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Enrico Chiesa • Clap ACP coordinator, International Organisation of La Francophonie

“The goal is to encourage South-South co-productions by giving them the means to be more solid”

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- Enrico Chiesa tells us about Clap ACP, a project financed by the European Union to support South-South co-productions

Enrico Chiesa • Clap ACP coordinator, International Organisation of La Francophonie

In Venice, Cineuropa met up with Enrico Chiesa, coordinator of Clap ACP, a project financed by the European Union to support South-South co-productions

Cineuropa: Could you present Clap ACP, the new support programme from the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF) for ACP films and TV series (Africa, Caribbeans and the Pacific)?

Enrico Chiesa: The goal of Clap ACP is to encourage South-South co-productions by giving them the means to be more solid. It is set up by International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF), in collaboration with the Fonds de Soutien à l’industrie cinématographique de la Côte d’Ivoire (FONSIC), with the financial help of the European Union and the support of the Organisation des Etats d’Afrique, Caraïbes et Pacifique (OEACP).

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Its main tool is the "Bonus Clap ACP", a “top-up” of 2 euros injected by the UE-ACP for every euro of support given by us, by Fonds Image de la Francophonie, or by the FONSIC, in the framework of their normal commissions, which remain dominant and of which more than two thirds are composed of professionals from the South. The projects (films, documentaries, TV series) must be directed by filmmakers coming from one of the 30 ACP countries that are members of OIF, but they can be carried by a producer coming from any ACP or EU country, according to criteria outlined on our website. Clap ACP also features an accompaniment component (expertise, networking, professionalisation, promotion), which we are trying to adapt to the current situation where flights are limited. We have thus co-produced a training available on mobile or tablet — 4 modules about international co-production — launched on 2 September on the app LAFAAAC: 50 ACP professionals have already asked for their free access code in the “Clap ACP toolbox” on our website.

Finally, Clap ACP, insists on the implication of national funds from Africa, 9 of which are associated with the project: it isn’t a question of substituting ourselves to national politics for the support of film, but to stimulate them by favouring, from 2021, bilateral or trilateral cooperation on a few strong projects. Our ambition is to allow ACP co-producers to sit in front of their partners from the North already having four or five financiers from the South: OIF, Bonus ACP and several national funds.

We came to Venice to present the first results of Clap ACP on invitation from the EU and the OEACP (8 fiction films and 6 documentaries, 3 TV series, involving 19 countries), alongside their other partners, the CNC and the World Cinema Fund.

Can the Bonus CLAP ACP be combined with those from the CNC and the WCF ?
Yes, it is even encouraged by Brussels: in order to multiply their chances, co-producers can apply to the 5 funds (OIF, FONSIC, Cinéma du Monde, Jeune Création Francophone, WCF-Africa), knowing that the cumulation of the “Bonus ACP” cannot go over €200,000 per project. The documentary Sitabaomba by Nantenaina Lova is the first co-production (Madagascar-Burkina-France-Germany) financed by two ACP bonuses, one from the OIF and the other from the WCF.

What are the other reasons for your presence in Venice?
Four very good reasons. Three African films supported by the OIF in 2018 are in the Orizzonti section in 2020 : The Man Who Sold His Skin [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kaouther Ben Hania
film profile
]
by Kaouther Ben Hania, Zanka Contact [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Ismaël El Iraki and Night of the Kings [+see also:
trailer
interview: Philippe Lacôte
film profile
]
by Philippe Lacôte. We are proud of these films because they explore territories where Africa is unexpected: a jet-set fable, a rock n roll western, a prison-set magical realist tale. Three filmmakers who are free and gifted with an intelligent and political vision. The fourth reason is Final Cut in Venice, the workshop aimed at helping complete films; the OIF is a founding partner. The OIF award worth €5,000 went to Les Prisonniers Bleus by Zeina Daccache, who also received the award from the El Gouna Festival. A documentary work that took 7 years, and which tells a surprising story of solidarity in prison in Beirut.

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