CINELOGUE
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About this project

Cinelogue is a new collaborative film streaming platform that promotes critical dialogue on cinema, representation, and politics. We facilitate curated interventions that enable discussion on anti-colonial approaches in cinema.

Our goal is to build a library of films that center the works of BIPOC filmmakers from the Global Majority who use film as a political and artistic vehicle.

Unlike other collections and streaming platforms, Cinelogue showcases filmmakers who put issues around race, gender and class (amongst many other forms of oppression) a the center of their filmmaking practice.

While some films in our current program are available globally for 5€ per film, others are only available in certain countries because of licensing restrictions. Our solution is to evolve our model into a subscription platform that unlocks access to more films across a broader geography for only 6€ per month.

With your foundational support during our inaugural year, we can realize our vision of building our library by acquiring the streaming licenses for our first careful selection of 40 arthouse classics and contemporary films by the Global Majority. We hope you support us!

Why is this important

Cinelogue is a response to the continued effects of colonialism on global, social, and political power dynamics. The Euro-American film and entertainment industries continue to produce cinema that fails to challenge European perceptions and struggle to move past the binaristic, hierarchical categories of “foreign film” or “world cinema” that flatten the diverse, specific, and complex experiences of the Global Majority. These “traditions” only serve as a continuation of colonial relations.

We believe that the kind of cinema represented at Cinelogue deserves its own platform where critical dialogue about the films can emerge through collective curation and contextualization. Guided by the decentralization of knowledge production, an essential part of our curatorial programs is to collaborate with collectives, curators, scholars, and writers who are representative of the contexts to which the films speak.

During our founding year in 2022, Cinelogue’s database of film titles has grown into 500 titles of critically acclaimed arthouse classics from the Global Majority. Yet most of these films remain inaccessible to global audiences, let alone promoted, presented, or discussed in a deserving manner. Subtitles, for example, are often only available in European languages. That’s why, to us, the solution is straightforward: we need more visibility, more languages, and more context.

Our team is dedicated to continuing the restoration process of these works, by collaborating with professional translators from the Global Majority and providing subtitles in diverse languages that include those most spoken in the regions the films originate from or document.

The film licenses are another crucial cost factor. Most of the titles we would like to acquire have been restored by European and American film foundations, institutions, or archives. Although we are only asking for non-exclusive rights for a temporary period, the licenses to the films come at a high cost of up to 2000€ for global streaming rights. On top of that, we share 50% of our revenue with license holders. Whenever possible, we try to have a direct collaboration with the original license holders, who are either the filmmakers themselves, their family members, the local production companies the national film archives, or cultural ministries of the countries where the films are from.

Licenses for films that had no international theatrical release come at a lower cost for global streaming rights. Here, Cinelogue rather functions as an active facilitator providing accessibility to films by the Global Majority that have not received a platform after their film festival circuit.

With your help, we can start our journey of becoming an ever-growing, vastly accessible film archive dedicated to BIPOC filmmakers that invites audiences to actively see important historical and contemporary films as commentaries on the present day.

About the organization

Founded in 2022, Cinelogue launched its debut program Cinema After Liberation. The program considers the act of searching, excavating, and re-screening postcolonial cinema as a political act in itself. Curators, writers, filmmakers, and cultural critics then offer essential context and dialogue on the platform. While carefully curating a selected number of films under a chosen theme, it is this collective and collaborative effort that creates a unique dialogue through and between the showcased films.

Cinelogue’s team foregrounds a political stance that is, broadly speaking, rooted in the genealogies of film studies, postcolonial studies, and critical race theory. Our aim is to breathe new life into discourses around cinema as a vehicle for socio-political change.

As a team, we share a commitment to speaking and raising awareness about themes of race, gender, and class through film, but we also care for our viewers, providing trigger warnings and encouraging meaningful dialogue.

Each one of Cinelogue’s team members comes from a unique background and approaches our shared politics in a singular way. Together, the heterogeneity of Cinelogue’s team allows us to put together compelling cinema programs and create a dynamic dialogue between films, contributors, and viewers.

Rehana Esmail is the founder and film programmer. A filmmaker and media educator by training, her research focuses on the various waves and histories of film across the globe and cinema as an emancipatory practice.

Priyanka Hutschenreiter is Cinelogue’s marketing project manager. They are an academic, artist and writer, with a background in anthropology, critical ethnography, and art history. They are based between Austria, the UK, and Bangladesh.

Art direction and design: Ghazaal Vojdani and Julia Novitch are a graphic design and art direction team based out of Berlin and Paris. Together they build close and ongoing working relationships with cultural and educational institutions, independent galleries, editors, curators, designers, and artists internationally.

Web development: Ben is a Toronto-based web developer with a focus on usability and design. He has built numerous streaming platforms including Kinoscope, TQFF, and Exquisite Shorts.

Licensing: Pawel Wieszczecinski is the founder, managing director, and head of sales of the film streaming platform Kinoscope. His focus is on developing innovative models and contracts for the procurement of streaming licenses on an international level.

What will your contribution support?

BBy backing Cinelogue on this campaign, you’re directly helping us build the foundation we need to give less accessible cinema by the Global Majority the attention and credit it deserves. Your funds will go to the following places:

– License fees for 40 contemporary films and arthouse classics

– Transition Cinelogue from a pay-per-film to a monthly subscription streaming model

If we reach our first initial goal of 25000€, we’ll aim to stretch to 40000€ to continue to offset foundational core staff operation costs and acquire more films for Cinelogue to stream, as well as the upcoming curated (theme-based) program (including stipends for Co-Curators and Collaborators).

Why Kickstarter

Kickstarter allows us to meet new community members, filmmakers, and cinematic lovers across the globe. Our goal is to reach as many people as possible, all over the world, and to make cinema by the Global Majority globally accessible. Kickstarter is helping us spread the word among an audience we would otherwise not have access to.

Risks and challenges

With a collective number of 5 years in the film industry, our team at Cinelogue knows the challenges associated with licensing, streaming, and growing a community around cinema. That is why we are already anticipating challenges and mitigating as much risk as possible. This includes rewards arriving late, licenses taking longer than expected to negotiate, COVID-19 setbacks, and debuts delaying past anticipated launch days. Should any of these situations arise, our intention is to swiftly message any affected contributors to this campaign so they understand when they can expect rewards, launches, and releases. We’ve also already established strong relationships with major license holders, and our website is built already to easily adapt to a subscription model. We simply need the funds to purchase the licenses from them.

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