Bosnia and Herzegovina and France sign a co-production agreement in Sarajevo
by Vassilis Economou
- By updating their previous agreement, the two countries aim to facilitate cultural exchange and forge stronger bonds between them
On the fourth day of the 24th Sarajevo Film Festival, Bosnia and Herzegovina and France signed a film co-production agreement that will modernise the legal framework for co-productions between the two countries. Bosnia and Herzegovina was represented by Minister of Civil Affairs Adil Osmanović and France by its ambassador in the country, Guillaume Rousson.
The new convention replaces the existing co-production agreement that has been in effect since 1975 and was signed between France and Yugoslavia. One of the major changes in the new agreement is the reduction in the share of participation for each partner country in a co-production from 30% to 10%. More importantly, films that are co-produced by both countries will be classed as national films for each of them, thus giving them access to more funding schemes that have, until now, not been available for international films.
On the importance of the new agreement, Osmanović stated: "French public support for cinema has served as an example for many countries. Like France, Bosnia and Herzegovina shares a belief in the importance of cinema for the cultural and economic growth of the country. Our intention is to increase co-operation between Bosnia and Herzegovina [BH] and France in the area of filmmaking, in order to expand moviemaking possibilities for film professionals from both countries and to enable better access to the French market by BH films, and for French films in the BH market." Along the same lines, Rousson stressed, “France has always served as a strong presence in the culture of Bosnia and Herzegovina, contributing to and initiating many events that still take place today. I am very happy to say that this agreement represents a new step in the collaboration between our two countries."
The signing of the agreement followed a CineLink Talks panel presentation where the role and the importance of the festival for the city were discussed. More precisely, Andrew Barnes, associate director of Olsberg SPI, presented the impact that the Sarajevo Film Festival has on the economy, tourism, and social and cultural life of the city of Sarajevo (see the news). During the panel, Khaldun Sinno, deputy head of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Emmanuel Mouriez, director of the Institut Français in Bosnia and Herzegovina, also discussed how the Sarajevo Film Festival has had a positive effect not only on Sarajevo, allowing it to become the city of film, but also on the whole country, enabling it to play a clear role in the field of culture. The discussion was moderated by Jovan Marjanović, head of CineLink Industry Days, who also explained the background to the study, and the different public and private players that had a bearing on it. As for the future use of the study, he remarked: "We are going to follow up by gathering data and evaluating them on a regular basis."
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