31 octobre 2011

Cultural Stereotypes in Taipei (Bouquin)

- Cultural diversity Awareness - 

Movies and cultural diversity
By Benoit Bouquin (eRenlai magazine; Taipei; 11 August 2008) [PDF]
[..] So apart from the happy few who can spend their free time travelling around the world, most of us are condemned to rely on media if they wish to learn about other cultures. And here is the bug that bothers me: media are often a distorting mirror of foreign cultures, which are typically reduced to a set of clichés, not always devoid of xenophobic accents.
Another problem is the difficult access to cultural diversity in the media. Take movies for instance. How many non-Hollywood movies have you seen last year? Well, if you live in Taiwan, probably not many. Except for a few institutions such as the Taipei Film House, or for a couple of international movie festivals, it is Hollywood on every menu. The last fifteen years have seen the share of Asian movies shrink in the local box office, and now American big studio productions have the lion’s share in the movie industry revenue: a trend that is not likely to change in the future, considering the lack of policies encouraging cultural diversity.
I had the chance to grow up in Paris, a city that, despite its quite unaffordable living expenses, has the advantage to be crowded with little independent cinemas, where you can see, and usually for a cheap price, movies from other times and places. You might object that my taste for Iranian and Kazakhstan movies are just another illustration of my highbrow cultural tastes, and that I am part of an ultraminority of snobbish people like me who delight themselves in watching four-hour long Hungarian black and white movies. Well, maybe you are right: after all, why adopt cultural policies that encourage the distribution of movies that nobody is ever going to see? Lots of foreign movies are often quite hermetic to audiences, who do not necessarily share the values and cultural codes embedded in such films. Those who have made the experience of watching a Bollywood movie know what I am talking about.
However, a country does not need to adopt volunteer policies to encourage the display of movies from different cultural horizons: the capitalist logic might be quite a sufficient incentive for that. Take China with its fast developing market for entertainment products: why not produce some movies that display Chinese values and ways of life, and which might be profitable in the Asian market while educating at the same time other folks about an Eastern civilization that is widely unknown to them? Well, I am not the first one to bump into this million-dollar idea: there is a precedent, and it is called Mulan. Mulan: an exemplary story of a girl who enrols in the army to relieve her ageing father; a folk tale that every Chinese person has known from childhood. Mulan seemed to provide the perfect storyline for Disney to enter the Chinese market and sell millions of tickets; however, it performed rather poorly in the Chinese box-office. The reason? Despite all the good will of the filmmakers, despite the overall “oriental” aesthetics of the movie, reflected in its soundtrack or in the drawing style, the movie did not reflect accurately the original meaning of the story. The Chinese makeup did not fool the local audience, who rejected the transplant of Western values on the original script. Mulan, this daughter going to war by filial piety, had become something that spectators could not recognize: a feminist lost in an archaic world of hysterical matrons, a symbol of independence in a universe of male domination.
Cultural hybridity needs a sense of nuance and delicacy that was clearly missed by Mulan producers. More successful in this crossing of cultures are the movies of Ang Lee. Take a traditional Chinese kungfu novel, and rewrite the script to add the romance elements that captivate Western spectators, and you have Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The success of this movie lies in the very nuanced and careful way in which the director Ang Lee tried to make the plot understandable for a Western audience without departing from the Chinese elements of the story. As a Taiwanese director that moved early to the United States, Ang Lee has built himself a double culture that enables him to build bridges and new understandings between different value systems. Other directors have taken the same path: think of the way that Emir Kusturica or Tony Gatlif have reconstructed our imaginary representation of gypsy people, traditionally depicted in Europe basically as thieves or social parasites.
Through their written or filmic testimonies, nomadic artists of the 21st century are our best guides to the distant, the foreign, the other. But there is still a lot to be done. In a world where people and cultures are more and more intertwined, we still have too little testimonies of these fascinating or dramatic experiences that can be immigration, exile and cultural hybridity. Immigrants are often the second-class citizens of our globalized world, and although they often live at our doorstep, the lack of representation of these people in our media and objects of popular culture only reinforces the impression that they live in a distant or separate world. I think that the movie industry has a particular responsibility in bringing to us distant cultures that we ignore everything about. After all, films have historically been used quite as a means for National propaganda. It is time that they assume another historical mission: that of introducing to us other cultures and fighting our stereotypes.
Broken Blossom (1919/Griffith/USA)

Mulan (1998/Disney/USA)

Related :

29 octobre 2011

Mexican culture in America

- Cultural Diversity Awareness -

According to IMDb, 7 films (out of a total of 754 American films) were released in the USA in 2010, made in the Spanish language :
  1. Old Cats (2010/Pedro Peirano, Sebastián Silva/Chile/USA)
  2. Amexica (2010/Ron Krauss/USA)
  3. Un buen día (2010/Nicolás Del Boca/USA/Argentina)
  4. Señora Maestra (2010/Ricardo Perez-Roulet/USA)
  5. Plata o Plomo (2010/John Human/Colombia/USA)
  6. Brujeria Fantasma (2010/Rod Lopez/Dominican Rep./USA)
  7. Sueños 2 (2010/Elias Cabrera, Victoria Zapata/Ecuador/USA)
Admissions of Mexican films released on the USA market : less than 0.5% (since this is the entire share of the Rest of the World)

I wish there was more precise datas on Mexican films (number of releases, admission share, number of screens, number of weeks of releases...) available online...

* * *
USA population (2010) :
Source : CIA Factbook

Although Caucasians make up the majority of the population and moviegoers (141 million), they represent a lower proportion of ticket sales, down to 56% of tickets in 2010, compared to 60% in 2009. Hispanics are more likely to go to movies. In 2010, 43 million Hispanic moviegoers purchased 351 million movie tickets, up from 37 million moviegoers and 300 million tickets in 2009.
MPAA Theatrical Report 2010 [PDF]
This means that the hispanic population within the USA doesn't watch more foreign movies from Latin America than the rest of the population, otherwise the share of foreign films would be closer to 26%, and if caucasians would watch Latin American movies too, this share would be superior to 26%. The sad thing is that the multiculturalism of the American melting-pot flocks to Hollywood movies, and doesn't care about the cinema made by their country of origin/ancesters. The share of foreign films in the USA, that are not European, and not from Canada, amounts to 0.5%.
If these foreign films were really bad, I would understand this attitude, but most of the time there are films made abroad that are as good as Hollywood flicks and even better than the formulaic teen-centric entertainment. Especially in Latin America, countries like Mexico, Argentina, Brazil have made enormous progress in the production of quality entertainment. Not to mention the world-class quality of art films (although reserved for a smaller margin of the movie goer population), in Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Uruguay...

