The National film festival of Tangier “FNF” launched a series of round tables, gathering different artistic actors and officials to exchange their knowledge, as it aims to forge discourse between cinema professionals and government officials.
Initiated by Bahae Trabelsi, president of the film production committee, the first round table kicked off under the theme “Involvement of regions in supporting cinema.”
The round table features region representatives, who each unveiled future plans to further encourage cinematic endeavors in their environments.
Cinema and soft power found its place at the heart of the debate, as all present agreed that cinema should be deployed in benefit of selling the image of the region.
Investing in cinema and art as well as all cultural industries is a future bet and would offer great dynamism to Morocco, asserted the regional officers.
They agreed that with the resources available, they should encourage creating training centers and cinema theaters to teach kids about the industry.
In Nigeria, cinema is the second industry with most workers after farming, as the country disposed of a strong Nollywood industry coming second to Bollywood and preceding Hollywood. The problematic regional officials brought up is can Moroccan cinema do the same and walk this path?
Asmae Belkziz, vice president of the Casablanca regional council, called for creating an international film festival in the White City, expressing her frustration that a city that great, with many movies shot there, doesn’t have its own cinematic celebration.
Representing Rabat, Aziz Hilali asserted that the capital of lights is more than ready to welcome more cultural activities.
However, as he brought up numerous cultural events that Rabat financially supported and hosted, he wondered why many other regions are uninterested in doing the same.
“We need to emphasize the Moroccan identity and not make movies about exported identities,” said Hilali.
He backed Morocco’s transition from a “cinema that lives from subsidies to a cinema that thrives off investments.”
The comment was frowned upon as creators explained that it is their right to benefit from aid as “they pay their taxes.”
The round table resulted in heated discussions, between cultural actors demanding more clarity on the “implications” of regions in the cinema industry, and calling for a redustribution of funds to further serve the industry.