Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe

Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe

The Industrial Context of Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe

January 12 2007 to January 13 2007

Venue: Ciné Lumière (film screenings, 12 January 2007) and Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies (conference, 13 January 2007)

This conference is hosted by the Media Arts Department at Royal Holloway, Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds, the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies and the French Institute in London. 

The conference seeks to address the specificities of film production, distribution and exhibition of migrant and diasporic cinema in a variety of different national and cultural contexts and to examine the impact of co-production arrangements and European-wide funding initiatives. The conference explores how ‘marginal’ filmmakers circumvent established networks of production, distribution and exhibition, whilst others try to move from the margins to the centre of established film industries. 

The conference programme and registration form are now available on this website. 

The following speakers have confirmed their participation:

John Akomfrah is one of the leading figures of Black British cinema. In 1982, he co-founded the seminal independent film-making workshop, Black Audio Film Collective. His many prize-winning features and documentaries have won critical acclaim in the UK and the US. In 1986, he directed Handwsorth Songs, which won seven international awards including the bfi's Grierson Award for Best Documentary. John’s other films have included Seven Songs for Malcom X (1993), Speak Like a Child (1998), Riot (1999) and Digitopia (2001). John has written extensively on film theory and aesthetics, is a member of the PACT Cultural Diversity Panel and sits on the Advisory Committee of the Sheffield International Documentary Festival. He is also a BFI governor.

Abdelkrim Bahloul was born in Algeria but has forged a career as a director, writer and actor in France.  His innovative first feature film, Le Thé à la menthe/Mint Tea (1984), provided a portrait of a young Algerian migrant adrift in Paris. He has since made four more feature films, Un vampire au paradis/A Vampire in Paradise (1992), Les Soeurs Hamlet/The Hamlet Sisters (1996), La Nuit du destin/Night of Destiny (1997) and the award-winning Le Soleil assassiné/The Assassinated Sun (2003), all of which address issues relating to migration and diaspora.  In conjunction with the conference there will be a screening of Le Soleil assassiné/The Assassinated Sun (2003) at the French Institute. The film director and one of the lead actors will be available for a Q&A session after the screening. 

Parminder Vir, OBE, is responsible for establishing Ingenious World Cinema (IWC) at Ingenious Media Investments, which sources film projects from the new voices of international cinema including India, China, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina and the Diaspora for development, production and distribution. She brings 20 years of award winning production experience of drama, documentary, current affairs and entertainment, working for the BBC, ITV, Channel Four, major international channels and her own independent production company. Parminder served as a Board Director of the UK Film Council (1999-2005) and has been appointed Non-Executive Director to the Board of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, advising on creative economy, international policy and diversity strategies. She is also the Business Ambassador for the Creative Industries to the London Development Agency, helping to promote Diversity Works for London. She was the co-founder of the Cultural Diversity Network (CDN) in 2000. In 1998, the produced the Black British feature film Babymother, directed by Julian Henriques. 

Gareth Jones is a television and film director/writer/producer of thirty years' experience. A film consultant working in four languages for institutes across Europe and with his own production company Scenario Film Ltd., he teaches for the Sarajevo Film Festival and the Marubi Film School. While many of his prize-winning films focus on Jewish and Holocaust themes, his work has also been marked by multi-cultural issues. The BBC television series Shalom Salaam tells the story of adloscents coming of age in Leicester, home to the UK's largest minority population.. As producer of Albion Market (1985/86) Gareth Jones was the first to create wide casting opportunities for actors from British minority communities. At the conference he will present BABYLON, a European film development initiative which he recently launched. BABYLON seeks to support the work of filmmakers from Europe's minority communities. 

Eve Gabereau, Managing Director of Soda Pictures, one of the leading distributors of independent cinema in the UK. Recent releases included Fatih Akin's award-winning feature Head-On and Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul

Thierry Lenouvel is the founder of Ciné-Sud Promotion, a company designed to promote and produce auteur cinema particularly (but not exclusively) of non-European origin.  In association with the distribution company  Les Films de Sémaphore, Ciné-Sud distributed films by filmmakers including Pedro Almodovar, Liria Begeja, Youssef Chahine, Emir Kusturica, Philip Noyce, Piotr Kamler and Shinji Somaï. Ciné-Sud and Thierry Lenouvel participated in the organisation of the Montpellier Film Festival until 1995, and since then of the Amiens Film Festival. He has also played a leading role in the creation and management of the Script Development Fund (Fonds d'Aide au Développement du Scénario) for countries of the majority world awarded annually at the Amiens Film Festival. 

Ralph Schwingel is one of founders of Wüste Filmproduktion, one of Germany's most innovative and dynamic small production companies. Together with Stefan Schubert, he has produced numerous award-winning features and documentaries. Since its foundation in 1989, the Hamburg-based Wüste Film (which also has offices in Cologne and Potsdam) has pursued a simple but effective strategy: quality over quantity (Klasse statt Masse, as they say in German). Wüste Film is committed to discovering young, fresh talent and to keeping an eye on the actual filmmakers by being closely involved with their work. Ralph Schwingel is one of the most important producers of Turkish-German cinema today, boasting an impressive list of films including Offside, Anam, Kebab Connection, Solino, In July, Short Sharp Shock and the winner of the Golden Bear at the 2004 Berlin Film Festival, Head-On. He is also one of the nineteen selected producers of the European Filmpromotion initiative Producers on the Move which supports cross-border cooperation. 


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