USA-Mexico border 2008

Selection of recent outstanding Latin-American or Spanish films (with their USA release) :
  • Alamar (2009/Pedro González-Rubio/Mexico) [Limited release 14 July 2010 = 3 screens]
  • La Mujer Sin Cabeza (2008/Lucrecia Martel/Argentina/France/Italy/Spain) [Limited release 19 Aug 2009 = 3 screens]
  • La Piel Que Habito (2011/Pedro Almodovar/Spain) [Limited release 14 Oct 2011 = 21 screens]
  • La nana (2009/Sebastián Silva/Chile/Mexico) [Limited release 19 Oct 2009 = 19 screens]
  • El hombre de al lado (2009/Mariano Cohn/Gastón Duprat/Argentina) ***NOT RELEASED IN USA***
  • Medianeras (2011/Gustavo Taretto/Argentina/Spain/Germany) Release 26 Oct 2011
  • Abrazos rotos (2009/Pedro Almadovar/Spain) [Released 20 Nov 2009 = 202 screens max
  • Año Bisiesto (2010/Michael Rowe/Mexico) [Limited release 24 June 2011 = 1 screen]
  • Gigante (2009/Adrián Biniez/Uruguay/Argentina/Germany/Spain/Netherlands) Released 9 Dec 2009
  • Dioses (2008/Josué Méndez/Peru/Argentina/France/Germany)  ***NOT RELEASED IN USA*** 
  • Ilusiones ópticas (2009/Cristián Jiménez/Chile/France/Portugal) ***NOT RELEASED IN USA***
  • La Ventana (2008/Carlos Sorin/Argentina/Spain) [Released 6 May 2009 = 2 screens]
  • Leonera (2008/Pablo Trapero/Argentina/South Korea/Brazil) [Limited release 3 July 2009 = 1 screen]
  • La vida loca (2008/Poveda/Spain/Mexico/France) DOC  ***NOT RELEASED IN USA*** 
  • La teta asustada (2009/Claudia Llosa/Spain/Peru) [Limited release 29 August 2010 = 2 screens
  • Carancho (2010/Pablo Trapero/Argentina/Chile/France/South Korea) [Limited release 11 Feb 2011 = 5 screens]
  • Lake Tahoe (2008/Fernando Eimbcke/Mexico/Japan/USA) ***NOT RELEASED IN USA***
  • La Llamada (2010/Stefano Pasetto/Argentina/Italy) ***NOT RELEASED IN USA***
  • La Mirada Invisible (2010/Diego Lerman/Argentina/France/Spain)  ***NOT RELEASED IN USA*** 
  • Amorosa Soledad (2008/Carranza/Galardi/Argentina) ***NOT RELEASED IN USA***
  • Revolución (2010/Mariana Chenillo/Fernando Eimbcke/Amat Escalante/Gael García Bernal/Rodrigo García/Diego Luna/Gerardo Naranjo /Rodrigo Plá/Carlos Reygadas/Patricia Riggen/Mexico)  ***NOT RELEASED IN USA*** 
  • Norteado (2009/Rigoberto Pérezcano/Mexico/Spain) ***NOT RELEASED IN USA*** 
  • Women Are Heroes (2010/JR/France) DOC  ***NOT RELEASED IN USA*** 
  • Biutiful (2010/Alejandro González Iñárritu/Mexico/Spain) [Release 29 Dec 2010 = 191 screens max]
  • El Niño Pez (2009/Lucía Puenzo/Argentina/France/Spain) [Direct-to-DVD 26 July 2011]
  • Navidad (2009/Sebastián Lelio/Chile/France) ***NOT RELEASED IN USA***
  • El infierno (2010/Luis Estrada/Mexico) ***NOT RELEASED IN USA***


26 octobre 2011

Guerilla Cinema (Père)

- Cultural Diversity Awareness -

France, safe haven for art cinéma, best economic system for independent cinema, most open-minded audience for foreign films and non-commercial films, is worried about the health of the film industry in France, and in the world. And in the USA, where the situation is MUCH MUCH MUCH worse for art cinema, cultural diversity, auteur liberty, independent cinema and audience's culture and open-minded taste, DOESN'T GIVE A SHIT about it, doesn't worry, doesn't question the system, doesn't even discuss it in the media. Enough said.

"This is an extremely stimulating period for auteur cinema. Such a claim might seem paradoxical, given the crisis we all know that cinema as a whole has undergone these last several years: the erosion of traditional financing systems, the film-funding TV channels’ mistrust of original projects, the wider public’s decreasing interest in cinema going, and auteur films’ problems in terms of theatrical exhibition and distribution in so many countries all over the world. [..]
Some young filmmakers still manage to find their place within the system, and can adapt to it, others opt for a radical break with it and commit themselves, either through choice – or lack of any other choice – to what some have called “guerrilla cinema.” [..]
Festival’s directors, programmers have become, sometimes more than the critics and journalists, companions in arms with these young filmmakers, with their strong personalities, be they leaders or loners, whose films ring out like passwords, but whose work and talent have little to do with snobbery or the cliquishness so often associated with art cinema. [..]
 They are not yet known to the wider audience and perhaps never will be; their films are sometimes critical successes, often more celebrated abroad than at home, but they represent the future of auteur cinema, in its most honest, aspirational, righteous, poetic definition. Their work is exciting and that alone justifies a continued interest in film, and its value as a living and contemporary art, not merely as a remnant of the past century. [..]
If micro-budgets are sometimes perceived as a constraint, they are above all the price that has to be paid of following a bold and worthy vision of film, and may be clear the way for a set of working conditions where time, friendship, freedom, reflection and improvisation are values and luxuries that are far more precious than money. [..]"
For a guerilla cinema, Olivier Père; Artistic Director at Festival del film Locarno; 25 October 2011 [FRENCH]

