Friday, October 24, 2014

Code of Ethics by Film Festival organisers

Fair Submissions: The Online Film Submission Platforms’ Code of Ethics
By signing the “Fair Submissions” common Code of Ethics, the online film submission platforms FesthomeFilmFestivalLifeReelportShortfilmdepot andUptofest express their common desire to share fair business practices. They commit to offer filmmakers, festivals and any other agent in the film industry guarantees of a service of quality.
Each of the signatory platforms agrees to comply with the following:
1. The signatories only accept submissions on behalf of film festivals with a signed agreement and/or their explicit prior consent. The agreement must be signed by an authorized and verified official festival representative.
2. The signatories have a validation policy in place to ensure that any active festival is a legitimate event due to take place on the dates and in the location announced, also taking into account online festivals and their specific nature.
3. The signatories require festival clients to provide a reasonably full set of rules and regulations including their festival fee if any which must be publicly available on the online platform with which the festival works and on the festival’s website. Upon film submission, filmmakers or authorized filmmakers’ representatives must agree to the rules and regulations provided by the festival. Each participating festival must also provide valid contact details (mailing address and email address). These contact details will also be publicly accessible on the platform.
4. The signatories commit to providing a service where each submission of a film to a festival is made freely and individually (as opposed to “en masse”) by filmmakers or by their authorized representatives after they have read and accepted the festival’s regulations.
5. The signatories commit to transparently breaking down and clearly communicating all fees involved with each submission (festival fees and service costs). All payments / banking operations must be handled by the platforms with the highest security standards.
6. The signatories guarantee that they regularly verify that each of their festival clients is indeed using their services for the purpose of selecting films for their programs. Festivals that do not comply with the platforms’ Terms of Use will be immediately denied the possibility of accepting submissions through the platform and all access to their account. Submission costs incurred until the deactivation of the festival by the platform, will be fully refunded (festival fee and service costs) to the filmmakers or their authorized representatives.
7. The signatories provide film festivals with all necessary tools to communicate to both selected and non-selected filmmakers or their authorized representatives the result of their selection process.
8. In the event of a festival being irrevocably cancelled:
8.1. The signatories commit to refunding or re-crediting filmmakers or their authorized representatives with the equivalent amount of credit charged by the platform for each submission to the festival.
8.2. The signatories commit to requiring festivals to refund entry fees to filmmakers or their authorized representatives in the event that the collected fees were already transferred to the festival’s bank or PayPal account.
9. Video files uploaded to the signing platforms will not be made publicly available by either the signatories or by festival clients, unless there is a specific arrangement between those festivals and the copyright holders of each film. The signatories ensure that all video files are protected by active security measures and all users’ personal files and data uploaded to the platforms’ servers are properly protected, cannot be accessed publicly and will not be shared with any third party without prior consent of the rights owner.
10. The signatories commit to delivering quick and complete assistance and support to filmmakers and festivals using their online services.
11. The signatories do not require film festivals to use their services exclusively.
12. The signatories commit to not undermine or damage publicly the reputation or the integrity of the system of other platforms that have adhered to this Code of Ethics.
13. The signatories have an ongoing commitment towards this Code of Ethics. Any signatory that ceases to comply with this Code of Ethics will be immediately removed from this agreement.
14. Declaring compliance to the present Code of Ethics is not sufficient to be added to the signing parties of this document, or to publicly declare compliance to this Code and its intent. Similarly, the “Fair Submissions” logo is strictly reserved for the use of platforms who are official signatories of the Code of Ethics to which it is attached. Any online submissionplatform willing to adhere to this Common Code of Ethics must first accept verification of its actual implementation and shall have its name added to the list of official signatories upon unanimous decision only.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Waiting for Sarem Fassi Fihri......


By Allal El Alaoui

                            Only 31 cinema theatres still resist in Morocco. It is an embarrassing fact for the new comer, the director of CCM. Filmmakers and critics are wondering about this disastrous decrease in number of cinema theatres and the big question remains as this: why do we still produce Moroccan films? It might be the second critical criteria that also faces the new director/producer of CCM called Sarem Fassi Fihri.
                         The New director, known of his cool western hat and his expensive Cuban cigarettes, is welcomed by media ,directors and producers to promote and give a new breath to national cinema not ignoring the magnificent job of his previous colleague, Nouredine Sail who has himself made great efforts to reopen Moroccan cinema theatres, unfortunately his dreams do not come true  .Unlike Nouredine, Sarem  is very actif in the field of production and has produced  movies of  handful of Moroccan filmmakers such as Hakim Noury,Ahmed Boulane and Nabil Ayouch . Administratively speaking,CCM needs to be reorganized by inserting new technical staff,new technoclogy and above all new vision of the future of Moroccan cinema.This is a job that Sarem is planning to realize .But,when ?
                         In his Cinematic column inserted mysteriously into the International Film Festival of Mediterranean countries 2014 edition, Sarem Fassi Fihri has written in English which is something new for Moroccan cinema-goers .May be it is a sign to suggest  that Moroccan cinema should be known to THE WORLD  unlike  x – CCM director Nouredine Sail who only sticks to Pascal country ,France .Of course, Arabic is much more used  from Moroccan cinema-goers ; critics and screenwriters because it is the first spoken language.

