Why do we create a network? It is a question that arises in various contexts and takes on multiple forms, and has proven to be one of the most detrimental – and equally difficult – questions to answer, or perhaps even one that need not be answered but rather constantly asked. Because any network of alternative structures intrinsically seeks, ideally, to challenge and interrogate prevalent structures, this consistent interrogation of its own raison d’être – perhaps – needs to remain an integral part of its own identity and structure. The panelists will share their views about the construction of networks, and question the motivation behind their creation. NAAS is a network of alternative film spaces united by the common goal to develop cinema culture across Arabic-speaking countries by bringing, and creating discussion around, the best of local, regional, and world cinema to our large combined audiences. As committed and experienced promoters of art and cinema from Morocco to Bahrain, network members establish and enhance valuable synergies – in distribution, programming, promotion, and training – in the face of shared obstacles and individual, local isolation. NAAS membership is open to alternative cinema theaters, cine clubs, and multidisciplinary spaces in the region involved in the promotion of non-mainstream films.
In 2014 the Think Film Award was launched together with the Cimatheque – Alternative Film Centre in Cairo and Allianz Kulturstiftung. In 2016 the award is being transformed into the Think Film Tour Program: representatives of the NAAS network are choosing three short and three feature-length films from the programs of the Forum and Forum Expanded. The chosen directors will then be invited to the respective Arab countries to present their films at the NAAS member cinemas.
The NAAS tour program is funded by the Allianz Cultural Foundation and the Goethe-Institut.