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…and action! Cinema sans convention

Once again the Berlin International Film Festival, also known as the Berlinale, has become the focus of filmmakers and movie buffs from around the world. Every year, DW-AKADEMIE conducts a five-week workshop centered around the red-carpet event. Called “Film Festival and Event Management”, the workshop spotlights young film festival managers from Asia and Africa.

Two of this year's 12 participants are Luzviminda Casagan from Pasay City, the Philippines, and Arthur Mataruse from Cape Town, South Africa. Casagan works for the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, Mataruse for Encounters and the Out in Africa film festivals. We spoke to both of them to find out more about film festivals and filmmaking in their home countries.

How would you describe the importance of films in cinema and television in your home country?

Arthur Mataruse (pictured left): For us, films mainly have the function to strengthen the culture and the common identity in South Africa. Our aim is also to show other cultures and lifestyles.

Luzviminda Casagan: In the Philippines, fewer and fewer people are going to the cinema. One reason is that it is now easier to get films on DVD or from the Internet. Consequently, it's becoming more difficult for filmmakers to distribute and sell their films. Our aim with the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival is to support young Philippine filmmakers whose films provide new insights and pursue new concepts, especially when that promotes art and culture.