On Wednesday July 8, the Association pour le Développement du Cinéma d’Art et d’essai en Guadeloupe (APCAG) inaugurated Cinédiles Caribbean VOD. This new platform offers the opportunity to view films from the Caribbean and French Guiana.
For a month now, a first selection of 50 films (short films, feature films and documentaries) from the Caribbean and French Guiana, classified in several categories, are available on Cinédiles Caribbean VOD for the greatest pleasure of film lovers. Soon, films from the English-speaking Caribbean in original version (OV) and in original version with subtitles (OVS) will be integrated into this new cinematic platform. Note that some French-language films are already subtitled in English.
A real tool to promote the Caribbean cinema on the net, Cinédiles Caribbean VOD is accessible to people all over the world. Rental rates for 48 hours vary between 1 euro and 5 euros but some films are free at the request of the directors.
A timid start
This project, which was made possible thanks to the collaboration of directors and production companies, is financially supported by the Regional Council of Guadeloupe and the Directorate of Cultural Affairs (DAC). The video-on-demand platform precedes the creation of a film library whose preparation work began in 2016.
About ten days after the launch of Cinédiles Caribbean VOD, Marie-Claude Pernelle, president of the Association pour le Développement du Cinéma d’Art et d’essai en Guadeloupe, told us that attendance was “timid with two to three subscribers per day but in fact our campaign via the networks has not yet started well, we are preparing small topics per film. We are not in a hurry, it is a long-term project and many films are to come. We integrate them as contracts are signed”.
Created in 2008, the APCAG has set itself four main objectives : diversifying the film offer with the members of the Cinédiles Network ; promoting local production ; coordinating actions for the Cinédiles Network and enhancing the audiovisual and cinematographic heritage.
Preserving our past
For more than ten years, its members therefore decided to collect films by directors from Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana and more widely the Caribbean islands with the aim of creating a DVD collection and prevent this audiovisual heritage from disappearing as has happened in the past.
“It is urgent to safeguard images, films and testimonies of our past in order to enhance our culture, our identity and bring them into modernity. Once they have been referenced and collected, everyone will be able to see them and discover all the richness of our local production. This can only be done by developing our film industry through other distribution channels with a return on investment for our directors and producers. Most of the films have not had the financial means to make a national promotion. Creating a VOD (video on demand) platform dedicated to our production will help us to highlight them and to make people discover the richness of our productions”, explains the APCAG.
Soon a Festival of Memory
In addition, the association took part in several actions in the Caribbean region. We can mention, in 2015, the development – through an ACP project with Trinidad & Tobago, the Dominican Republic and Cuba – of a database in 3 languages (English, French, Spanish) referencing the major film productions in the Caribbean zone called the Caribbean Film Data Base http://cfdb.online/ ; that same year, the organisation, in partnership with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, of a one-year scriptwriting workshop with 15 participants from all the OECS countries including Guadeloupe and Martinique.
Next November, the ACPAG plans to launch the first edition of the Festival of Memory to allow people to rediscover the pictures of yesteryear of the Guadeloupean archipelago and the inhabitants who have had a real impact on its development.