Africa Film WebMeeting

Message from: owner-african-cinema-conference@XC.Org (
About: FESPACO Distributor's award - worthwhile???

Wed, 8 May 1996 12:34:18 -0400

Originally from: <owner-african-cinema-conference@XC.Org>
Originally dated: Wed, 8 May 1996 12:34:18 -0400

From: (Steve Smith)
Subject: FESPACO Distributor's award - worthwhile???

For about a year now, I've been thinking about offering an award for the
best distributor of African films at the next FESPACO. I corresponded with
Filippe Sawadogo and got the procedures, policies and his OK to offer the
award. It would be called the DSR/Toshiba award, and consist of a
multimedia Toshiba computer and some money. I had hoped that Toshiba would
fund the costs involved. They recently turned my request down.

Now as I look more closely at the many person-hours and $5-7,000 in costs, I

wonder if it is worthwhile. On one hand, the benefits to DSR as advertising

are worth something, but most importantly, is there much benefit to the
African film world from such an award? Could the money be better utilized
for more value? I would like feedback from the African cinema conference if

anyone has any opinion on the subject. Attached below is our current
proposal on it for more details. But we are open to changes. Frankly at
this point, I'm not even sure we will do it.

Is there even much of a body of distributors to chose from? We (DSR Inc)
distribute a few thousand African videos a year; Media for Development Trust

in Harare distributes 1-2,000 videos a year, but they are too close to us to

be eligible either. In the States I know of a handful of other distributors

that get African videos out. California Newsreel does quite a bit. But
other than them I don't know of any distributor with more than a few African

titles - nor of one that has done an exceptional job of getting out African
product. I fear that we'd only get a few nominations for the award, but
maybe my view is too small and there is more out there???

Also I wonder if we could generate much publicity about distribution from
such an award. It could end up just a couple minutes time in the
announcements at the end of the festival. What would be the value of that?
Again, is there a better way to spend the money?

So would such an award be of value?
Award name -- DSR/Toshiba African Film Distributors Award

Criteria --The award will go to the agency whose distribution of African
films (features, shorts, documentaries, etc) has done the most for the
industry in the last two years as measured by:
A. The quantity of African films and videos distributed in Africa and
worldwide through cinema halls, broadcast, video sales and all means of
B. The amount of royalty monies paid to African film makers
C. The amount of market development in Africa and worldwide that the
agency has accomplished

Selection procedure - DSR will advertise widely in African film magazines,
by mass mailings and e-mailings, and/or other methodologies for nominees,
starting 9 months before FESPACO.
A panel of five judges will select the winner from all nominees. The
panel will be composed of representatives selected by DSR with the approval
of FESPACO. A small honorarium will be paid to each panel member.
Agencies on the panel and those connected with FESPACO and
DSR are not eligible.

Award -- US$500 and one Toshiba color multimedia notebook computer with
sound and CD-ROM

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