* * *
"L'ensemble des organisations professionnelles du cinéma découvre avec stupéfaction le dépôt d'un amendement gouvernemental visant à plafonner le niveau de chaque taxe affectée au CNC.
Un tel amendement mettrait à bas le système de soutien mutualiste du cinéma français qui, depuis 1946, a permis de maintenir tout à la fois une industrie cinématographique forte et une création dynamique et diversifiée.
Si un tel amendement était voté, le CNC ne pourrait plus remplir ses missions, qui sont au coeur du financement de la diversité culturelle.
L'ensemble des organisations professionnelles du cinéma s'oppose avec la plus grande fermeté à l'adoption de cet amendement, et demande au Gouvernement de le retirer."
ARP, BLIC, BLOC, SACD, UPF; Paris, le 21 octobre 2011 [PDF]
ARP (Société des Auteurs Réalisateurs Producteurs); BLIC (Bureau de Liaison des Industries Cinématographiques); BLOC (Bureau de Liaison des Organisations du Cinéma); SACD (Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques); UPF (Union des Producteurs de Films)

* * *
"[..] Nous souhaiterions, en premier lieu, que le futur Président prenne des engagements, qu’il portera avec vigueur, sur l’harmonisation fiscale des biens et services culturels.
Ce sera le moyen pour que les édifices nationaux de protection de la diversité culturelle patiemment élaborés, ne soient pas réduits à des châteaux de cartes par le jeu d’ optimisations fiscales. [..]
Le cinéma est prêt à faire un geste en faveur de la solidarité nationale, mais à condition que cela ne fragilise pas le socle et la philosophie de son financement. [..]
Cette édition doit renforcer nos convictions car le cinéma français et européen a récemment prouvé qu’il
savait produire des oeuvres de qualité qui rencontrent leur public. [..]"

Related :

Festival pundits (spoiled brats)

- Cultural Diversity Awareness -
Gavin Smith: "Regular readers may have noticed that over the years I've used these pages as a forum for grueling or sounding off about things. Many times, I've found myself casting about in desperation for a topic about which I can conceivably squeeze out 500 words or so - you gasp, but all too often that's what writing an editor's letter comes down to. And if there's one thing I've learned, it's that there's one standby you can always count on if inspiration doesn't come to the rescue. That's right, when all else fails, denouncing this or that film festival for failing to measure up in some way or other works everytime. All you have to do is invent some expectation or obligation that said festival level failed to meet, add water, and voilà! And let's face it, everybody likes a good fight as long as they're not the punching bag. You think I'm joking, I'm not joking. [..]"
(Film Comment; Sept-Oct 2011)
Un-fucking-believable. Not only he thinks that the fastidious job of an editor is to forcefully fill up one page every 2 months (in his case) with random topics... but he tells us about it, WITHIN HIS EDITORIAL, to take up some space and word-count and make his reluctant duty less insurmountable to complete. Babbling about having to babble, in order to babble less. And he confesses all this shamelessly in public, to his own readers who count on him to show a certain "leadership" and insights about the management of a cinéphile journal and the current state of world cinema.
I thought that you could only get the job of editor in chief *IF* you had something to say. If it's chores to you, you're obviously not qualified to run this position. Just to trivialize his laziness, he just pretends that ALL editors in chief are as reluctant as him. Yeah right. Reading Sight and Sound won't give you a strong aspiration to what an actual editorial looks like... (sorry Nick James, you need to work harder) but if you read the French press (Positif, Cahiers, Vertigo -not the UK one-, Eclipses, Repérages...), you will figure a few things, first that they are not reluctant to come up with an editorial every month (in the case of monthlies), second that they are never short of insightful ideas and try hard to be relevant to currency and the problematics of the art cinema scene. Because they believe in the responsibilities of an editor and they love their job. What a cultural gap! Apparently, in the USA it's a pride to mention your flaws (like Dan Kois; he's not one loose cannon, it's a pervasive mentality in American Culture at every levels, that's why he is symptomatic) and move on... the readership will only admire you for it, not feel cheated. This kind of environment doesn't really favour higher aspirations and pushing one's limits if proud complacency is rewarded.

