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Report on the activities of IFTC (UNESCO)

Portrait of Serge Michel.

Serge Michel
34 Rue des Coucous
Saint Sebastien sur Loire
+33 2 40342077
+33 2 40359269

The IFTC - UNESCO International Prize named in honour of Delmiro de Caralt was awarded in 2015, during the UNICA competition in Saint Petersburg, to the Tunisian film "Spider" by Fares Ben Khalifa. As every year, a Fellini medal will once again be made available to the jury to award for the IFTC International Prize in 2016 in Suceava.

The topic of "preserving our film heritage", especially safeguarding the work of amateur filmmakers, which was shot on silver nitrate film, is a concern for many countries and notably contacts have been made with the IFTC from Algeria and Egypt, who expressed high hopes that we can save these elements of our heritage, which are threatened by extinction. In the case of Algeria, these include finding and saving movies made before the country's independence in 1962. It is hoped that a partnership with UNICA might be made to formalise with all the stakeholders who might organise the identification, collection and preservation of audio visual materials, that will enrich the collective memory of the country.

For its great City of Cinema project in Cairo, Egypt wants to have, via the IFTC, assistance and advice in order to create an amateur movies section. Naturally these are long-term projects and the contacts are relatively separated considering the political situation in these countries.

The issue of identifying and safeguarding the "amateur film heritage" is increasingly important and one in which the IFTC has a particular interest. We propose the organisation of a block of an hour or hour-and-a-half, as a "forum", at the next UNICA congress (e.g. in Dortmund), for an exchange of views between UNICA members (delegates and other interested people) and with IFTC about actions undertaken or envisaged to save "the destruction or garage sales" of home movies, which represent exceptional insights, but also to reflect on the memory that we (may or may not) digitally establish.

UNICA is also asked by the "Cine-Sale", International Film Festival of Sea and Sailors, which takes place in Le Havre (Normandy, France), to bring the light of the amateur film to this theme. In 2016, we proposed a selection of films and extracts for an out-of-competition sequence of about an hour. In 2017, the 500th anniversary of the creation of the city of Le Havre, comes a call to filmmakers and federations to find and collect films shot in Le Havre, which was famous in the era of transatlantic voyages in steamships (such as " Normandie " or " France "). Jeanne Glass has offered to contribute to the realisation of this project.

The President of IFTC, Inoussa Ousseini, Nigeria’s Ambassador to UNESCO, proposed for 2017, with the support of the Nigerian government, a week of tribute to Jean Rouch, the famous ethnographer and filmmaker, the centenary of whose birth is in 2017. Note that Jean Rouch was president of IFTC and took the honorary presidency of the UNICA General Assembly at the UNESCO Palace in Paris during the 1995 UNICA conference. As part of this week of cinema in autumn 2017, Inoussa Ousseini wants an amateur film festival that is organised under the auspices of UNICA. Everything is still open for this project.

Also noteworthy is that work in progress to update the statutes of the IFTC, for presentation to the IFTC General Meeting in September or October 2016.

UNICA Representative to IFTC
Vice-president of IFTC.