Amazigh film honoured in Kabylie
By Lyes Aflou for Magharebia in Algiers – 02/04/12
The 12th Amazigh Film Festival (FCNAFA) ended on a high note Wednesday (March 28th) at the Kateb Yacine Theatre in Tizi-Ouzou.
Vava Moh by director Smail Yazid won the prestigious Olivier d'Or award in the fiction feature film category. In the documentary category, the award went to La langue de Zahra by Fatima Sissani. Encre et le monde by Sofiane Bellali won the best short film award. In the young talent category, the prize for the best film went to director Sonia Ahnou for her film Uzzu.
Vava Moh highlights Kabyle traditions and conveys the message that respect for birth rights is an important value in social relations.
In her documentary La langue de Zahra, Fatima Sissani examines the lives of Algerian expatriates and their loneliness, their suffering in silence, feelings of nostalgia and trials and tribulations in general. The pain they feel is expressed through metaphors, proverbs and poetry.
The festival attracted over 300 participants, including a hundred or so Algerian and foreign film-makers from the Maghreb, the Canary Islands, Peru, France, Spain and Canada. Libya was the guest of honour.
Culture Minister Khalida Messaoudi said in a message to the participants during the opening ceremony that the presence of delegations from Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania and Libya would build "bridges that will strengthen a cultural and film-loving Maghreb".
Some 50 films, of which 25 were entered for the Olivier d'Or, were screened in packed auditoriums in the provincial capital and then in the towns of Azazga, Larbaa Nath Irathen, Tizi-Rached, Ain El Hammam and Draa El Mizan.
In addition to film screenings, the festival also featured conferences on film-related topics such as dubbing, sound techniques and Amazigh cinema in the Maghreb.
The festival's organiser and the Director of Culture in Tizi-Ouzou, Assad El Hachemi, said that he regarded the event as a "forum for hopes and dreams". El Hachemi believes that the festival "clearly demonstrates the thirst of a large number of spectators who identify with a language and a culture that… represent cornerstones of the Algerian nation".
During the conferences, professionals advocated the use of dubbing to make up for the dearth of Amazigh-language films, which is due to a lack of resources.
Abdelmadjid Bali, a member of National Copyrights Office (ONDA), urged those present to seize "the opportunity offered by dubbing, or the adaptation of films into the Amazigh language, to overcome financial constraints on creation and bridge the gap in terms of creation and production in the realm of film-making".
Claudine Cabay Chatel, a Canadian actress who has 337 dubbed films under her belt, stressed that "the difficult aspect of this art is opening and closing one's mouth at the same time as the person who is speaking in order to create the illusion that the character is speaking in the dubbed language."
She explained that "a dub actress needs to have a phenomenal memory to be able to remember and recreate the energy of the original character, her breathing, her articulation, her emotions and so on."
During a round-table discussion, representatives of the Maghreb said they wanted to create an Amazigh Film Festival Federation. This proposal was put forward by Rachid Moutchou, the artistic director of the Isni Ourgh Festival in Morocco.
"The idea is not a new one for Algeria, but we think that putting it into effect will require, for a start, the creation and development of a partnership between the countries of the Maghreb to promote Amazigh cinema," said Assad El Hachemi.
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