* * *
A.O.Scott : "The New York Film Festival is just getting under way after the late-summer flurry of Venice, Telluride and Toronto, and although the Oscars are still four months in the future, the jockeying and handicapping have already begun in earnest. [..] it would be nice if critics especially tried to take Oscar out of the picture, at least a little"
Dargis : " The distributors, meanwhile, try to sell their movies to the press in hopes that the world’s entertainment media will spread the good, heat-seeking news back home, which increasingly seems to mean its Oscar chances. It’s a drag how late-summer, early-fall festivals like Telluride and especially Toronto are now too often seen as warm-ups for the Oscars. [..] I also find it dispiriting that the horse race among them often overshadows everything else. [..] As we move out of the high festival season into the “awards season,” it would be great if odious, cynical descriptors like “Oscar bait” were ditched."
Unwelcome Guest of Honor at Festivals (A.O. Scott, Manohla Dargis;  NYT; 30 September 2011)
They write 5-6 month (not 4!) away from the Oscars, both the last one and the next one (we can't be further apart than that during the year), this is THE MOMENT for art cinema, thanks to the curation of international festivals which are concerned with quality rather than profit, and they still manage to fucking NAMEDROP the Oscars and talk about it half-the-wordcount !!! WTF? It's NOT the Oscars season. It's the festival season! Talk about the festivals then, don't talk about the fucking Oscars now. In the American press, it is everyday a day to promote the Oscars, even in the NYT! The title of the article says it all... Cultural fatigue is so very sad.
Manohla : "Among other things, with our festival dispatches, we are trying to point the conversation about the movies in a direction that has nothing to do with their box office or Oscar fortunes."
But that's exactly what you've done! If you mean it, don't mention it (15 times!!!) in the article. Half of the article is about what festivals are in relation to the Oscars! You are aggravating the Oscars bandwagon phenomenon you pretend to eradicate. It is so ubiquitous in American culture that even the editors of the NYT are incapable to keep it out of their column when they mean to. Hopeless.
It's like writing an article on classical music and defining it as "not-Dubstep". It doesn't inform the subject in any way whatsoever, while publicizing something totally different that has nothing to do in that article. Did you learn that in journalism school or in marketing school, I'm wondering... If you want to give publicity to the Oscars do an article on the Oscars (you have 365 days in the year to do so)!
I'm mocking. They probably believe they're doing a great job by spelling out all the things they're not going to tell us about, while shrinking the wordcount reserved to actually talk about the subject... [insert furious rolling eyes]. 
Scott : "Here in North America, where foreign-language films have a persistently (and frustratingly) marginal commercial existence, the festivals offer reminders that cinema is a global art form."
Finally something intelligent and responsible to say. Unfortunately that's the only sentence in the whole article dealing with the lackluster American distribution (whereas it should have been the subject of the entire article!). Pussy footing is all these cowards can do... Maybe in a 100 years of film education at that pace they'll reach 20% of foreign films. OMG. That'll be the day.
Manohla Dargis : "I attend five festivals a year, though only partly because they give me a sneak peek at what’s coming our way." 
Yeah right. There are more foreign films in a single festival than you'll ever have to review in the NYT (because it was picked up by American distributors for your weekly batch duty). More like you find there what is NOT coming your way. The USA commercially releases 558 titles, of which 520 are American films (see Presumptuous Best Film in the World), so there are only 38 slots left (if all domestic films are released right away) for the rest of the world to screen films in the USA! (and most of these are mainstream blockbusters from Europe, not the artfilms from festivals). You should know that, your job is to review EVERY FILMS RELEASED EVERY WEEK. 
And at the sight of your half-hearted enthusiasm for the festival champions, it is obvious that anything you write isn't helping American distributors and American viewers to watch more foreign film next year.
Dargis : "That’s one reason many of us make the pilgrimage to Cannes, which remains the first stop for a lot of titles released in the fall: it’s where you can discover a film for yourself."
It's touching to tell us about the high-life of jet-set critics... but do you realise that the readers who you write for are never in a position to discover films in this virginal way, precisely BECAUSE of what you write! Reviewers are the ones (along with the marketing campaign) who tell all about the movies BEFORE they are even opened in theatre!!! Why the need to rub it in your readers face that they don't watch films like you do??? These guys never think before they write...
Dargis : "The [Cannes] festival is something of France’s answer to the Oscars (more so than the Césars, its annual film awards) and a modest bulwark against Hollywood hegemony."
WTF? Cannes (the best major festival that world art cinema has, no less!) is compared by the editor in chief of the NYT to the fucking Oscars??? Are you kidding me? You're out of your mind. Did you know the difference between a national award show (awarding American-centric mainstream movies with a democratic/demagogue poll of thousands industry people) and an international festival (for exclusive premieres selected by a curator and awarded by a small jury)??? Look it up on wikipedia!

I've noticed a nasty tendency amongst American reviewers, they love to bash major film festivals out of jealousy because the art scene attention shifts away to Europe, and there is no serious festival in the USA. They try to discredit the best festivals (which do the job to support world cinema that the USA market never does!) that are not taking place in North America. So bitching and whining in Berlin, Cannes and Venice is in fashion (see Clueless anti-festival Clichés). And when comes TIFF and NYFF they try to find nice words to say about these festivals, maybe in the hope to artificially turn the tide and bring cultural authority in America, which has none, substituted by business and marketing. This disingenuous tendency might not be intentional or premeditated, but it is growing, consciously/concerted or not, every year. And if professional critics follow suit without realising that bitter knee-jerk reaction, it means they aren't critical enough. The rest of the world seems to think that Cannes, Berlin and Venice are precious institutions, and try to discover the new artists that will fill the second-hand line up at TIFF or NYFF, and the presumptuous "Best Of" lists of all critics at the end of the year.

This present article, like all the others we find in the American media, is peppered, more or less subtly with snide remarks and low blows at festivals, while reminding the readership about the omnipresence of the Oscars, in case they forget :
AO + Manohla : "exhausting, sometimes overwhelming season [..] The whole thing can seem a bit like the pre-primary presidential campaign, in which candidacies blossom and wither before a single vote has been cast. [..] sucking up so much media oxygen [..] anticlimactic [..] a system that serves a lot of different, sometimes contradictory purposes [..] festivals also serve the imperatives of the industry and, increasingly, the machinery of hoopla and trivia that we know and endure as the awards season [..] I wonder if the emperor has no clothes [..] Oscar-ized [..] nothing to do with their box office or Oscar fortunes [..] if you looked past the nudity [..] self-consciously sterile visuals [..] another example of British miserablism [..] American cinema of sexual desperation [..] “Shame” can serve as a case study of the festival system at work [..] guaranteed that the audience would be small, serious and self-selected [..] more appealing destination for curious and adventurous moviegoers than the literal penitentiary of “Hunger.” [..] Fassbender is a much bigger star now [..] the festival itinerary can be seen as a kind of test marketing, with advance free publicity provided by journalists [..] It’s a drag how late-summer, early-fall festivals like Telluride and especially Toronto are now too often seen as warm-ups for the Oscars. [..] The festival is something of France’s answer to the Oscars [..] a modest bulwark against Hollywood hegemony [..] horse race [..] Though in February, when one of them lays hands on the statuette, I will of course be watching. [..] I’ll be watching too [..] tried to take Oscar out of the picture"
Where to start? This is just ill-conceived mentality at the root. No sane mind would write such things if they had benevolent intentions towards the festival circuit, art cinema and the films themselves. They "say" they are against the Oscars race rhetoric, yet they use it as much as anyone else. 

