50 years …and still rolling!

The Carthage Film Festival is blowing its fiftieth candle. Decades of films for a festival that always spoke of its time, where the camera is a witness to History as well as current events. A festival where films show the concerns of authors and where they battle conventions. It’s a festival that has grown, both in size and confidence and continues to gain more freedom in each of its editions. This is a festival that has played an important role in building modern Tunisia and it keeps contributing to the emergence of new talents. Its popular successes help develop the public’s cinematographic taste, in addition to raising awareness of major societal issues and citizens’ concerns in Tunisia, Africa and the Arab world. At times when colonization was stifling any form of national expression, the Carthage Film Festival has been in Africa, a participative tool in the epic liberation movement of the Continent and the work of civilization that our countries have known.

It is also a festival that pushed men, who quickly co-opted this art form, to fight against the phenomenon of acculturation and to play an important role in preserving national identities. Over five decades, we can be proud to have found among our Tunisian, Arab and African filmmakers, famous men who shaped the film industry. A film industry that is now playing in the Major Leagues of world cinema. Of course, the JCC have sometimes experienced hardships, but the path is consistent, largely mapped by the wisdom of its visionary founders. Today the JCC needs a new format, a new structure and a new vision to display new ambitions, for they are numerous, and to face new challenges, for they are many.

True that for decades the influence of the state on the JCC has left its mark. Institutional leaders and actors of cultural civil society are aware of the problems and the needs of the festival and they are working together to contribute to the construction of the new Carthage Film Festival so it remains the most coveted artistic event in Africa and the Arab world and the largest in number of participants and movie goers.

This is a festival in need of independence and stability that will help in the decision making process in order to live up to its historical responsibilities.
50 years later, today more than ever the question of autonomy for the Carthage Film Festival is on the agenda.

Letaief Brahim
Directeur des JCC