Third ABCD filmmakers meeting in the framework of FESPACO
The 3rd Meeting of Filmmakers from Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean and Diasporas (ABCD) took place in the framework of the 23rd Panafrican Film and Television Festival (FESPACO), held from 23 February to 2 March 2013 in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso. The event coincided with the official visit of Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, to the host nation. It also featured the participation of Ms Danielle Cliche, Secretary of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005), as well as Mr Rigoberto López, President of the Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase, a project supported by the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean.
This first ABCD Filmmakers Meeting to be held on African soil featured more than 40 participants, and emphasised the importance of the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions and of intercultural dialogue. The occasion was a reflection of the interest of producers, distributors, promoters, television executives (both public and private), and national film authorities, in continuing the actions anticipated through the course of these meetings. The first ABCD Meeting was held in Cuba in September 2011, in recognition of the International Year of People of African Descent, and the second in July 2012, in the Dominican Republic. The third meeting, held in Burkina Faso, was accompanied by a special showcase of Caribbean cinema.
During the meeting, Rigoberto López made a brief presentation in relation to the UNESCO project 'ABCD Cameras of Diversity'. This project, which arose as a recommendation of the second meeting in the Dominican Republic, was validated and its worth was recognised by the participants, who wrote in the final declaration: "We recognize the importance of the program 'Chamber of Diversity ABCD CINEMA' [sic] and our disposition to accompany and support that project from UNESCO."
The objective of 'ABCD Cameras of Diversity' is to strengthen the contribution of the film industry to local sustainable development in African, Brazil and the Caribbean, via a network of film distributors in those sub-regions. To this end it contributes to the organisation of the ABCD Meetings of Filmmakers every year, to the establishment of a capacity-building programme, and to the implementation of an evaluation policy in relation to the effective application of the 2005 UNESCO Convention. During the 2nd ABCD Meeting of Filmmakers the famous actor and filmmaker Danny Glover was designated Honorary President of the project.
The UNESCO Havana Office has collaborated with the Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase in relation to the organisation of the ABCD Meetings of Filmmakers, within the context of its 'Cameras of Diversity' project. Since 2004 that project has promoted access to entertainment and to the creation, production, diffusion and distribution of community-based audiovisual works with local content, in Latin America and the Caribbean. After the 2005 Convention entered into force, this has been one of the strategic instruments for its promotion and implementation, and has also promoted linguistic diversity.
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