                          Only 56 short films in competition coming from Mediterranean countries. However, Panorama films do not exist anymore in the festival due to the non virement of financial support to the Festival which eventually needs more than 150.000.000 dirham to cover the cost and charges of invited people .The sum of money that we have mentioned before; cannot be released from Moroccan official  sponsors, or Tangiers local supporters .I let you guess the dramatic suspense that is happening between Rabat and Tangiers.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lilly by Brett Chapman

I know rejection is a fatal enemy for creators ,filmmakers and cinema-goers.I know from rejection some filmmakers become famous and rich such as Oliver Stone when he first presented his first screenplay, he was rejected by Hollywood agents  .Yet, some solid people prefer to stick and get along until the final call .

Today, i have read this article about a shortfilm called Lilly by Brett Chapman.
I find it interesting to republish in my weblog for my Moroccan and world cinema-goers just to know one thing is that we must not let it down ,but instead go ahead with your ideas and who knows what you would become later on.....

Being Rejected From Film Festivals
When you make a film it can be a deeply personal and important event for you. When I made my short film ‘Lilly’ I put a whole stack of myself into it and I found the process of making it to be one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.

I am very happy with ‘Lilly’ – I feel like we basically made the film that I wanted to and it’s one of the few things I’ve produced that I feel almost comfortable showing to other people. It’s still an anxiety inducing event to watch it in a room full of people though.
I’ve still got a long way to go to get to the level that I’d like to be at.

Anyone who has ever screened a film for an audience will know the feeling well. You sit there, wriggling around in your chair like a mid-interview Tom Waits, anticipating a reaction from the audience. Where do the laughs come? Does anyone gasp? Does anyone cry? Do they sound bored? I’m not even sure what the sound of boredom is…

So, if you can get over the initial fear of actually allowing people to watch your movie soon comes the time to send it out into the world. For a filmmaker at my level I really had two options open to me: I could put the film online, promote it and hope to find an audience or I could send it to film festivals and hope it gets accepted and develops a buzz from there.
There are, obviously, pros and cons to each approach that I’m not going to explore in an in-depth way because, frankly, there are people far more qualified than I to do that. What I will do, however, is briefly touch on some of the elements that were most pertinent in my decision and what’s happened since.

Despite Lilly being a short film the final cut came in at 28 minutes. That’s not an ideal starting point for either online or festival promotion. Many film festivals prefer their short films to be at the very least under 25 minutes if not shorter, and everyone knows that you’ll struggle to hold or even draw in an online viewer for something over three minutes.

I could have made cuts to the film to get it down to a more manageable length, and in retrospect perhaps I should have, but this was my first film and I didn’t want to lose any of the moments or space in the film because I’d landed squarely on my original vision for the piece.
Utlimtately I decided that I wanted to send Lilly to film festivals and see whether or nt we got a positive reaction. I suspect there was something in me that liked the idea of my film being shown on the same screen as some other more credible films.

Because I also work a full time job I didn’t have the free time to research the multitude of festivals that are out there and then go through the long process of submitting. To overcome that problem I decided to hire in an external company to handle the process.

I ultimately went with Festival Formula, a company run by the lovely and knowledgeable Katie McCullough. She produced for me a list of festivals that might appreciate what Lilly was trying to say and handled the whole submission process for me. I can’t recommend this company or Katie enough.

Any shortcomings that Lilly had in gaining entry into festivals are totally down to the film and my own decisions. The Advice Katie offered throughout was impeccable and perhaps something I should have taken on board in a bigger way - especially regarding the length of the film! 
This was always going to be a costly experience and after submitting to about 25 festivals I’d totally exhausted my finances, so, I sat back and waited for the responses to come rolling in. Then I waited some more – and some more. Then it happened! The first response.

“Thank you for sending us the above film for consideration for the [Insert Festival Name] Film Festival. While we very much appreciated the opportunity to consider the film, unfortunately it has not made the final line up for this year’s festival.”

I very quickly became accustomed to this sort of response. Whilst I thought I had prepared myself for the inevitable rejections I don’t think I realised just how disheartening it would be to see your film rejected from all the festivals you were so desperate to get into.

Like I said, this film was a bit part of me and it can be hard to separate the rejection of your work from being a rejection of yourself personally. But then, in rode the East End Film Festivalto save the day!

