Dear IEFTA community:
Let me begin by belatedly wishing you all a Happy New Year. Please accept my sincerest hopes for a safe and prosperous 2013 for you and your loved ones.
It has been some time since I last had the opportunity to report on the work of the International Emerging Film Talent Association (IEFTA), but it is my pleasure to do so today.
As you know, the IEFTA’s mission is to promote film education in developing countries and to support emerging filmmakers internationally. Since our inception in 2006, we have honored this mandate and 2012 has been no exception. We have had a very productive year.
At the Cannes Film Festival last May, we hosted an event on behalf of three promising young Ethiopian filmmakers, raising funds to cover their travel to and participation at the festival, and showcasing their work on screen there and in Monte-Carlo. Actor Billy Zane, our new advisory board member, and the honoraryAmbassador Tadelech of the Ethiopian Film Initiative (EFI), co-hosted. It was an exciting, educational and memorable week for all participants.
After our visit to Cannes, we met with our Ethiopian guests to discuss how best to support their continuing film education in country. Among the many recommendations presented, one response was clear and simple: movies. With assistance from Monaco Stars & Bars, we held a month long DVD drive for classic films. We collected 100 DVD’s to augment the small but select library of filmed content at the Ethiopian Film Initiative.
We also learned of a pressing need by the EFI for support to update, maintain and improve its website. As a portal to the nation and its filmmakers, the website is a clearinghouse for information about African film in general and a window on the state of its development. We recognize a mission of critical imperative in this technological challenge.
On October 5th, for the 4th year in a row, the IEFTA sponsored a film night at which we raised 6,350 Euros to be spent on the following
- Expand the EFI website’s filmmaker and film databases.
- Create digital tools to enable filmmakers to improve and develop their skills and interact internationally.
- Update the list of grants and opportunities.
- Update the design and enhance the technology of the site.
- Underwrite the provision of introductory & advanced film workshops in Addis Ababa.
Simply put, we had another productive year in 2012. To continue our work, we have set ourselves two significant goals for the next 18 months.
1. Continue our tradition of sponsoring 3 Ethiopian filmmakers at Cannes and inviting them to showcase their work in Monaco and Cannes.
2. Co-Host an international conference in Addis Ababa to examine educational programs and film workshops throughout Africa in order to share successes, identify best practices and discover how to make these efforts sustainable.
Board member Moira Griffith and consultant Mitch Levine are already at work on the second objective which we plan to implement immediately after Cannes 2014. Since we’ve achieved similar objectives in the past, we know that both are eminently attainable, subject only to our ability to finance them.
Moving forward, I ask each of you to consider how you would like to be involved in the effort, whether contributing time, talent or resources or any combination thereof. A prime sponsor for either project is always welcome, but there are so many ways you can meaningfully contribute and participate beyond signing a check. While the rewards of involvement may be hard to quantify, the qualitative difference that you can make in the lives of our Ethiopian neighbors is frankly, staggering.
I look forward to sharing with you our plans and our progress as we move forward; I trust you know by now that I won’t bombard you with emails!
I can be reached at this email or the numbers listed below for any further information desired or questions unanswered about the IEFTA and our ambitious plans for 2013 and beyond.