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Highlights - 10/12/2007


Nour Eddine Saïl, Director of the Moroccan Cinema Centre


An interview with Nour Eddine Saïl, Director of the Moroccan Cinema Centre and head of the Euromed Cinemas programme

Euromed Cinemas is a support programme for the distribution and exhibition of Mediterranean and European films. It aims to improve the dissemination of these films in the 10 MEDA* countries and 25 countries of the European Union**. This project is financed by the European Union as part of the Euromed Audiovisual II programme. Initiated in January 2006, it will continue through to December 2008, and is implemented by the Moroccan Cinema Centre (CCM) and Europa Cinemas. We have spoken with Nour Eddine Saïl, Director of the Moroccan Cinema Centre, about the results of the programme at the half-way point.

What has Euromed Cinemas achieved in the first half of its activity?

We have supported nearly one hundred film releases since the programme started, in 12 European countries and 9 MEDA countries. Roughly 60 of these releases were for Southern films, and 40 for European films. Today we have partnerships with over 60 distribution companies and about one hundred cinemas. Many of these films would not have been released without the programme's support. And the others have benefited from much better release conditions: more prints and a more effective promotion campaign.

What major lessons do you draw from your experience to date?

The beneficial effects of this programme quickly made themselves felt. We receive a large number of applications from the MEDA countries, as well as from the EU. An increasing number of European distributors are now soliciting our support to release films from the South. With our help they can access new and reputedly difficult territories such as Poland, Denmark, Spain, Italy and Portugal. This is very encouraging, even if we still have a long way to go.

In general, in how many prints do these films come out?

In Europe, we've supported two types of Mediterranean films. The first have been well received at festivals and are often co-produced with European countries. These may come out in a relatively large number of prints, 50 to 70 in a country like France and around 10 in Poland or Belgium, which represents a good combination of theatres in these territories. The other category comprises low-budget films, produced exclusively with funds from the South and distributed through small enterprises. These films rarely come out in more than 10 prints in France, and 2 or 3 prints in more difficult territories.

You also support Southern films in the Southern countries...

That's true, we encourage the horizontal circulation of films. And we've observed a heightened visibility of MEDA films on the southern bank of the Mediterranean. Examples are Rome Rather than You, an Algerian film released in the Palestinian Territories, Dunia, an Egyptian-Lebanese film released in Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories, Yasmine et les hommes, a Moroccan film, and Chaos, an Egyptian film, released in Algeria, as well as Bosta, a Lebanese film released in Morocco and Egypt. We've already supported around 20 releases of MEDA films in the Southern countries. Mediterranean distributors are becoming increasingly interested in such films, and we work together with them in furthering this interest.

* Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey
** Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.

Pictures : Nour Eddine Saïl