Film directors Ousmane Sembene and Chantal Akerman awarded UNESCO's Fellini medalFilm directors Ousmane Sembene (Senegal) and Chantal Akerman (Belgium) will receive UNESCO’s Fellini medal on May 28 in Barcelona. The medal is awarded to directors and actors in recognition of their contribution to the respect and promotion of cultural diversity.
The award ceremony will take place at the Universal Forum of Cultures, a four-month event in Barcelona of which UNESCO is a co-organizer. The medals will be presented during a “Dialogue” entitled “Global audiovisual communication, cultural diversity and regulation”, organized by the Consejo del Audiovisual de Cataluña, that will bring international broadcasting regulatory authorities together with broadcasters, producers and industry experts to debate the role they can play to promote cultural diversity.
Ousmane Sembene, born in Ziguinchor (Senegal) in 1923, is a leading figure of African literature and cinema. His socially committed film-making has led him in the course of his career to deal with such issues as the importance of community, corruption, changes in family structure, women, the lone citizen versus bureaucracy, poverty and colonialism. He has won many prizes along the way, including the top award at the Festival de Tours in 1963 for his film “Borrom Sarret”, the international critics’ prize in Venice, in 1968, and the best foreign film award at the Atlanta Festival for “Madabi”, in 1969. He won the Un certain regard Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for “Moolade”. Ousmane Sembene is the first film director from sub-Saharan Africa to receive the Fellini medal.
Chantal Akerman, born in Brussels in 1950, is one of the most prominent representatives of the post-New Wave, a cinematographic movement that emerged after May 1968. Akerman has directed 41 films; She wrote the scripts for 21 of them and acted in eight. Her best-known feature is “Je, tu, il, elle” (1974). Noteworthy among her documentaries are “D’Est” (1993), a voyage through Eastern Europe, her family’s homeland; South (1999), a look at racism and social oppression in the US South; and “From the Other Side” (2002), focusing on the living conditions of Mexican migrant workers on the US border.
In recent years, the Fellini medal has been awarded to Samira Makhmalbaf (Iran, 2000) and to Gérard Depardieu (France, 2001). The medal was given to two laureates each year, to both Im-Kwon Taek (Korea) and Pierre Rissient (France) in 2002, and to Clint Eastwood (U.S.) and Lester James Peries (Sri Lanka) in 2003.
For more information: http://www.audiovisualcat.net/forumbcn2004/index.htm
Photo : Chantal Akerman and Ousmane Sembene