* * *

The Thick Red Pile (Nick James, Sight and Sound, Nov 2011)
And Nick James, the British Dan Kois, is also there for the knee-jerk attacks at "red carpet glamour" and "talent fanboys", turning the vital contribution of major festival to the health of world cinema into a stupid caricature that corresponds more to a spectacle like the Oscars. He and the others believe that artfilms cannot have a red carpet or a prestigious ceremony... as if the top class treatment was something reserved for the movies that make big money. Bollocks! Brad Pitt and Clooney can walk the festival carpet because they are among the few Hollywood A-listers who had the taste to pick low budget artfilms for a miserable paycheck when they could easily stick to blockbusters all year long. They aren't the proudest and brightest members of art cinema, but there is no shame in welcoming them and benefiting from their mass-media appeal. Cannes doesn't invite populist blockbusters in competition, unlike other second-hand festivals.
And then he applauds the designation of clueless rambler Chris Fujiwara (see here, here and here) at the head of the moribund Edinburgh Film Festival that nobody wanted to direct last year and failed at their anti-cinephilia debate. The guy doesn't know what is criticism or its "work ethic", he can't tell the difference between a professional critic and an amateur cinephile, he thinks that audiences must be tortured and he cannot even define what is "good writing"... Good luck Edinburgh! Why does Europe need to import idiots from America to curate a festival? Is there nobody competent in the UK to take this position? I'm worried about the British film culture...


25 octobre 2011

Images de la diversité

-Cultural Diversity Awareness-

Programmes de soutien français pour les films de la diversité culturelle :
"Malgré les succès enregistrés, notamment au cinéma, ces dernières années, et un nombre toujours croissant de productions qui traitent de la diversité, nous devons encore convaincre de la vitalité artistique de ces projets et de la chance qu’ils représentent pour le renouvellement de la création et pour l’élargissement des publics. [..]
Les 119 oeuvres aidées en 2010 offrent le panorama d’une société diverse, riche de ses différences et de ses talents. [..]
C’est en effet une exigence morale et politique que de se faire le reflet de la richesse de nos sociétés . Et bien plus encore nous nous devons d’accorder à ces oeuvres toute l’exposition qu’elles méritent. Les talents de la diversité sont simplement une chance pour le renouvellement de la création et singulièrement une opportunité pour ancrer la fiction audiovisuelle dont on souligne partout la crise.
La diversité est un des leviers de réinvention pour la fiction et une des opportunités pour renouer avec le succès qu’il faut activer et faire prospérer. Le chemin est donc encore long mais il sera fructueux car il correspond aux tendances profondes de notre monde. Plus d’ouverture, plus de diversité, c’est plus de succès et plus d’écho avec tous les publics partout en France."
Commission Images de la diversité - bilan 2007-2010 (CNC; 8 sept 2011) [PDF] / Acsé [PDF

Fonds Sud Cinema (CNC) depuis 1986 :
"Soutenir la diversité culturelle dans le monde Depuis 1984 le Fonds Sud Cinéma soutient la diversité cinématographique dans le monde. Financée par le ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes et le ministère de la Culture et de la Communication (Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée - CNC), cette aide sélective a soutenu la production de plus de 500 longs métrages originaires d’Afrique, d’Amérique latine, d’Asie, du Proche et Moyen-Orient, et de certains pays de l’Est depuis 1997" [PDF; French, English, Spanish]


INDIA languages - World Cinema Stats (24)

- Cultural Diversity Awareness - 


24 octobre 2011

Life in a Day (Macdonald)

Watch Life in a Day on YouTube (channel translated in 22 languages), 28 October 2011 (official website / FAQ)

Life In A Day is a historic global experiment to create a user-generated feature film shot in a single day. On July 24, you have 24 hours to capture a glimpse of your life on camera. The most compelling and distinctive footage will be edited into a feature film by Joe Walker, produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Kevin Macdonald.
On July 24, 2010, thousands of people around the world uploaded videos of their lives to YouTube (86000 videos; 5000 hours of footage) to take part in Life in a Day, a historic cinematic experiment to create a documentary film about a single day on earth. Now, it's time to watch their story unfold on the big screen. Directed by Kevin Macdonald, Life in a Day wowed audiences at the Sundance (27 January 2011), Berlinale, Panorama (16 Feb 2011) [PDF] and SXSW (16 March 2011) film festivals and during its YouTube world premiere in January.

Commercial theatre releases : Internet, Russia, Kazakhstan, Germany, UK, USA (35000 spectators, 19 screens), Serbia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan

User-generated contributors (Shoot location)
  • Massoud Hossaini (Kabul, Afghanistan)
  • Cristina Bocchialini / Ayman El Sayed Hassan (Cairo, Egypt)
  • Soma Helmi (Bali, Indonesia)
  • Hiroaki Aikawa / Taiji Aikawa (Tokyo, Japan)
  • Marek Mackovic / Okhwan Yoon (Kathmandu, Nepal)
  • Alberto Rauizo Gonzalez / Cain Abel Tapia Chavez / Aveliro Tapia (Arequipa, Peru)
  • Renat Ardilanov / Alexander Bayturin  (Moscow, Russia)
  • Patricia Marinez del Hoyo / Toniu Xou / Virginia Salvado Segu / Araceli Segu Muste (Barcelona, Spain)
  • Boris Grishkevich (Zakarpatska, Ukraine)
  • Harvey Glen (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
  • Caryn Waechter (New York, NY - USA)
  • Christoper Brian Heerdt (Naperville, IL - USA)
  • David Jacques (Woonsocket, RI - USA)
  • Betsy DelValley (Urbana, IL - USA)
  • Bob Liginski, Jr. / Bobby Liginski III / Catherine Anne Liginsky (Grayslake, IL - USA)

Also featuring here : Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt / Berlin, symphony of a great city (1927/Walther Ruttmann/Germany) FULL FILM 1h02'


21 octobre 2011

Cinema Quotas

-Cultural Diversity Awareness-

"I do not defend protectionism, but I do defend the right of any state to promote its culture."
Joseph Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel Prize winner for Economics

