Pavillon Afriques (PA) defends the visual narrative of creators from the African continent and the African diaspora while promoting the continent as a filming destination. Their goal is to increase the representation of filmmakers, talents and producers who identify with African heritage and the development of a viable film industry in Africa. This great initiative is led by Karine Barclais. In an interview, we tried to find out more about Pavillon Afrique.
ON MOVE MAGAZINE: Who is KARINE BARCLAIS?
I’m still trying to answer this existential question! People will say that I am always passionate about what I do and that I like to challenge myself. Learning, discovering, implementing are really the engines of my life.
ON MOVE MAGAZINE: How did you go from businesswoman to cinema?
I’m basically a reader. If my entry into the world of cinema was the result of successive happenings, I stayed there by choice, after having met magnificent people who shared with me the complexity of this universe and its challenges. I wanted to make a contribution.
Despite the giant steps of recent years, African cinema suffers from a lack of representation in the world, despite its wealth and the creative ferment that exists on the continent. It also suffers from an interest deficit on the part of the authorities, which do not yet consider it to be a full-fledged industry. The UNESCO report “The Film Industry in Africa” launched last October shows its full potential. Among other things, it is said that it could generate 20 million jobs for 20 billion dollars a year! I really encourage all film professionals and organizations to read and reread it.
ON MOVE MAGAZINE: What is Pavillon Afriques? Pavillon Afriques is a platform for promoting African cinema and its diaspora. Once a year, we invest the Cannes Film Festival and especially its film market, which is the largest in the world. Pavillon Afriques becomes the home where Africa welcomes the world. Film professionals can benefit from training, expand their network internationally, monetize their content and find funding. It is also an opportunity for culture and tourism officials to promote their country or territory in order to attract films from around the world. This is another way of creating wealth in a country. ON MOVE MAGAZINE: How do you plan to improve collaborations and co-productions between African countries through Pavillon Afriques? In 2021, we attracted participants from 64 countries on 5 continents for our 2nd edition. Our ambition is clearly to create collaborations with the whole world, on our own terms, knowing our strengths and weaknesses. We will have a full day dedicated to co-production: its legal, financial and creative aspects. Producers from around the world will be invited to meet to explore possible collaborations. At the same time, through round tables and meetings, we will highlight the usefulness of treaties on cinema between African countries but also internationally. ON MOVE MAGAZINE: Do all Pavillon Afriques participants have access to the Cannes Film Festival? To access Pavillon Afriques, which is located in the heart of the International Village of the Cannes Film Festival, you need an accreditation that you obtain through the Festival and that allows you to participate in its program and the public part of ours. ON MOVE MAGAZINE: How can we obtain grants and financing through the Afriques Pavilion? We have a network of financiers who are interested in investing in African projects. Throughout the year, we connect with each other. A few projects are under consideration. When they are closed, we will be happy to share them with you. During the Cannes Film Festival, we organize two pitch sessions (one in French and one in English) with European and American financiers. I’d love to have some African investors so if they read you, they can contact me! Monetizing content that sometimes sleeps in drawers for lack of outlets is also a way to bring funds to producers. Again, we connect producers with distributors, agents, and platforms. Scholarships are not relevant even if we envisage them in the near future. ON MOVE MAGAZINE: What does Pavillon Afriques 2022 have in store for us? As usual, we will have a very dense program during these 10 days because we know that professionals are keen to take advantage of every moment. There will be, among other things, the pitches I mentioned, round tables, meetings with investors, distributors and many other things. In order not to miss any of the important information that will be communicated gradually, it is better to subscribe to our newsletter and social networks! ON MOVE MAGAZINE: What are your projects for Pavillon Afriques in the years to come? We have launched an online film school, Arts & Business Center. The instructors are top professionals who have won Oscars and Emmys. It’s in English, it’s being subtitled, and then we’ll get to the French translation. It’s a long-term job because the courses are very rich with videos, downloadable content and so on. We will announce another project in Cannes but I will tell you more next time! Pavillon Afriques is a long-term initiative that I envision as the work of a lifetime. With the evolutions of the entire ecosystem that will not fail to happen, our challenge will always be to keep one step ahead and a clear vision to be a real force of proposal for the professionals of African cinema and its diaspora.