01  12  2008


French-Algerian Cinema Days, Algiers, December 4-6, 2008

More than 100 Algerian and French cinema professionals have been invited by the Algerian Ministry of Culture, the French CNC and Unifrance Film to take part in the French-Algerian Cinema Days organised in Algiers from December 3 to 6. The aim was to discuss the cinema co-production and cooperation agreement signed between the 2 countries in 2007 before it comes into force in Algeria. This agreement has been ratified by the Algerian presidential decree 08-352 on November 5, 2008. Even if France already signed agreements with more than 50 countries, this one is unique as it plans to develop cooperation on all levels: diffusion and promotion (in theatres and festivals), heritage (preservation and enhancement), public policies (support, fight against piracy) and above all, training.

The Cinema Days were open by Mrs Khalida Toumi, Algerian Minister of Culture, and Véronique Cayla, the French National Cinema Center (CNC) General Director.

Four workshops highlighted the Algerian needs on the one hand and the French opportunities on the other. It also drew the lines for future partnerships: production, archives, diffusion and training. As for production, the agreement enables films to take advantage in both countries of benefits usually only reserved to national films; several professionals with film carriers were in Algiers, particularly for two co-productions on Camus. Concerning heritage, the French CNC is ready to help modernising Algerian cinema archives, several copies of which are infected by the vinegar syndrome. On a diffusion point of view, Algeria wishes to modernise at least one theatre in each of the 48 wilayas by 2014, which implies reducing the size of too large cinemas, fighting more efficiently against piracy and training more than 100 of professional exhibitors. In terms of training, the other defined priorities are on script writing, professionalizing a young scriptwriter generation, and updating technicians, which is generally recognised as the main balanced co-production development barrier.

At the close of these first days, several working groups were formed, and a mixed commission, planned to chair every two years by the agreement, should take stock of partnership achievements as from 2009.

The co-production agreement will shortly be integrated to the online legal database available on , and can already be downloaded on the Algerian Official Journal: clicking on November 16, 2008 which corresponds to the 64th Official Journal, the decree can be found on pages 3-6.