* * *
What is a cultural policy? (protected by the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, UNESCO 2001)
Screening quotas for movies and nationally televised programs or broadcasting requirements for music by national artists.
Financial assistance programs for the performing arts, and for the production, editing and distribution of movies and books, public resources for public radio and television, subsidies for public theatres - this list is long, and no state implements exactly the same policies, fundamentally, each country should have the right to implement the policies it considers appropriate to ensure cultural diversity.
International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity [PDF
* * *
Article IV: Special Provisions relating to Cinematograph Films
            If any contracting party establishes or maintains internal quantitative regulations relating to exposed cinematograph films, such regulations shall take the form of screen quotas which shall conform to the following requirements:
  1. Screen quotas may require the exhibition of cinematograph films of national origin during a specified minimum proportion of the total screen time actually utilized, over a specified period of not less than one year, in the commercial exhibition of all films of whatever origin, and shall be computed on the basis of screen time per theatre per year or the equivalent thereof;
  2. With the exception of screen time reserved for films of national origin under a screen quota, screen time including that released by administrative action from screen time reserved for films of national origin, shall not be allocated formally or in effect among sources of supply;
  3. Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph (b) of this Article, any contracting party may maintain screen quotas conforming to the requirements of subparagraph (a) of this Article which reserve a minimum proportion of screen time for films of a specified origin other than that of the contracting party imposing such screen quotas; Provided that no such minimum proportion of screen time shall be increased above the level in effect on April 10, 1947;
  4. Screen quotas shall be subject to negotiation for their limitation, liberalization or elimination.
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1947) World Trade Organisation

* * *

Country since Domestic film minimum Imports restrictions Domestic share
16 %

5 %

1 national / 20 imported films
16 %
28-644 days
14 %
- Canadian programs should cover 60% of the total television broadcast time and 50 percent of the time during evening hours (6pm to 12am)
- For Direct-to-Home (DTH) broadcast services, more than half of the channels received must show Canadian programs

1 %

20 films / year
61 %

22 %

81 %

35 %
40 percent of the TV broadcasting must be exclusively of French origin and additional 20 percent must be of EU origin110 since 1960
43 %

zero in 1916
27 %
28 days
10 %

12 %
- Over 50 percent of the monthly TV transmission time including prime-time programming, is reserved for programs of EU origin
- “Seat and screen” quotas which require all multiplex movie theatres of more than 1300 seats to reserve 15-20 percent of their seats, distributed over no fewer than three screens, for showing Italian and EU films

21 %
abolished in 1945quotas on imports lifted in 1971
54 %
14 days - Broadcasters are required, through licensing conditions, to devote 70-80 percent of airtime to local programming
13 %
10% since 1997
8 %

3 %

24 %
South Africa

2 %
South Korea
73 since 2007 - Domestically produced programs must cover a minimum of 50% (nonterrestrial) and 80% (terrestrial) of the broadcasting time - Upper limit for the share of total foreign broadcasting time for any foreign films, animation or popular music, from a single country is kept at 60 percentRegistered companies allowed to produce/import 6<26 / 1989 : foreign prints limited to 12 (abolished in 1994)
46 %
73-91 days
13 %

abolished in 2001
3 %
20% since 1935 (The Cinematograph Films Act of 1927, repealed in 1960)
16 %

Some countries without Quotas : USA (95% domestic share), Finland (27%), The Philippines (25%)...

Take a look at this World Box Office map and tell me which country is bullying all other countries who earn less and secured a smaller share of their own domestic markets to sell their domestic film production (Answer: USA with a worldwide BO 13 times higher than the next competitor and a domestic share at home of 95% !!!)
Hollywood is pissed off because in France, Japan, South Korea, China or Brazil they own less than 90% of the market, precisely because there are cultural policies in place that protect a minimum share for the local films. Hollywood wouldn't let more than 5% to 8% of foreign films (for the film industries of the entire world), because of cultural isolationism, poor taste and a lame job of the film press and film education in general, yet they have the nerves to slap on the hand of countries that watch Hollywood films with a share of 40-60% already. They think that the commercial mediocrity should contaminate 100% of the world market, no less... no room should ever be left for cultural diversity, let alone for countries to develop a personal, national culture that is not the adolescent dumbness of Hollywood blockbusters.

Cultural exception (French: l’exception culturelle) is a concept introduced by France in General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) negotiations in 1993. Some countries had voiced their concerns during the final negotiations of the Uruguay Round that implementation of the GATT principles on cultural goods and services "would undermine their cultural specificity (and unique status), in favour of their commercial aspects".
The purpose of Cultural exception is to treat cultural goods and services differently than other traded goods and services because of the intrinsic differences of such goods and services. Many countries defend the fact that cultural goods and services "encompass values, identity and meanings that go beyond their strictly commercial value". It notably allowed France to maintain tariffs and quotas to protect its cultural market from other nation's cultural products, most notably American films and television. South Korean policy in favor of its movie industry is another example of how cultural exception is used to protect the audiovisual market.

French "Exception culturelle" (Marrackech 1993) [PDF] wikipedia 


Diversité / Fragmentation ? (Mondzain)

-Cultural Diversity Awareness-

Les nouveaux chemins de la connaissance (France Culture) 21-10-2011 [MP3] 59'
Entretien de Philippe Petit avec Marie-José Mondzain, philosophe et écrivain, directeur de recherche au CNRS.
Aujourd’hui nous allons parler de l’image, des images, nous allons parler du cinéma  en compagnie de Marie-José Mondzain, une philosophe qui n’aime pas qu’on l’affuble du nom de spécialiste de l’image.
On se souvient de la phrase de l’écrivain Upton Sinclair à propos du cinéma. Elle fut prononcée en 1917 : « Avec le cinéma, disait-il, le monde s’unifie, c’est à dire qu’il s’américanise ».
On pourrait presque dire le contraire aujourd’hui. Avec le cinéma, le monde se fragmente, il y a de plus en plus d’Etats dans le monde, c’est à dire qu’il se diversifie. Mais on pourrait dire aussi que la diversité du cinéma engendre une richesse commune, propre à tous les hommes, au-delà de leurs particularités nationales et culturelles. Ce que Walter Benjamin appelait le fond commun des choses. On pourrait donc dire qu’en même temps qu’il se diversifie le cinéma facilite l’advenue d’un fonds commun de l’humanité, concernant l’environnement, l’amour, la sexualité, la richesse, la pauvreté, tout ce qu’on veut. Et on ajouterait que la désolation, telle celle qui règne dans le parc d’attraction « The World » à Pékin, filmé par le cinéaste chinois Jia Zhang Ke, ne doit pas être un obstacle à cette promesse.
Marie José Mondzain accorde de l’importance à cette question. « En quoi, consistent l’enchantement, la croyance, la magie du cinéma quand ils inscrivent férocement la trace d’un monde désenchanté » se demande-t-elle. …
Oui, en quoi, les images du cinéma, peuvent-elles renforcer notre croyance au monde ?
C’était la question de Rossellini après la guerre …
C’est encore la nôtre aujourd’hui…

