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Questioned by The chained Duck, the FIAF defends its decision not to have programmed a documentary critical of BNP Paribas, one of its sponsors, in the framework of a recent documentary festival organized with the International Festival of Big Reportage of Actuality (FIGRA) and Saint Omer Foundation Transatlantic Values.

"Never, ever, sponsors stop us in our programming", Said Marie-Monique Steckel, president of the French Institute Alliance Française.

In an article titled "The French Alliance of New York, branch of the BNP?", Published on November 13, the satirical newspaper noted the absence of the documentary "BNP Paribas, in the troubled waters of the largest European bank" the programming of the first "Best of FIGRA French Documentary Festival", organized at the end of October by the FIAF. The documentary, broadcast on France 3 in 2018, tells the rise of the French financial institution and its networks of influence within the power. He talks about his judicial problems in the United States. The bank was sentenced by a Manhattan judge in 2015 to a $ 8.9 billion fine for circumventing, between 2000 and 2010, the embargoes imposed by the United States on Cuba, Iran, Sudan or Libya. The documentary received a prize at the 2019 edition of FIGRA.

Like other French banks in the United States, BNP Paribas is a sponsor of the FIAF, which it supports in particular the CineSalon film series.

In a letter sent to Duck mid-November for "Set the record straight", Marie-Monique Steckel said "surprise"By the article" Palmiped ", claiming that the choice of documentaries had been made according to their"the possible attraction (…) for our public in New York, 70% American".

The FIAF has selected six documentaries on the unity of Black American soldiers of the First World War, the Harlem Hellfighters, Libya, Mexican migrants, peace movements in the Congo and the Middle East and the excesses of the world. 'Intensive livestock.

Delphine Selles-Alvarez, the FIAF cinema programmer, explains that this selection was made within a list ofaround twenty"Documentaries, in agreement with FIGRA officials. "We exchanged in July-August. We agreed on the list", she says.

Marie-Monique Steckel indicates that the FIAF is currently in discussion with the FIGRA and the Saint-Omer Foundation for a possible second edition of this festival. "It was a very good festival. The movies were all very good. We had a very good collaboration"She says.


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