In November, 2011, Directors Across Borders project received a grant from the European Community represented by the Delegation of the European Union to Armenia within the Eastern Partnership Culture
Program to develop a broader scope and realize its different components in 2011 –2013.
Throughout 2012‐2014, Directors Across Borders Eastern Partnership Program which is supported by the European Union and implemented by GOLDEN APRICOT Fund for Cinema Development in Armenia and its partners ‐ MAIA (Italy), INTERFILM (Ukraine), Cinema Art Center Prometheus (Georgia) and INTERNEWS (Armenia) will provide a series of workshops, trainings and networking opportunities for film industry professionals for the EU, Eastern Partnership region and beyond.
To follow the further developments of the programme, please visit the official website of DAB Eastern Partnership Culture Programme www.dabhub.com
What is Directors Across Borders?
Directors Across Borders is a project launched within the framework of GOLDEN APRICOT International Film Festival. It is a regional Network of film directors and film professionals living in Caucasus and in the neighbouring countries: Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, and other - who agree that cinema is one of the unique tools that can transform human relations without the need for recognizing political, ideological, racial or religious borders. The General Directors Across Borders concept emerged from an idea originally developped by a great Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf. The aim of Directors Across Borders is to determine the common problems typical for the states in transition, to facilitatefilm co-production projects addressing the issues of multinationalism and multiculturalism.
How did it start?
The Regional Seminar on Cinema as Means of Cross-Cultural Dialogue held within the framework of the 2nd Yerevan GOLDEN APRICOT International Film Festival last July (July12-July 17, 2005) proved to be an important moment of the Festival and met the expectations of both the organizers and more than 50 participants from 12 countries. One important suggestion that emerged from the discussions, first made by Siddiq Barmaq and welcomed by others, was the establishment of a network of filmmakers of Caucasus and neighboring countries - under the auspices of the Golden Apricot Film Festival. Seminar participants agreed that cinema is uniquely poised to familiarize cultures with each other, in fact, to create endless possibilities to regenerate life and enrich each other. It can do so by bringing us closer, through the lens of the camera, to places, communities and to people that we probably would not have known about otherwise. The Festival committee has decided to take the next step and formalize the network under the heading of Directors Across Borders. This project will lead to future collaborative film projects.
Both the project and the principles of this initiative were presented to the Forth Session of the European Cultural Parliament, which took place in Lisbon, December 2-4, 2005. The main theme of the Session was "How can European Culture promote European coexistence ?". Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission was also present at the Session. Taking into account the regional importance of the Project, the European Cultural Parliament decided to take the patronage of the Project, which was affirmed in ECP Lisbon Declaration.
CREATING NEW ‘COMMON SPACE’ IN THE REGION THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT OF A CROSS-BORDER FILMMAKING AND CO-PRODUCTION INITIATIVE
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s, the ex-soviet countries continue to face tremendous challenges in all aspects of life—social, political, economic and cultural. In the Caucasus, where large numbers of ethnic groups have co-existed for centuries, the collapse of a centralized system inevitably paved the way for the expression of multitudes of religious, ethnic and cultural identities. The relationships of the countries in the Caucasus and neighboring regions have evolved into a complex reality, where ethnic, religious and cultural identities have polarized groups.
In the area of filmmaking, these new realities and redefinitions have posed many challenges to producers, directors and script writers. How is the filmmaker, uniquely poised to address these issues through her or his lens, to reconcile and move forward into the 21st century? Should the filmmaker hide behind his or her individual border or look across the border and the world? Is she or he to see only those elements that sets her or him apart from the ‘others’, or address the common humanity that once made it possible for population groups and states to co-exist?
Directors Across Borders was established to find the answers on these questions and to promote the idea that film and its makers are in a unique position to explore and penetrate the borders, to understand the neighbor—in the largest sense of the term.
Directors Across Borders is regional network of film directors and film professionals living in countries in the Caucasus and neighboring regions that share the common belief that film is one of those unique tools that can transform human relations without recognizing political, ideological, racial or religious borders. Directors Across Borders is a forum of independent filmmakers to determine the common problems typical for states in transition Directors Across Borders is a new cross border film production concept.
By emphasizing multinational and multicultural approaches Directors Across Borders hopes to contribute to establishment of a new ‘common space’ - which will expand from the former Soviet borders and respects the differences of those who have lived together for ages.
Ministry of Culture of RA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of RA, Hubert Bals Fund of the Rotterdam International Film Festival (The Netherlands), PUSAN International Film Festival (PIFF, South Korea), Council of Europe (Strasbourg), European Commission Delegation to Armenia, United Nations Development Program Armenia, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe office in Yerevan, Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation - Armenia, Eurimages.