Festival Exchanges and Circulation in the Online South
by Amalia Cordova — New York University/Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
May 06, 2009 – 00:54
One of the main spaces for exchange and strengthening of the Indigenous video movement in Latin America is the indigenous film/video festival. For those who can’t travel, the web proves a space for posting and commenting indigenous-made work (in Spanish).
Only two of several Latin American indigenous media projects, Video Nas Aldeias of Brazil, and Promedios/Chiapas Media Project (a U.S./Mexico initiative), have international distribution, and national broadcast spaces for this work are extremely limited. How does the practice continue and even grow? How is indigenous video to dialogue with national film and broadcast industries at local and transnational levels? And most pressingly, how does it circulate?
Distribution networks between producers in Latin America are almost non-existent, with festivals being the main place for dialogue and physical exchange of works. Community producers showing works at festivals often exchange works with other directors, bringing home an assemblage of works from the festivals.
National Geographic’s All Roads Film Festival, started to make compilations in DVD format to circulate works more broadly. The first Latin American festival to take this track was the 2005 Festival Premio Anaconda, which printed a DVD of the 2005 Anaconda prize-winners - 5 works in Spanish versions only- that had a limited distribution by hand by the festival’s partner organizations and participants.
The Latin American Coordinator of Indigenous Peoples´ Film and Communication (CLACPI) has made an effort to compile their 2006 award-winners into an 8-DVD set (in Spanish versions only), exclusively for promotional and non-commercial use (not for sale), and with the explicit priority of circulating the works to indigenous communities. They are also experimenting with web streaming for trailers and a few complete works (in Spanish- see video frame). UNESCO’s Communication and Development Division also released a 5-DVD set of their ICT4ID initiative in 2006, for limited non-commercial use as well. This office has funded indigenous workshops in the past but does not currently fund indigenous media training or video projects.
These efforts reveal that festivals may be a way of branding and circulating works that are out of distribution and often fall outside of traditional film categories of genre and/or nation.
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