By Youssef Sourgo
Morocco World News
Casablanca, April 11, 2013
“Moroccan professionals in the sector of TV production are sensing an air of displeasure among Moroccan viewers only three months away from the sacred month of Ramadan,” wrote Hassan Bentaleb, from the daily La Libération.
Moroccans have ostensibly lost faith in what used to be their chief source of entertainment during Ramadan: Moroccan TV programs. It has become almost axiomatic that Moroccan TV programs radiate anything but creativity. Moroccan TV “has contented itself lately with only rebroadcasting the same old TV shows and series,” maintained Farid Benyakhlef, president of “l’Association des Entreprises du Secteur de L’Audiovisuel” (ASESA).
What frightens Moroccan TV professionals most is that the recent bankruptcies of television production companies is a trend likely to continue. The number and pace of bankruptcies might also substantially continue if no practical remedies are put forth and applied in the most urgent fashion. Those who should be concerned, however, seem not to take this predicament seriously:
“It is unacceptable that after so much investment in time and money to respond to the needs of the Moroccan audience during Ramadan, no decisions have been taken yet,” said Mr. Benyakhlef.
Apparently, it is close a crisis in the domain of TV production. Numerous and varying are the victims of such plight, ranging from actors, writers, producers, camera operators, technicians, and so forth. The bulk of them are already jobless for almost 1 year now. However, the element of surprise cannot be blamed for the current situation: “This situation has been predictable. We had been ringing alarm sirens for about a year now, but only deaf ears were surrounding us,” complained Jaouad Alami, an actor and member of the National Syndicate of Theater Professionals.
“We urge all concerned officials to find a solution as urgently as possible,” voiced a press release from ASESA. Perversely, the ministry of communication remains optimistic. The minister in person finds that it is too early to write off the year as unsuccessful in terms of TV production: “To speak of a lost year is an illusion,” said Mr. Mustapha El Khalfi, minister of communication and spokesperson of the government. “Since 31 December 2012, 120 programs were produced by 77 companies with a budget of around MAD400 million ($ 46.9956 million).
On the other side of the story, professionals in the sector of TV production continue to suffer under the current crisis, awaiting the government to recognize the seriousness of the situation.
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