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Fespaco 2019: Cinema and music, a one-way love?

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Even though it is omnipresent in film productions, music remains less regarded. The authors of musical compositions are not always put forward and their rights are not always respected. It is to draw attention to the interest of a better consideration of the correlation of cinema and music that Cisac held a symposium last Tuesday in Ouagadougou, in favour of the Fespaco 2019…

What is the connection between “Dirty Dancing”, “Le parrain”, “l bon, la brute et le truand”, “Body Guard” and “Titanic”? Answer: Their original soundtrack were planetary successes. It is impossible to separate these films from these cult songs. Little illustration of the link between music and cinema.

The Pan-African film and television Festival of Ouagadougou (Fespaco) is the place to demonstrate the interest of better viewing music in the film industry. This is the approach of the International Confederation of Copyright and Composers Societies (CISAC).

On Tuesday, February 26, this institution gave a symposium on the margins of the Fespaco to talk about copyright in the audio visual ecosystem. Advocacy was a result of a partnership between the two institutions, the details of which have not yet been communicated. The goal is to give more consideration to music in the film production. But in the long run, the ambition is that the authors of musical compositions are recognized at their fair value.

If these concepts were widespread in the community, Cisac would not have made the move for the Fespaco and would not conduct a communication and awareness-raising action. Good to know, the use of the so-called pre-existing music is framed in legal terms.

It is necessary to obtain the agreements of the publisher, the producer, in order to negotiate a royalty for the transfer of rights, as well as the right holders. The first two must send a letter asking for an estimate of the price for the assignment of rights. The said letter must also indicate the budget of the film, the duration of the extract and the operating conditions of the film. A contract is only signed after these different stages, says Sam Mbende, a member of the symposium panel, who is also president of the Pan-African music composers Alliance.

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