MovieMed Meetings, the new event organised by the Marseille Provence Chamber of Commerce on January 18th and 19th, has proved to be up to the attractive, innovative, but consequently difficult-to-attain objectives it had set itself : to bring together over two days more than sixty professionals from the audiovisual and tourism sectors from six countries of both banks of the Mediterranean (Spain, France, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco), and for them to take part in conferences and a project marketplace and build concrete collaboration between them.
The choice of developing the Meetings in the Mediterranean was not only because of the support given by the European programme Invest-in-Med, but also because of the geography involved: the Mediterranean basin is a major audiovisual producer, and also the world’s most important tourism destination.
But if the promotional effect of film and TV images on the tourism choices of their audiences is just common sense, getting collaboration under way in the territories concerned is not always so simple.
Thus the central element in MovieMed was the Project Marketplace in which six documentary series or feature film projects in development were presented to a Jury of Tourism and Audiovisual decision-makers. In this way they were put in the position of collaborating and exchanging ideas in order to judge which projects might bring most economic and tourism value to the territory which would host the shoot.
“It is the first time that a Project Market has put at the very centre of selection the regions likely to host the film projects, to benefit directly from their production and distribution, and thus to give them their support”, explains Richard Bower of the Marseille Provence Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The winners included Â« Al Andalus Â», by the Egyptian producer Ahmed Atef, an epic fresco set in the Middle Ages in which a young English princess discovers Andalusia, where all religions lived side-by-side in acceptance of one another.
This project, which won the MovieMed Prize, has already found three-quarters of the necessary finance, but is still looking for a number of locations and for European co-producers.
Omar Sharif plays a key rà´le.
The Marseille Provence 2013 Prize (Marseille Provence will be Euriopean Capital of Culture in that year) was awarded to
Â«La Route des Oliviers Â», a project for a series of ten 50 minute documentaries by Michel Noll, planned for the 8pm slot on Arte, which explores the Mediterranean regions through its emblematic olive tree. The second edition of MovieMed will take place in January 2011 in Ouarzazate, the only territory in the southern Mediterranean to have a film commission (a MovieMed partner) along the familiar lines of the western model.
The EuFCN and Film France are, moreover, both partners in MovieMed.