The Algerian documentary film The Houses of the Sea by Hamza Mendil, won the Bronze Palm on Saturday night in the Pro category at the World Festival of Underwater Images and Aquatic Environments in Marseille.
This is the first time Algeria has participated in the festival which started in 1974. The film itself is the first 100% Algerian underwater documentary film, produced by the Hippone Sub D'Annaba Association and the Algerian production company NEPHRONS GP. It was financed by the UNFMF / SGP / UNDP program and directed by the young Algerian director Hamza Mendil.
The 54-minute feature film tells the story of the first artificial reefs in Annaba, immersed in May 2016 thanks to a collaboration with the Ministries of Fisheries and the Environment, coastguards and professionals. The project was completed despite enormous administrative difficulties, especially when it was necessary to obtain the necessary authorizations to dive at the five reefs.
The film shows the evolution of artificial reefs in detail during a full year, and the incredible colonization over a short period of time of these real 'Houses of the Sea' by the algae and fish, proof of the utility of these devices and the need for their widespread generalization.
The project has accelerated the establishment of a regulatory framework which will govern the immersion of these devices in the future.
In this film we can see speakers such as SidAhmed Ferroukhi (Ex Minister of Fisheries), Mrs. Zerouati, the current Minister of Environment and Renewable Energy, Eric Oververt, the resident coordinator of the United Nations in Algeria and of course environmental activist and Mares Ambassador Emir Berkane.
This award in a competition where the behemoths of documentary film production, were present, rewarded a film with a tiny budget compared to super productions like "The man who wanted to dive on Mars" with Alban Michon, Palme d'Or of Festival of yesterday and which cost several hundreds of thousands of Euros.
This award will certainly serve as a leitmotiv for young Algerian photographers and institutional managers to facilitate authorizations for submarine, aerial and dive filming in which The Houses of the Sea is fortunately rich.
15th November 2017