  • Images (à suivre), de la poursuite au cnéma et ailleurs; Marie-José Mondzain, 2011 
  • Voir ensemble, Marie-José Mondzain, 2003
  • L'image peut-elle tuer ?, Marie-José Mondzain, 2002
  • L'Image naturelle, Marie-José Mondzain, 1995
Films cités:
  • Tropical Malady (2004/Apichatpong Weerasethakul/Thailand)
  • Dersu Uzala (1975/Akira Kurosawa/Russia) 
  • The Night of the Hunter (1955/Michael Laughton/USA) 
  • Pickpocket (1959/Robert Bresson/France) 
  • The Birds (1963/Alfred Hitchcock/USA) 
  • La sortie des usines Lumière (1895/Lumière/France)

Voir aussi:

18 octobre 2011

Films from the South

-Cultural Diversity Awareness-

The Case For Global Film : a British website (ITP, in the picture) about "Discussing everything that isn’t Hollywood (and a little that is)"
They are doing a series titled "Films from the South" this October 2011 (Oslo's 21st "Films From the South" festival) :
  1. Where Do We Go Now? (2011/Nadine Labaki/Lebanon/Fr/It/Egypt)
  2. Man Without a Cellphone / Bidoun Mobile (2010/Sameh Zoabi/Palestine/Israel/Fra/Bel/Qatar)
  3. Finding Ali (2011/Pål Hollender/Sweden)
  4. Be With Me (2005/Eric Khoo/Singapore)
  5. The Year Without Summer / Wu zhi xia nian (2010/Tan Chui Mui/Malaysia)
  6. So Hard to Forget / Como Esquecer (2010/Malu de Martino/Brazil)
  7. Aballay / Aballay, el hombre sin miedo (2010/Fernando Spiner/Argentina/Spain)
  8. Fireworks Wednesday / Chaharshanbe-soori (2006/Asghar Farhadi/Iran)
  9. About Elly / Darbareye Elly (2009/Asghar Farhadi/Iran)
  10. The Journals of Musan / Musanilgi (2010/Park Jung-bum/South Korea)
  11. Carancho (2010/Pablo Trapero/Argentine/Chile/France/S. Korea)
  12. Tatsumi (2011/Eric Khoo/Singapore)
  13. Interview with Eric Khoo
  14. The Benghali Detective (2011/UK/India//USA) 
  15. Virgin Goat / Ladli Laila (2009/India)
  16. Final thoughts 


Cambodge : culture exterminée

-Cultural Diversity Awareness-

Cambodge : mémoires contemporaines, du documentaire à la fiction 

Bibliothèque Publique d'Information, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. 10 Octobre 2011 [PDF]
2h18' video + MP3
Comment témoigner à chaud de guerres civiles ou de conflits? Le silence et l’oubli sont souvent considérés comme les conditions du retour à la paix. Mais lorsque l’apaisement repose sur la dénégation, on sait malheureusement que le retour de la violence est probable.
Écrivains, artistes, cinéastes prennent donc la parole et s’engagent à rendre compte en inventant de nouvelles formes de récit telles que la bande dessinée documentaire ou les films mêlant documentaire et fiction. Comment la fiction – dans le roman, le théâtre, la bande dessinée ou le cinéma – parvient-elle à toucher au plus près cette mémoire immédiate? La création artistique, l’imaginaire, peuvent-ils désamorcer le retour de la violence ? Pourquoi faire appel à de nouvelles formes de récit ? Quelles particularités chaque conflit présente-t-il qui appelle à ce renouvellement? Quels liens se tissent entre la fiction et le travail documentaire basé sur le recours critique aux archives, aux témoignages ?
avec :
  • James Burnet (remplaçant Rithy Panh à la conférence): ancient journaliste, collaborateur de Rithy Panh, centre de ressources audiovisuelles Bophana
  • Jean-Baptiste Pouh : Auteur, metteur en scène et comédien
  • Séra : auteur de bande dessinée historique, peintre, graveur, chargé de cours aux universités Paris I Paris 8. (Il est également connu comme peintre sous le nom de Phoussera)
  • Ariane Matthieu : Journaliste au magazine "L'Histoire"

Vann Nath (décédé le 5 Septembre 2011), 1 des 7 survivants des 17000 prisonniers du camp d'extermination S21, face à ses tortionnaires
Filmographie et bibliographie sélectives

Rithy Panh
  • Les Gens de la rizière, 1994
  • La Terre des âmes errantes, 1999
  • S21, la machine de mort Khmère rouge, 2003
  • Le papier ne peut pas envelopper la braise, 2009
  • Un barrage contre le Pacifique, 2009
Lire aussi : Cahiers du cinéma, n°487, février 2004 (consacré à Rithy Panh et S21)

  • BD Ciné, 2004
  • L’Eau et la Terre, 2005
  • H.K.O.1997, Impasse et rouge en 1995
  • Lady Mage Kane en 1986
  • Lendemains de cendres en 2007
  • Mon frère, le fou en 2009
  • Les Processionnaires de 2001 à 2003
  • Secteur 7, 2005
  • Sortie de route, 2000
  • Le Tour du monde en bande dessinée, 2009


14 octobre 2011

Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (UNESCO)

-Cultural Diversity Awareness-
"[..] That the wide diffusion of culture, and the education of humanity for justice and liberty and peace are indispensable to the dignity of man and constitute a sacred duty which all the nations must fulfil in a spirit of mutual assistance and concern [..]"
Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Adopted by the 31st Session of the General Conference of UNESCO (Paris, 2 November 2001) [PDF] (translated in 6 languages)
"[..] Affirming that respect for the diversity of cultures, tolerance, dialogue and cooperation, in a climate of mutual trust and understanding are among the best guarantees of international peace and security, Aspiring to greater solidarity on the basis of recognition of cultural diversity, of awareness of the unity of humankind, and of the development of intercultural exchanges, Considering that the process of globalization, facilitated by the rapid development of new information and communication technologies, though representing a challenge for cultural diversity, creates the conditions for renewed dialogue among cultures and civilizations, [..]

