The cinematographers film festival Manaki Brothers today introduced Dominique Bax, artistic director, and Saïd Ould Khelifa, director of the Annaba Mediterranean Film Festival in Algeria.
Bax has more than 30 years of experience in exploitation, distribution and organizing of festivals and educative workshops. She is a director of Magic Cinema in Bobigny, the Paris suburb that has educative programs and cultural and pedagogical activities, also a director of the festival Theatre and Film since 2014, and director of the festival Resonances and Film Gatherings with a Civic Approach. She is the one responsible for the publication of the piece of work Theater and Film in 30 volumes.
She is also a president of the Association Crossroad of Festivals (Carrefour des festivals), which consists of the film festivals in France, and is also a member of the script aid committee at the Cinematographers National Center (CNC).
On the other hand, Saïd Ould Khelifa made a successful career in journalism as a reporter, chief of the international rubric (Algeria, France), collaborator of the daily newspaper The Nation (USA) and the magazine Cinéma Politique (France).
Gena Teodosievska, the director of the festival Manaki Brothers, introducing the guests at the start of the meet-up, pointed out that Bax and Khelifa as people devoted to film for 40 years already, people who know film festivals around the world very well, as well as film critics.
Blagoja Kunovski – Dore, the artistic director and selector of the official competition program at the Manaki Brothers festival, reminded the attendees of the meet-up that Mrs. Dominique Bax was a member of the jury at the festival in Bitola in one of its previous editions.
Bax and Khelifa think that the film festivals can also determine someone’s fate, so they shared their own life experience: namely, they have met and fell for each other at a film festival!
-The presence of films at festivals is an opportunity for getting to know the country they come from, Bax pointed out.
But she also said that the small cinematographic societies have a problem with the placement of their films at leading world festivals because the same festivals, e.g. the French ones, choose an easier way of creation of their programs, so they take films from the distributers themselves.
-There are very little films from Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, the Slavic countries from Eastern Europe, Portugal etc., at the festivals in France, Bax made a notice.
On the other hand, Khelifa thinks that there is audience at the festivals and the cinemas that wants to watch artistic films.
-We saw Summer here at Manaki Brothers, a film by the Russian director Kiril Serebrenikov, which was also at the Cannes Film Festival, Khelifa says.
Bax and Khelifa’s mission as film critics is discovering new authors.
-We were at the Venice Film Festival in 1994, and I met a producer of a film that amazed me there. I told the producer that a great injustice will be done if his film doesn’t get the Golden Lion. The film was titles Before the Rain, the director is Milcho Manchevski, and the producer is Simon Perry, Khelifa presented his mission as a critic through an anecdote.
Bax thinks that the function of festivals is to offer an opportunity for discovering new authors and cinematography pieces.
-We are here because we want to discover the Macedonian film authors and present them at the Annaba Mediterranean Film Festival, Bax and Khelifa pointed out.