Friday, April 09, 2010

Updating Moroccan cinema by Mustapha Mesnaoui

There is no doubt that cinema as art and industry ,is an instrument of modernization in contemporary societies, as is the sign of the development on the ladder of development and progress.

There has been a cinema in our country some sort of recovery in recent years, accompanied by Two letters: one overly optimistic marked by many of the complacent, to the point that refuses to disagree with him, even before the consensus that agrees with him about the role of film and about their objectives and the desire to develop them consistent with trends retrofit of Morocco twenty-first century; and the second letter of anti-cinema and art in general, trying to impose the values of non-aesthetic product film and entered forcibly closed within the political orientations for the future.

In general, if this speech was the latest exploits of some "lapses", which is located filmmakers Moroccans in order to gain supporters and to return us to the era of ideology, the discourse optimistic suffer in turn from being confined in the building optimism on the rise quantitative defined by the production of feature films in our country (long, including and short) in recent years, while turning a blind eye to value the quality of this production and the actual circumstances surrounding it, and ignore the rest of the action film that we can actually show the prospects for the current recovery and to know whether the introduction of the prosperity of a future or it's just vital for the instantaneous short-lived.

So it may be necessary to lay a basis for a new discourse about Moroccan cinema, based on the following observations:

1 - The number of feature films produced between 2000-2009 nearly one hundred film, a figure equivalent to what has been produced during the thirty-one years (from 1968 to 1999); but it means at the same time, the annual rate for the production of Feature Films During the past decade - though risen compared with previous decades - no more than a dozen films per year; a figure less than that which is promoted in the current time (15 films per year), which is fraud annually in order to pass from public opinion (in the past year , for example, added to the films of the tenth session of the National Festival of the movie films two Frenchmen and a documentary film and film video Omazegeyan and film production of 2007 in order to raise the number to 14 while that is produced is actually 8 films; also added to the last session of the Movies 2009 four films produced by year 2010, amateur video to increase the number to 15).

2 - Despite the rise in the number length feature films that are produced annually, the number of good movies with good to show in international festivals remain constant, if not moving downwards (of 3 movies in 2003 and 5 films in 2004 to film only one at most from 2005 to now).

3 - This rise in the number of feature films is not linked to the entry of private investment to the area of film production, but linked to the increase in the amounts allocated by the state to support the cinema five times (from 12 million dirhams in 2000 to AED 60 million at present); thing which means that Fund support has not led to the creation of a dynamic attractive for private capital to this area as far as what led to the adoption entirely on public money. The inevitable result for the development of this type are found film industry expected preference for the directors (who have become at the same time producers and scriptwriters ...) the ease and speed of work without the attention of popular audiences or not turning towards their films do not achieve them for profits, as long as the Fund provides them what they need all that while.

4 - revealed the high number of films produced annually (albeit to only 10 films per year) for major disadvantage suffered by Moroccan cinema is the lack of local capacity is specialized in various professions cinema, especially technical (photography, lighting, sound, editing ...), where most of our directors in fulfilling their films in the foreign technicians often go to them expect to receive some awards Moroccan films at festivals, national or international; which presents a real obstruction to the advancement of any film industry is pending.

5 - Perhaps the obstruction of the major barriers in the way the industry is closing the growing rooms, cinema and the decrease of the number of viewers and ticket sales jumped the number of cinema halls in our country of 240 Hall in 1970 to less than 50 room at the moment (39 Hall, is not available on the terms of the offer good of which only one of 19 Hall of forty-screen). In such case, the rise in the number of films made does not become a mark well-being as it refers to a crisis defined by the film industry in Morocco, and raises a fundamental question: Who is the completion of these movies if the public is against him are watched and their level can not attend festivals in the Arab and international?

6 - and would apply also on the short fiction film, identified in turn, a sort of "recovery" in recent years; where we note that the formula adopted by the Department the guardian of the sector to give business cards for each of the completed 3 short films or feature-length film and one had led to full arena, people have nothing to do film at all, especially in light of the spread of video technologies with ease of transfer of the films made of these techniques to the film, he saw tangle, as they say quality and disappeared amid a huge amount of bad.

7 - in parallel with the recovery and quantitative decrease in movie theaters appeared several film festivals covering all cities and the Moroccan almost an annual rate of not less than 52 festival, any festival every week. However, observed at the festivals, except the major ones such as Marrakech, Tetouan, in particular, they operate an unprecedented chaos, including losing effectiveness needed to play its role in the dissemination of film culture and artistic taste in general. Most of these "festivals" employed depending on the CD "DVD," including the "Festivals" organized competitions and show films without the knowledge of their owners, and there is overlap between some of them (such as organizing film festival Mediterranean short Tangier Although the festival Tetouan allocated in this section before Tangier and the imposition of the same number of years, or payment to the festival is very weak film Bmrtil despite the presence of Festival strong to Tetouan or concentration Film Festival Francophone Safi on the primacy of the Egyptian cinema); this without talking about the organizers of most of these "festivals" (which are supported locally and central) are people who have nothing to do with cinema and art or culture at all.

They show that it is time to review the way in raising the field of cinema in Morocco in order to make this beautiful art tool for opening and modernization and development, including the different categories of society and not limited to elite expatriate limited in number and prospects;, from a new business strategy in this area should be established clear and specific may be suggested, including the following:

- Support configuration Film Festival in the middle and upper levels; and through establishment of the Institute for high film careers, as well as specialized branches within the University of Morocco and in the public school in general, with the introduction of cinema as an essential activity within the activities of the training school;

- Work (centrally and locally and regionally) to re-open the closed cinema halls, renovation and repair to make them able to receive the audience back into the real conditions of Gap and respected;

- Develop mechanisms for coordination between the central film festivals, with the imposition of minimum requirements for licensing organized, in order to avoid chaos and a dismissal of the intruders and respect for the rights of filmmakers Moroccans and foreigners;

- Encouraging private investment to enter the sector through the provision of tax exemptions, as well as important by giving priority in the support fund for films completed primarily .-

- Establishing a real Moroccan film work, which would put an end to lawlessness and chaos prevailing in the field and poor that has become fiercely and spread control on the creative energies of the real marginalization, isolation, and immortality to a silent killer.

In all cases, no escape from dealing with the realities as they are and move away from ideological speech excessive optimism can not, under current circumstances, and only leads to more destruction.