Festival Symposium

Documentation of cinematic memory in Morocco: Reality and horizons

The symposium, which will be presented at the cultural complex of Imouzzer Kandar the morning of November 14, 2015, is a highlight of the 12th edition of the Film Festival of Peoples.
It will address the topic “Documentation of cinematic memory in Morocco: Reality and Prospects (horizons).” Moroccan ,French, Algerian, Tunisian and Mauritanian critics teachers and researchers will collaborate there.
It should be noted that the work of the conference will be compiled in a book to be published in 2016 and will be one of the publications of the Film Club of Imouzzer.
Platform of the conference:
Morocco is considered among the few Arab and African precursors who discovered the film (filming and projections) since its accession by Brothers Lumières in 1895.
Reliable sources claim that the first film images taken in Morocco date back to 1896 or 1897. In addition the first projection of Brothers Lumières was played at royal palace of Fez in the era of Alaoui Sultan Moulay Abdel Aziz in 1897. Then first cinema halls emerged in Moroccan cities such as Fez, Tangier and others.
Later in 1916 a law was passed to organize the work in these commercial theaters. While foreign companies especially French ones, flocked to Morocco to achieve film shoots. Consequently a feature film was made in 1919 under the title “Fate” (مكتوب) which was followed by a series of varied films and documentaries in and outside the scope of what was called “the colonial cinema” and the Souissi studios in Rabat opened in 1944, when the CCM was founded as a public institution of guardianship of cinematography in the country.
In addition, after an almost total absence of technicians and Moroccan directors under the protectorate, the first promotions of Moroccan native cineastes were trained in different countries. Thus filmography slowly began to proliferate one decade after another. At the same time, film associations have organized festivals, various meetings and edited publications ….
Also anyone who is interested in the history of Moroccan cinema can no longer ask questions such as:
- Does anyone seriously think about documenting our cinematographic memory throughout these years (since 1896 until today)?
- Do we currently have books, films and other works (productions) historicizing our young experience and tell by word, sound and image of the stages of our long cinematic history (about 120 years) allowing students and film institutes, audiovisual and others to approach this artistic story?
- Who is the first responsible of this documentation? Is it the Ministry of Communication and the CCM? Or Moroccan universities and scientific research centers? or critics concerned with cinema history? Or all together?
- What causes our delay in the field of documentation of cinema memory?
- What are the constraints and difficulties countering this activity?
- What solutions can be used to overcome this failure?
These are questions subjecting participants to the symposium as a subject of study and analysis in addition to other questions that each participant may submit in order to enrich the discussion of the theoretical and scientific perspective.

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