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Applications to Film Criticism Workshop at FCAT


Dovetailing with the 10th anniversary of the African Film Festival of Cordoba-FCAT, an initiative for the education, and hence professional training of its participants, will take place from Monday 14th October to Friday 18th October in Cordoba. This initiative, consisting on a Film Criticism workshop, has been sponsored by AECID?s programme ?ACERCA? (Cultural Sector Capacity Building Program) and Instituto Andaluz de la Juventud (Youth Andalusian Institute). Federico Olivieri, tutor of the course ?Introduction to African Cinemas? since 2009 at FCAT, has gathered together leading professionals in the field of Film Criticism who will be guiding a group of twenty-five young cultural journalist in the art and business of film reviewing.


Under the academic direction of Alfonso Crespo, film theorist and critic in regular and specialised press (Diario de Sevilla, News from Home, Lumi?re, So- Film Espa?a), this course-workshop aims at offering an introduction to the theory and practice of film criticism in this multipolar world. By focusing on images, sound, models and spaces, it delves into tips and practises allowing a critical viewing of these films. The rest of invited experts are the film experts Francisco Algar?n Navarro, Francisco Javier Benavente Burian, Beatriz Leal Riesco (a Spanish regular researcher and writer on Africa, now curator of the New York African Film Festival) and the highly acclaimed Olivier Barlet, director of the Africultures.


The workshop, absolutely free of charge, is aimed at young students and professionals of communication. Places are limited to 25 and applications close on the 27th of September. However, there has already been a selection of three Moroccan students and three Senegalese students, awarded by AECID?s programme ?ACERCA? and directly selected by the Cultural Affairs Departments of the Spanish embassies in both Dakar (Senegal) and Rabat (Morocco). The criteria for the selection has been based on their relation to cultural journalism, their film education and their involvement with digital communication, so that this course-workshop leads to the promotion of the cinema sector in their home countries. They are all upcoming young journalists with previous experience in the field of cinema and film reviewing with a medium level of Spanish language.


However, due to the difficulties of exhibition of African films at an international level, most of the students, despite their experience in Journalism and Film Studies, will very likely be encountering these cinemas for the first time. Therefore, the aim is to encourage a critical reading of them, leading to a successful professional practise. In doing so, other than attending the master-classes in the mornings, the tutors will demand the students to attend the ?Cinema Appetizers?, consisting on a discussion with filmmakers invited to the festival to discuss on their films and the situation of African cinemas. In addition to this, the students will put into practice the skills learned throughout the course, by reviewing a number of selected films programmed at FCAT 2013, under the professional guidance of the tutors. Finally, there will be a mutual collaboration with the media office at the FCAT.


Overall, this first workshop on Film Criticism at Cordoba-FCAT will aim at both promoting knowledge and information about African cinemas and beyond, and also, at offering and prompting a unique network and working space for the future film reviewers at a professional level. Cordoba-FCAT seems the best platform for this course, since it allows sharing this experience on the ground of a consolidated film festival. Actually, this is the climax of an educational intention that has been present in the idea of the festival from the very beginning ? to provide a space of education on cinema, other than giving visibility to these usually ignored audiovisual works and hence to discover the heterogeneity of Africa from the diversity of its cinemas.



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