“Systemic racism and prejudice” hampering some co-productions, says EAVE

There are calls from the Think Tank members for coproduction treaties to be radically revised and rewritten.

By Geoffrey Macnab 18 May 2024

“Systemic racism and prejudice” hampering some co-productions, says EAVE
Cr: Joel Muniz

One of the findings of the 2024 EAVE Impact Think Tank report into ‘best practice for co-productions’ highlighted the “systemic racism and other forms of discrimination and prejudice” that can hamper producers from countries with limited state financing tools.

This Think Tank’s recommendations have been published in Cannes today (May 18). 

”The [report] is intended to make constructive recommendations for both producers and decision-makers for better and more equitable practices,” said Kristina Trapp, head of Eave. 

There are calls from the Think Tank members for coproduction treaties to be regularly updated. 

“These treaties are primarily European and were primarily set up with a very European perspective,” said Ethiopian-Canadian filmmaker Tamara Dawit of Gobez Media, one of the original planners of the Think Tank alongside Trapp.

“But now people all over the globe are trying to work together on films, some of this stuff requires re-thinking. Many of these treaties are 30 or 40 years old. Anything that was made that long ago probably isn’t that relevant to the realities of today.”

Dawit claimed producers from the global south are sometimes persuaded to come up with “a more Eurocentric” version of their film by their western partners. There have also been instances in which producers have ended up having to defer to their European co-producers.

“Suddenly, this person who was the delegate producer, who led the project, who is critical to the project existing, is demoted to being the assistant to the European producer because that person can put more money into the film,” Dawt said. “Sometimes, this can greatly impact the story which will start to get changed because the seat of power has shifted.”

Dawit is moderating a Cannes panel where speakers will include Ada Solomon, Micro Film, Karen Harnisch, Film Forge, Emile Hertling Péronard, Ánorâk Film and Mohamed Ouma, Documentary Africa.

This story originally appeared on our sister site Screen

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