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Shooting in Lebanon, Part II
A lack of state funding in Lebanon has stifled diversity in moviemaking, but plucky independent initiatives have borne some fruit. Part II.
October 15, 2009 9:44 by Nathalie Bontems
Despite the independence that Lebanese film-makers have attained, critics say the state should put up more funding. And goodwill. “The cinema commission at the culture ministry advised that an investment fund should be created that the state could guarantee,” says de Freige, who also suggested that a percentage of the 10 percent VAT already deducted on theater admissions should be reinvested in production, or in this fund. “The state doesn’t consider this a priority and fears it would create a precedent other business sectors would want to imitate,” she says.
“Public authorities could also support Lebanese cinema by organizing promotional and awareness activities such as free access for schools for a week per year. There’s no use making movies if the audience doesn’t go to see them,” adds Sarraf, who’s been leading the promotional efforts of Lebanese cinema through the Lebanese Film Festival, launched in 2001. “We help new directors get attention and we offer them an opportunity to do some networking with professionals from abroad. The mere fact of having this yearly meeting makes them exist,” he says.