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Top European, North African Entities Forge Mediterranean Film Industries Pact

Variety logo Variety 5/24/2017 Nick Vivarelli
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Italy’s Rome Lazio Film Commission, the Spain Film Commission, France’s Ile-de-France, the film commissions of Andalucia and Tangiers and the Carthage Film Festival have joined forces to set up the Euro-Mediterranean Audiovisual Center in a pact that aims to foster stronger film industry ties among Mediterranean countries.

The pact, inked in Cannes, was spearheaded by Lazio Film Commission president Luciano Sovena who has long been building cinematic collaboration between Italy and North African territories.

“Having Spain and France come on board is a game changer,” Sovena said, noting that France already has the La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde mentoring and matchmaking program in place that regularly spawns collaborations between France and North Africa, such as Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania’s Cannes Un Certain Regard entry “Beauty and the Dogs,” a co-prod between Tunisia, France and other countries.

The goal is to strengthen Mediterranean moviemaking ties through a wide range of initiatives including co-productions, distribution incentives, and synergies among film festivals, Sovena added.

Other North African countries besides Tunisia and Morocco are expected to soon join the  Euro-Mediterranean Audiovisual Center which, despite its name, is an alliance that at this stage does not actually have a base in a physical space.

The Euro-Mediterranean alliance was inked by Lazio’s Sovena; Spain Film Commission’s Teresa Azcona; Ile-de-France’s Joanna Gallardo; Andalucia’s Piluca Querol; Tangiers’ Lamal Souissi; and Carthage Film Festival director Nejib Ayed.

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