AFC Newsletter Editorial, May 2017

By Richard Andry, Co-President of the AFC

par Richard Andry La Lettre AFC n°275

[ English ] [ français ]

During its Annual General Assembly on Saturday, 11 March 2017, the AFC elected Richard Andry as its President. He will carry out his duties alongside his two co-presidents, Laurent Chalet and Vincent Mathias. Here, you can read Richard Andry’s first editorial, which was published in May’s AFC Newsletter.

This is my first editorial and I would like to take this opportunity, firstly, to recognize the exemplary work done by Nathalie Durand during the three years she served as President of the AFC, as well as her generosity and her effective leadership that enabled the continuity and vitality of the dynamic launched by the “founding fathers” and everyone who, during the twenty-seven years since its foundation, has given time and energy to make our association internationally respected and recognized, as active as it is interactive, and to enable it to become the AFC of today.

I am proud and honoured to take over the reins alongside Laurent Chalet and Vincent Mathias in the presidential triumvirate, which – under the supervision of the board of directors, our bureau, and all of our active and associate members, and with the support of Marie Garric, our coordinator – will spearhead the management of new challenges, which are becoming more urgent every day, and which are being foisted upon us by a world that is in technological and economic upheaval. We were able to take stock of this during our last General Assembly, at which some of our “young” members gave us a signal, shedding light on the growing precariousness of their livelihoods as a result of new competitive economic relationships that are being forced upon us by an ever-crueller ultra-liberal economic model.

Our association is a union of our strengths and our talents and only has meaning if its members join together in a combat to defend and uphold professional causes that we together deem worthy : a quality cinema and the qualities of the men and women who make it. The Micro Salon is a success that many envy, and has already been duplicated by our Italian friends of the AIC. It has also inspired our Spanish colleagues of the AEC, who are considering inaugurating their own Micro Salon next December. This event brings us together but it is also a victim of its own success and it can barely fit inside the wonderful jewel box of La fémis, which makes it very difficult to organize, and more so since (in passing) very few members volunteer to lend a hand to help out those who year after year have been breaking their backs to ensure it is a success. In the future, we will definitely have to think of another format. A committee led by Rémy Chevrin is currently working on this issue. Even if we aren’t going to become professional trade show organizers, everyone recognizes that the AFC Micro Salon has a “soul” and that we must work to keep that “soul” alive.

Some of us, quite correctly pointing out that the heart of our association is cinematography, have mourned the disappearance of the special previews that allowed us to come together to discuss and debate one of our member’s work. The state of emergency in France has temporarily closed the doors of La fémis to us, and while we wait for that obstacle to be lifted, we have made contact with the Cinémathèque and a few of our associate members have also offered to lend us their equipment.
So, dear friends, propose your films and come participate in these screenings to discuss camera, light, grip, makeup, and cinema… And let’s give meaning to our action by also engaging in a collective reflection and a close collaboration with the technical industries, the CNC, the CST, and our dear associate members who have always assiduously supported us. Our website and our Newsletter, managed by an efficient and highly experienced team, are wonderful tools for communication, and we must optimize them.

We are now between the two rounds of the French presidential election. During the campaign, we didn’t hear much talk of culture, but all of the candidates swore to increase military spending. Parodying Stalin, I will repeat the expression used by others in the past in this type of situation : “Culture, how many divisions has it got ?”

One of the two remaining candidates in the runoff election has promised to defend the status of “intermittents du spectacle”. This is a vital status for all of us. And faced with authoritarian or ultra-liberal threats, let us not lower our guard. Let us remain organized and vigilant and let us defend artistic freedom.