Tunisia and France strengthen cultural ties

Cultural leaders from countries on the shores of the Mediterranean came together in Tunisia to discuss potential exchange programmes on 10 February. Ministers of culture from Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Malta, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania and Libya took part in the first cultural edition of Dialogue 5 + 5.

As a result of the meeting French minister of culture Audrey Azoulay announced a two new programmes. The first will see the French Ministry of Culture twinned with that of Tunisia, allowing the former to support the latter in its development. The project is coordinated by the European Commission (EC) and has an initial budget of €1m.

‘This major project with our Tunisian counterparts and friends testifies to our mutual trust and confidence,’ commented Azoulay. ‘This ambitious partnership, with the support of the EC, is part of a process of cultural decentralisation which will, in the long term, give all Tunisians access to culture.’

The second major initiative is a Bilateral Selective Aid Fund, which will support the co-production of Franco-Tunisian films. The fund will be co-run by the French National Centre for Cinematography and Animated Images and the Tunisian National Film and Image Centre. The €400,000 fund will help create five or six feature films each year.