The meeting with the most important directors of Central American and Caribbean Film Festivals resulted in this important proposal.
FILM FEST DIRECTORS AGREE TO CREATE ASSOCIATION OF CARIBBEAN FILM FESTIVALS
(Santo Domingo, November 12, 2013) The first ever Summit of Central American and Caribbean Film Festivals, held on Tuesday as part of the 7th annual Dominican Global Film Festival (FCGD), resulted in a proposal to create the Caribbean Association of Film Festivals (CAFF).
The meeting was called and headed by Omar de la Cruz, Director of the Dominican Global Film Festival, who stressed the importance of this historic event, which, for the first time, brought together the region’s most important film festival promoters and organizers.
“For the Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE), it is an honor to organize and share this space and this event to help develop the film industry in this region and to be here with all of you. This in itself is cause for celebration,” said Mr. de la Cruz.
De la Cruz was accompanied by Nicole Guillemet, FCGD film programmer since the Festival began 7 years ago.
Representatives from the Dominican Republic included Lidia Bastos and Zumaya Cordero, in the name of the International Film Festival of Santo Domingo and the International Fine Arts Film Festival, respectively.
Ana Karina Smith, director of operations of the International Film Festival of Panama, moderated the panel discussion on the objectives and goals of the new Association. Each representative presented their ideas and opinions on the creation of this new organization.
José Artemio Torres and Saúl Carmona, coordinators of the International Film Festival of San Juan, Puerto Rico, shared their perspectives on the need for this Association, taking into account their combined 25 years of experience of the Festival they represent.
Martha Díaz, press director of the International Festival of New Latin American Film of Havana, Cuba talked about the importance of establishing a considerable period of time for film festival events in each Caribbean country with the focus on local films.
“We should try to get people to feel they’re involved in Caribbean film throughout the whole year and not limit it to just one week or one or one day,” said Ms. Díaz.
Díaz stressed the challenges she has faced as the head of the Havana Film Festival throughout its 34 years of existence, taking into consideration the cultural and language diversity in the region.
Felly Sedecias, director of the Regional and International Film Festival of Guadalupe (FEMI) and one of the most important promoters of French language film, shared her experience. She proposed screening these films in all annual Caribbean film festivals to the extent it is possible.
FEMI’s new staff member, Priscilla Delannay, was also present. She will be in charge of international outreach of the Festival of Guadalupe.
The French-speaking community of the Antilles was also represented by Steve Zebina of the Escena Nacional de Martinica (CMAC), who as manager of programming, film and communication, praised the initiative of forming an association that will promote film development in the region.
Director of the International Film Festival in Curazao, Percy Pinedo, talked about the basic criteria that should take place in developing the Association. Bruce Paddington, director of the International Film Festival of Trinidad y Tobago, proposed modifying certain clauses in the agenda of the summit where it suggested the inclusion of countries throughout the whole continent into the new Association.
The group voted on the name and it was approved by 10 of the 13 representatives: “Caribbean Association of Film Festivals (CAFF)”, in its original version and its respective Spanish and French versions.
In the final section of the summit, the directors proposed and approved a board of directors that will work in 2014 as direct representatives of CAFF. The presidency will be assumed by Trinidad & Tobago (Bruce Paddington); first vice presidency by Cuba (Martha Díaz); second vice presidency by the Dominican Republic (Omar de la Cruz); treasury by Curazao (Percy Pinedo); secretary by Panama (Ana Karina Smith) and public relations by Puerto Rico (José Artemio Torres).
To conclude the summit, Smith invited all the representatives to the International Film Festival of Panama of 2014 and is calling for foreign films as well. The deadline for entries is December 3, 2013.
Sedecias called on participants of this summit to form part of the next summit, which they intend to hold as part of the Regional and International Film Festival of Guadalupe (FEMI) from January 30 to February 8, 2014 in Guadalupe.