Proclaims the following principles and adopts the present Declaration:  

Article 1 – Cultural diversity: the common heritage of humanity
Culture takes diverse forms across time and space. This diversity is embodied in the uniqueness and plurality of the identities of the groups and societies making up humankind. As a source of exchange, innovation and creativity, cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature. In this sense, it is the common heritage of humanity and should be recognized and affirmed for the benefit of present and future generations.

Article 2 – From cultural diversity to cultural pluralism
In our increasingly diverse societies, it is essential to ensure harmonious interaction among people and groups with plural, varied and dynamic cultural identities as well as their willingness to live together. Policies for the inclusion and participation of all citizens are guarantees of social cohesion, the vitality of civil society and peace. Thus defined, cultural pluralism gives policy expression to the reality of cultural diversity. Indissociable from a democratic framework, cultural pluralism is conducive to cultural exchange and to the flourishing of creative capacities that sustain public life.

Article 3 – Cultural diversity as a factor in development
Cultural diversity widens the range of options open to everyone; it is one of the roots of development, understood not simply in terms of economic growth, but also as a means to achieve a more satisfactory intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual existence. [..]

Article 6 – Towards access for all to cultural diversity 
While ensuring the free flow of ideas by word and image care should be exercised so that all cultures can express themselves and make themselves known. Freedom of expression, media pluralism, multilingualism, equal access to art and to scientific and technological knowledge, including in digital form, and the possibility for all cultures to have access to the means of expression and dissemination are the guarantees of cultural

Article 7 – Cultural heritage as the wellspring of creativity 
Creation draws on the roots of cultural tradition, but flourishes in contact with other cultures. For this reason, heritage in all its forms must be preserved, enhanced and handed on to future generations as a record of human experience and aspirations, so as to foster creativity in all its diversity and to inspire genuine dialogue among cultures.

Article 8 – Cultural goods and services: commodities of a unique kind 
In the face of present-day economic and technological change, opening up vast prospects for creation and innovation, particular attention must be paid to the diversity of the supply of creative work, to due recognition of the rights of authors and artists and to the specificity of cultural goods and services which, as vectors of identity, values and meaning, must not be treated as mere commodities or consumer goods.

Article 9 – Cultural policies as catalysts of creativity 
While ensuring the free circulation of ideas and works, cultural policies must create conditions conducive to the production and dissemination of diversified cultural goods and services through cultural industries that have the means to assert themselves at the local and global level. It is for each State, with due regard to its international obligations, to define its cultural policy and to implement it through the means it considers fit, whether by operational support or appropriate regulations.

Article 10 – Strengthening capacities for creation and dissemination worldwide 
In the face of current imbalances in flows and exchanges of cultural goods at the global level, it is necessary to reinforce international cooperation and solidarity aimed at enabling all countries, especially developing countries and countries in transition, to establish cultural industries that are viable and competitive at national and international level. [..]"
117 signatories member-states (since 2005): Afghanistan, Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, ;Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Saint Lucia, Saint  and the Grenadines, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad, Tunisia, Ukraine, UK, Uruguay, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe

Notable member-states missing approval : USA, Japan, Russia, Indonesia, The Philippines, Belgium, Thailand, Turkey, Iran, Taiwan, Singapore, Venezuela, Malaysia, Serbia, Israel, Morocco, Colombia, Pakistan, Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan... apparently these guys are pondering since 2001 whether protecting Cultural Diversity within their borders and abroad is more beneficial to them than reckless free market.

Canadian campaign to support the Coalition for Cultural Diversity [French version] 5'03" more promotional videos here

  • 1989 : Growing pressure is exerted on countries to waive their right to enforce cultural policies, and to put all aspects of the cultural sector on the table when negotiating international trade agreements.
  • 1993 : Pressure grows during the Uruguay Round of negotiations for the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The list for the services sector includes intellectual property and, more specifically, cinematographic and audiovisual works. Several countries take strong positions in favour of excluding culture from the negotiations. A very large majority of countries agree not to make liberalization commitments for cinematographic and audiovisual services. But without full exclusion the question remains unresolved.
  • 1995 : Immediately following the Uruguay Round, new multilateral negotiations are initiated, notably as part of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) under the auspices of the OECD (abandoned in 1998), and by the WTO at its Seattle Summit and the Doha round of negotiations which began in 2001. Bilateral negotiations are also initiated, particularly by the United States, which put pressure on a number of countries to waive their right to adopt cultural policies.
  • 1998 : Cultural professionals and political authorities mobilize around the initiative of implementing an international legal instrument that could offset the free trade agreements by affirming the right of States to define and implement cultural policies.
  • 2001 : Adoption of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. Hollywood’s share of the international motion picture market was 80%.
  • 2003 : Start of negotiations at UNESCO with the aim of adopting the Convention.
  • 2005 : The Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions is adopted by UNESCO. It changes the landscape: for the first time, countries in favour of cultural policies are no longer on the defensive at the negotiating table. Now they can go on the offensive.
  • 2007 : The Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions enters into force on March 18, 2007. Three months later, the 56 Member States that ratified the Convention meet in Paris for the first Conference of the Parties to begin work on implementing the Convention.

"I'm in favour of paying the relatively small price for maintaining diversity, rather than the large price of its loss."
Wim Wenders

"The UNESCO Convention is a piece of legislation which ensures freedom, since it is aimed at enabling governments to allow their cultures to thrive."
Bertrand Tavernier

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