The first festival acceptance for Lilly took me to London to watch Lilly being screened as part of The East End Film Festival’s ‘Britain on Film’ programme. It was wonderful to see my film screened alongside some really wonderful shorts and the short Q&A post screening was a fun, if nerve wracking, experience. I will forever adore The East End Film Festival for accepting my film. 
I had hoped that the EEFF screening might have been the start of a few screenings for Lilly but unfortunately that’s not the way it went. A combo of rejections came a few weeks later and its been much the same ever since.

I’ve seen other films that I worked on finding their way into some pretty prestigious festivals and that is heartening and I’m pleased for the filmmakers involved but it does kind of  cement in place the disappointment that my own work hasn’t found an audience.

I think it’s important to remind yourself that this is something most people who pursue creative endeavours have to go through. Not everyone is going to ‘get’ what you’re trying to say and, furthermore, there’s no guarantee that what you create will every time be ‘good’. It’s a long process.
So, rather than get down on the fact that Lilly hasn’t found its place on the festival scene I’ve been trying to come up with the next move for the film and that took me back to my original two choices: online or festivals.

I’m not too proud to see that, for whatever reason, Lilly isn’t doing it on the festival circuit so to plow more money that I don’t have into more submissions that likely won’t be accepted doesn’t make sense to me. More and more I’ve been thinking about making the film available to view online.

More than getting good reviews or seeing my film on a big screen I think the thing that is most important to me is that its viewed by people who understand what it’s trying to say and appreciate the themes that I’ve tried to flavour it with.

The most encouraging thing that’s happened during Lilly’s short time out in the world is the response I’ve had from the audiences who have watched it. Quite a few people who watched the film took the time to tell me that the titular character really reminded them of strong women in their lives and thanked me for making the film. That felt amazing.
One person saying something like that to me was enough justification for making the film in the first place. Some people even cried. I had joked when making the film that all I wanted was to make someone cry with it. I guess that sounds sort of crass but all of the films I most admire make me cry.

Here I am, then, weighing up when and how exactly I put my film online. I could upload it to Vimeo or YouTube and try to promote it via social media and short film websites or I could look into VOD options. To be honest, I don’t think Lilly has the audience interest to do well on VOD. So, at the moment, I’m planning to put the film online, for free.

It’s OK to be rejected. It is not the end of the world and I don’t think it’s the end of the journey for your film, if you believe in it.

All I really want is for people to have the option to see the film if they choose to. I say it all the time but I don’t think a film exists until it has an audience. With that in mind, watch this space for updates about where Lilly will be available to view and if you’d like to help promote the flick, that’d be lovely.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

The Threshold by َََََََََََََََََََََََََََََََََََََََََََََََََََََََََََََََََََََAllal El Alaoui

Rachid Ghalmi and Nouria Benbrahim

By Ali Karama

Writing about Moroccan history is not easy .Yet, this fact is tackled by both Khalid Akalai, novelist and Allal El Alaoui,filmmaker,together they have written a script based on a literary work by Khalid himself  named The Threshold .First ;the location was Tetuan but because of luck of support of this northen city, the shortfilm is shot in Kenitra.
Immediately after being introduced to the cinematic commission in 2013 spearhead by Abdelkrim Berrechid , the commission says yes to fund the shortfilm and Allal El Alaoui will assure its film direction.
The step is about an arabo-andalousian facet changing from beauty to ugliness presented by a Moroccan family that goes through hardships and political turmoil just to find its indentity.All important historical events starting from 1940 up to 21 century ; are performed by professional actors just like Nouria Benbrahim, Rachid Rhalmi,Larbi Sassi,Othman Alaoui ,Abdessamad El Ghorfi ; Sanae El Alaoui and not forgetting the marvelous collaboration of  Kenitra local community chaired by Rachid Belmaquissia.We have to mention also the cast coming  from civil society that has accepted to give a hand to Siham Alaoui ,the manager of Cinema And Movies Company.

Technically speaking, the vision of the director is translated successfully by Zakaria Ain,director of photography and Soulyman Ouali , cameraman,M’Hamed Belmiloudi ,lighter,Larbi Benshili ,make up,Ouafae Salim ;script-girl  and Zhor Idrissi as a costumist.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

A letter to US people

By Allal El Alaoui

A letter to US people

You are probably the most intelligent people in the world .Yet ;How come do you give your tax money to military power in Israel ? the world now has spoken out and support the right side which is to stop this bleeding war against civilians as your street has done the same thing about the crimes of Israel towards Palestinian civilians .Now , come on speak out and say the truth as you fought in your 1779 revolutionary war.The jews and Arabs have lived together for years and I believe they shoud do in one state .

It is true that Israel has founded a democracy in the middle east but this same democracy is based on criminality.Now, you American people speak out in your street to stop your Barak Obama gouvernement endless support to Israel based on your pocket money .