Cinema du Monde Pavillion a collaboration of various partners at the 65th Cannes Festival was launched today. The pavilion offers an international village dedicated to filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe.
The Pavilion is the work of French-speaking institutions and media and this year they invited key figures from the global film industry.
“While we are being entertained here, the world goes on. Cinema shouldn’t simply aim to entertain, it should aim to plunge us into the realities that surround us,” said Maria de Mendeiros, the Portuguese- French actress, singer and director who also patron of the Cinema du Monde pavilion.
The other patron of the pavilion is Alia Suleiman, the Palestinian filmmaker who is best known for his 2002 film, Divine Intervention that brought him to the international spotlight.
Suleiman reiterated Mendeiros’ concerns of cinema industry rewarding mainly cinema that does not necessarily inform society.
“It hurts when cinema is done for purely consumerism. It is great and interesting to see the there’s still room to maneuver and resist this consumerism for us to touch issues of our daily life,” he said.
France24/RFI was represented by Genevieve Goetzinger who applauded the diversity at the festival.
“We have had a long standing presence in Cannes. Cannes is a special place because its diversity and culture. France24 is happy to be partnering to support directors and producers to come to this pavilion,” she said.
Canal France International (CFI), which is also the partner at the Les Cinema du Monde pavilion, was represented. Cedric Kalonji talked about the Cannesvupar project that CFI is supporting which has brought 7 bloggers from Uganda, Togo, Tunisia, Madagascar, Lebanon, Georgia and Egypt.
“We are here to talk about cinema and Cannes festival and CFI has been a long time partner and this year it is even more interesting to have seven bloggers from different countries to cover the events,” said Kalonji.
Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), that brings together countries with French as a common language with 75 member states and governments was represented by Clement Duhaime. He said that the organization has continued to promote cultural diversity.
“For 17 years we have been here to represent the open window to go beyond the French language to embrace diversity from other parts of the world,” he said. “For these years we have been supporting the African cinema.”
Duhaime says despite the efforts, the African cinema has not been given its due recognition. OIF, he revealed, has helped produce 1000 audio-visual productions over 17 years and now they are moving to ensure young directors from Africa are supported. Duhaime said that the Africa Cinema Fund will be launched at Cannes film festival where film makers and government officials from some African countries will participate. The FUND, he hopes, will make African Cinema more visible and better appreciated at the international level.
Cinema du Monde is supporting 10 talented young filmmakers and directors from Burma, Vietnam, Rwanda, Madagascar, Chile, Brazil , Paraguay, Tunisia, Iran and Palestine who are either producing their first or second feature film.