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Report on the activities of IFTC (UNESCO)

Portrait of Serge Michel.

Serge Michel
34 Rue des Coucous
Saint Sebastien sur Loire
+33 2 40342077
+33 2 40359269

For the opening of its 2016 congress in Suceava - a UNESCO heritage city with its monastery and a magnificent group of Byzantine churches - UNICA was honoured for the third time after Rouse 2012 and Saint Petersburg in 2015, to receive a message from Mrs Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO. In her speech, Mrs Bokova again testified to UNESCO's interest in the cinema in general and in our activities in particular, pointing out that "amateur cinema embodies the vitality of the 7th art which helps us to see the world and gives the courage to transform it ".

The International Award of the CICT - UNESCO Delmiro de Caralt was awarded in 2016, during the UNICA competition at Suceava, to the Macedonian film 10 Years Later by Petre Chapovski. As every year since 1999, a Fellini Medal will be made available to the jury for the award of an International CICT - UNESCO Prize in Dortmund, and UNICA should have the opportunity to host, for the first days of its Congress, Mrs Lola Poggi-Goujon, CICT's General Secretary, and Miss Xueyuan Hun, Project Manager.

The year 2016-2017 has been a year that can be described as a year of questioning at the level of the CICT: questioning its positioning in a world of communication and information in a time of mutation, questioning its internal level of functioning, questioning the performance of its tasks. A general assembly held on 8 June at UNESCO punctuated this sequence; it provided an update on the activities of the office and its members in 2016 and also set out new modalities to encourage the expansion of the IFTC to new members. The Office's activities were mainly oriented towards Asia in 2016, through partnerships with Macau (UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage on 27 October 2016 and IFFAM International Competition from 8 to 13 December, with the organization by the CICT of the "Cinefantasy" competition) and Goa (International Film Festival of India, IFFI, November 24-30, 2016).

The most active members of CICT are CAMERA (World Audiovisual Council for Studies and Achievements on Art), which runs the CICT heritage and education / research platforms, SIGNIS (World Catholic Association for Communication) (Observatory for Cultural and Audiovisual Communication), organizer of the annual conference "Infopoverty" under the aegis of the United Nations, FIPRESCI (International Federation of the Cinematographic Press ), which brings together about 300 film critics from around the world, and UNICA (that needs no introduction!).

At the general meeting of 8 June 2017, new statutes of the ITTC were adopted which update the tasks of the Council and simplify its operation. A demonstration is planned in the autumn of 2017 for the members of the IFTC and the associations which IFTC would like to join. The general meeting also fixed the amount of the annual subscription of the members at 50 €. In the last year, the actions undertaken with Algeria and Egypt, which have strong expectations to save elements of a heritage threatened with disappearance, have not made significant progress.

UNICA is also, through Jeanne Glass and myself, in contact with the festival "Ciné-Salé", international festival of sea film and sailors whose next edition will take place in Le Havre (Normandy , France) in October. For 2017, the 500th anniversary of the creation of the city of Le Havre, research is underway in relation to this city and with the transatlantic travels of which it was the bridgehead for the European continent.

The project by CICT President Inoussa Ousseini, Niger's ambassador to UNESCO, in autumn 2017 in Niamey to pay homage to Jean Rouch (cinematographer, ethnographer 1917-2004 who was president of the CICT in the 90s) is still relevant. As part of this week of the cinema, President Ousseini would like to see amateur filmmakers participate in the film, under the aegis of UNICA, but everything has yet to be done for this project.

In Suceava, UNICA's General Assembly had been asked if UNESCO could help us clarify the "boundary" between amateurs and professionals. I raised this issue at the level of the IFTC and the first answers were as simple, since the situation of UNICA is singular, as the only non-professional organisation on the Council: no one is better placed and more legitimate than UNICA to define what makes a film ... amateur! Beyond this spontaneous response, the CICT will deepen the subject at a future meeting because the technological possibilities offered by smartphones are changing the practice of cinema by professionals who increasingly use the same means as amateurs ( and reciprocally !).

The border is more than ever at the purpose and broadcasting rights and marketing of films. To be continued ...

Sincerely, and looking forward to seeing you in Dortmund,

Serge Michel
UNICA Representative to IFTC

Vice-president of IFTC.