From Georgian producer, filmmaker, photographer, workshop organizer and promoter of documentaries Anna Dziapshipa I received a “please sign this petition” request, I did so via change.org – the issue was a protest against a radical date change of submitting projects to the Georgian National Film Centre, that could mean “that production in 2016 for many documentary films might fail”, as it is written in the clear text below from the Georgian filmmakers. Read it and sign in solidarity with colleagues from a country that in recent years in numerous films have demonstrated their talent for making creative documentaries that can travel all over.
Due to the fact that the Georgian National Film Center postponed the competition for the production of documentary films from spring to September 2016, Georgian filmmakers face problems of financing their documentary projects. Moving the documentary film production competition from spring to autumn means that production in 2016 for many documentary films might fail. The projects that were developed earlier in 2015 and were financed by the film center will not find any source of funding for their production this year.
Each moment is very precious for documentary filmmakers. We deal
with ongoing processes, people, social and political contexts, that might radically change so that filmmakers would not be able to depict them because of lack of finances. Changing the date of the competition, without informing the Georgian documentary filmmakers in beforehand, means huge difficulties for their financing strategies. Most of the international funds open for local projects have fixed deadlines. The fact that we do not have a possibility to get national financing means that we are automatically excluded to apply to different international funds, which is a huge challenge for the production and post production of the projects.
We, Georgian documentary filmmakers think that the competition of the film center should have an annual, fixed deadline in order to support financial planning of the projects. This competition should be treated with the same attention as the competitions for fiction and short length films. Besides that, there must be a strategy to support the documentary film culture and industry by supporting documentary festivals and workshops in Georgia. The selection commissions for documentary projects should include professionals that are acquainted with the tendencies and priorities of the international documentary film industry.
Therefore we request:
1. To announce the competition for 2016 in spring 2016 and to organise the competition for documentary films on an annual basis, at fixed dates.
2. To invite documentary professionals to be part of the selection commissions; documentary professionals who are acquainted with international tendencies and developments.
3. To revise the strategy of financial support for the financing of documentary film related events. To increase and revise the budget for documentary film festivals and workshops. To fund those industry events and festivals that have continuity and have established themselves over the years rather than funding too many different events of a small scale.
4. Increase the importance of documentary film on the same level as fiction film, if it is impossible to make it with local resources inside the film center, to create a local and international commission to work on the documentary film policy.
We are open for a detailed discussion of the content of the letter, to attend a consultancy meeting with the film center. We think that decisions like these should not be taken without considering the opinion or without informing the very rich and active Georgian documentary film sector.
To sign, click below and when you get to the page, click on the photo “DOC”.