Malikka Bouaissa

2017

From : Brussels
To: Beirut

MONA Film Festival

Cinema

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How did this grant contribute to the realization of your project in regard to artistic exchange, local cultural development and/or the promotion of cultural diversity?

I’m a festival coordinator and organise a film festival in Antwerp (Belgium) dedicated to North-African and Arab cinema. The first edition was in February 2017. The second edition in March 2018. As such, I hope to bring cultures together in a space of entertainment and education, where dialogue is achieved and intercultural relationships are established. This grant allowed me to travel to the region where the focus is on, in order to create a network of programmers, curators, directors and sales agents or distributors, to ensure the best quality films can be attracted to the festival one is running.

How does exchange, networking and international contacts contribute to the development of your artistic and cultural project?

By creating new networks and meeting new distributors, producers and filmmakers, the knowledge and contacts I gathered at the festival will enable me to extend my knowledge about and insight in Arab cinema, for the benefit of the programming I do for MONA in Antwerp. I hope I bring more and better films to Belgium, for a screening fee that is negotiated with the professionals in the business.

Can you elaborate on the learning and knowledge you have gained and shared throughout this experience?

This trip enabled me to network with important partners in the Arab film industry, with a special focus on Lebanese cinema at the Beirut International Film Festival. The festival not only provides opportunities to see films first hand and to broaden my understanding of the running of a festival in the Arab world, I also met people that are active in the film industry: directors as well as producers and distributors, which would be of essential importance to the further growth of my personal network and for the benefit of the festival I run and its developing size and renown. The trip also enabled me to meet new, young and emerging filmmakers in order to invite them to the festivals I am involved with. In gaining a better insight into the local running of festivals and meeting local professionals, I can say that it will make me curate better, enable dialogue in a more professional way, and develop my own emerging profile as a programmer.

Please indicate a link to your current work (website/facebook page)

www.monafilmfestival.be




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