute (ICA) was established. This new board, seemingly allergic to it’s responsibility and ignorant of the ICA’s regulatory role, has outsourced the duty of nominating juries to a non-governmental committee composed of delegates with vested interests in the outcome of the support programs:  representatives of television stations, cable operators, among others. This corporate committee now has the power to nominate the juries that evaluate and approve film projects financed by ICA, fomenting collusion and a clear conflict of interests since, in many cases, the committee that now selects the jury represents organizations that directly profit from the jury’s selection.

The outcome of this situation has been immediately evident: the requirement expressed in the regulation that jury members be "personalities of recognized cultural merit" has not been met.  In recent years some of the jury members for cinema projects are bank managers with connections to cinema and marketing managers of telecom operators.

The current government - hostage to pressures exerted by TV cable operators - is now preparing to approve a new decree-law that perpetuates and exacerbates this problem, endangering the existence of the very cinema that has distinguished Portugal internationally. A very significant group of Portuguese filmmakers and producers stated their opposition to this promiscuous and flawed system, declaring to the government their refusal to participate in jury nominations. They do not wish to influence the appointment of juries, nor do they accept that anyone interested in the outcome of the financing programs can participate in the process. They believe that transparency can only be guaranteed if the nomination of juries is the exclusive responsibility of ICA., They call for the nomination of a directing board of ICA capable of accepting its responsibilities and conscious of ICA’s dual role as the executor of a cultural policy for Portuguese cinema and regulator of this activity.

The subscribers to this protest letter wish to remind the State that Portuguese Cinema is not exclusively a Portuguese concern. Therefore, they wish to show their solidarity with Portuguese filmmakers and producers who are opposed to this process and express their firm repudiation should the decree-law be approved.

 

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SalinaDocFest - XI Edizione

Il festival del documentario narrativo ideato e diretto da Giovanna Taviani annuncia il patrocinio dell’Alto Commissariato delle Nazioni Unite per i Rifugiati, a cui sarà dedicata una giornata speciale. Fra gli ospiti Carlotta Sami (Senior Regional PI officer UNHCR), il giornalista Giovanni Maria Bellu (Presidente dell'Associazione Carta di Roma) e Pippo Delbono. Il SalinaDocFest 2017 prevederà una giornata interamente dedicata all'UNHCR, da quest'anno nuovo patrocinatore del festival, e alle scuole (con il Patrocinio del CIDI). In questa occasione sarà proiettato il docucorto “CHEFINEFARANNO”, realizzato dalle scuole medie superiori di Enna, con la supervisione di Giovanna Taviani e Davide Gambino, sull'incontro tra gli studenti ennesi e i minori non accompagnati del Centro di Accoglienza di Pergusa e di Aidone.

All'evento parteciperanno, oltre ai giovani protagonisti del centro di accoglienza e agli studenti delle scuole, anche Carlotta Sami (UNHCR), e Giovanni Maria Bellu che riceverà il Premio Ravesi Dal Testo allo schermo / Fiction per I Fantasmi di Portopalo, il memorabile romanzo-inchiesta sul primo grande naufragio documentato nel Mediterraneo. È il cosiddetto "naufragio fantasma" del Natale 1997 dove, nel silenzio totale dell'occidente, morirono 300 clandestini, tra cui Anpalagan Ganeshu, il giovane Tamil dello Sri Lanka che sognava di diventare ingegnere informatico a Londra. Da questa storia è stata tratta l'omonima fiction di successo interpretata da Beppe Fiorello, nei panni di Salvo Lupo, il pescatore che denunciò la tragedia, per la regia di Alessandro Angelini. Nel corso della giornata è prevista la proiezione del film Vangelo di Pippo Delbono – documentario vincitore del Premio speciale per la regia ai Nastri d'Argento 2017 - che riscopre il suo Vangelo laico negli occhi e nel racconto di giovani immigrati africani, perché, come dichiara lui stesso nel film, ciò che ci rende tutti uguali è lo stesso dolore, la stessa solitudine, e lo stesso bisogno.

Questo e molto altro al Salinadocfest 2017 - il Festival del documentario narrativo - dal 24 al 29 giugno Salina, Isole Eolie: un'edizione dedicata come sempre agli invisibili, che quest'anno ha deciso di coinvolgere nella sua realizzazione tutti gli amici delle Isole e del documentario italiano con il lancio, per la prima volta di una campagna di crowdfunding, attualmente in preparazione.

http://www.salinadocfest.it

 

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