environmental protection at the heart of short film meetings

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This is the big annual meeting for fans of the 7th art in Madagascar. The 15th edition of the short film meetings started this weekend in the cinema at the French Institute in Antananarivo. A Pan-African short film festival that this year brings together works by some thirty directors from the Big Island and the continent, especially from Kenya, Senegal, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, etc. A varied program with 250 films showed until November 28 and a theme on climate change, a problem in the heart of unrest in Madagascar.

From our correspondent in Antananarivo,

“In my film, I add subtitles when the animals cry because I want to give them meaning. We will consider them as actors and not just objects in the film. ”

José Rakotobe is the director of the short film in the national and pan-African competition, “Varecia Rubra”, the scientific name of a species of red lemurs, in danger of extinction. To tell their story, he went to the Masoala Peninsula in northeastern Madagascar.

“I wanted to make this film so that the people who go to see these animals understand how difficult it is to protect and preserve them. I would like them to come up with the idea that nature is in danger because of us, that we sometimes no longer think about the living environment. A picture is worth a thousand words and I think the message will come across. It’s a movie that ruined me a little because our canoe sank in the sea and I lost years of investment in equipment, but luckily the memory cards were intact and I was able to finish my movie. “

Telling your own stories but also creating useful films and educating is what the current generation of directors in Africa is doing for Laza, director and founder of Rencontres du film court. “We make an emergency cinema because there is so much to say. There is so much to prevent. In Africa, we are completely affected by the damage of climate change. That is also why we put this theme in place to give filmmakers the opportunity. When I learned that the oldest tree in the world is almost 5,000 years old and still alive, it really struck me and I wondered how I would translate it into a festival. We also have a project called “Hymn to Nature”, so we will go out into the woods and put on a concert for nature with Malagasy artists. There will be no human audience. The public becomes nature. ”

Developing new talent and exporting films abroad is also a must Short film meetings. In Madagascar, the film industry is booming, but education is lacking. Fetra Ranaivoson, 27, director and 3D animator presents her first short film “Miandry Bus” in national and pan-African competition. “Most directors are self-taught and we train online. I think we need mentorship in Madagascar. I can learn animation on my own, but if I do not have feedback from professionals who are already in the industry, I can not really thrive. If there was training, I think we could go very fast and that’s what is missing, film and animation schools. If I had not been passionate about animation, I would have given up long ago. ”

The professionalisation of the sector has been one of the priorities at short film meetings since they were created 15 years ago. Project funding workshops, participatory creative labs and film reviews for directors point to this week’s festival.

About twenty short films are in search of Zébu d’Or, the highest award for the official competition.

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