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Narrative forms and co-production in Arab cinemas

Formes narratives et co-production dans les cinémas du monde arabe

Norms, constraints, and margins of freedom

Normes, contraintes et libertés

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Published on Friday, March 15, 2019 by Céline Guilleux

Summary

Film industry in the Arab world remains generally underdeveloped. Arab countries still depend on international film support funds, mainly European. This puts Arab producers, scriptwriters and filmmakers in a subaltern position in relation to European producers and funders, whose expectations in terms of content and narrative forms end up strongly impacting the film creation process. On the other hand, margins of freedom and resistance can be created within this system. This conference aims at addressing the complex relation between Arab cinemas and international film support funds.

Announcement

Argument

Film industry in the Arab world remains generally underdeveloped, despite the success of some contemporary Arab films and the emergence of new film festivals in the Arab world. With the exception of few examples such as Egypt and, to a certain extent, Morocco, who were able to develop local production systems, Arab countries still depend on international film support funds, mainly European. This puts Arab producers, scriptwriters and filmmakers in a subaltern position in relation to European producers and funders, whose expectations in terms of content and narrative forms end up strongly impacting the film creation process.

One of the aims of this conference is to address the impact of European film funds on the co-funded films. How does this impact take place? How and to what extent do Arab filmmakers, scriptwriters and producers actually comply with pre-defined norms and constraints? Moreover, to what extent can locally produced films also be influenced by this power relation, through a mechanism of imitation for example, or as a way to obtain international recognition?

On the other hand, a margin of freedom can emerge within this system. In fact, the co-production system can offer to the Arab creators a space of expression free from state censorship which is usually exerted more strictly on locally produced films. Also, some filmmakers manage to find a certain compromise and to create film forms that go against norms usually imposed by hegemonic systems. The conference will also address the mechanism through which these margins of freedom can be created.

Finally, some filmmakers choose to break with the system, and opt for alternative modes of production (crowdfunding, auto-financing, film cooperatives, etc.), or for other forms of cinematic practices like experimental cinema or video installations. The conference also aims at shedding light on these alternative practices of cinema in the Arab world.

Participants can choose one or more topics among the ones suggested below. They can also address any other topic that can be of interest to the conference. Additionally, participants can focus on cinemas from other parts of the world where producers and filmmakers face the same kind of pressures.

Economy of Arab cinemas (funding, markets, distribution...)

  • Popular reception of co-produced films
  • Arab cinemas and international festivals
  • Politics of local film festivals
  • Film genres in co-produced cinemas
  • State censorship and foreign expectations
  • Auteur films and the co-production system
  • Narrative norms and margins of creation
  • Original narrative forms
  • Alternative modes of production

Submission guidelines

Abstracts of 500 words approximately should be sent to arabcinemaconferencebeirut2019@gmail.com

by no later than April 15, 2019.

The conference will be held on October 2, 3 and 4, 2019 at Saint-Joseph University of Beirut.

Papers can be presented in French, English or Arabic.

Organization

This conference is organized by the Institute for Theater, Audiovisual and Cinematographic Studies and the Department of Literature, Faculty of Humanities, Saint-Joseph University of Beirut, in collaboration with Institut ACTE (EA 7539) - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Organizing committee

  • Elie Yazbek
  • Karl Akiki
  • Wissam Mouawad
  • José Moure

Scientific Committee

  • Toufic El Khoury (Saint-Joseph University of Beirut)
  • Terri Ginsberg (American University in Cairo)
  • Shohini Chaudhuri (University of Essex)
  • Sarah Leperchey (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
  • Hamid Aidouni (University of Tetouan)
  • Joshua David Gonçalves (American University of Beirut)
  • Meryem Belkaïd (Bowdoin college)

Places

  • Université Saint Joseph de Beyrouth
    Beirut, Lebanon

Date(s)

  • Monday, April 15, 2019

Keywords

  • cinéma, production, scénario, esthétique, moyen orient, monde arabe

Contact(s)

  • Wissam Mouawad
    courriel : arabcinemaconferencebeirut2019 [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Wissam Mouawad
    courriel : arabcinemaconferencebeirut2019 [at] gmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« Narrative forms and co-production in Arab cinemas », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Friday, March 15, 2019, https://calenda.org/581235

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