Following the pilot version in 2017, NAAS implemented Cinapses Cycle 1 in 2018 and then undertook an inclusive process of monitoring and evaluation. The members and the staff alike all participated in interviews, providing feedback and recommendations, with an external expert. Accordingly, the NAAS staff designed a new form for Cinapses Cycle 2, whereby the members themselves collectively negotiated and allocated the network-wide, available grant funds based on months-long study and development of applications submitted in response to a closed call. Thus, in some ways, Cinapses Cycle 2 sought to realize the vision of NAAS to prioritize horizontal decision-making and equitable distribution of resources.
Cinapses Cycle 2 launched in June 2019 with a closed call for applications among members and affiliates. The staff received fifteen applications, consisting of annual programmatic, organizational, and financial plans. Following a review of the NAAS members’ plans, the staff offered recommendations, feedback, and support on the development of those organizational tools. Accordingly, the staff assigned each member to at least two sub-groups, consisting of network peers focusing on similar themes such as archives or young audiences.
The Cinapses granting funds available for members across the network were allocated along thematic lines. In a tailored Cinapses Labs workshop at the End of Year meeting in Marrakech on December 5, members in each thematic subgroup presented their annual plans and, after some negotiation and debate, reached a consensus on how to distribute the available funds among themselves. Further, they exchanged expertise and identified anew points of collaboration. The NAAS staff facilitated and monitored the process, which achieved a level of organic decision-making, rooted in a history of consultative and transparent practices among NAAS members.
All Cinapses Cycle 2 projects will begin in 2020.
Cinapses is a grant program that aims, on the one hand, to lead members into new opportunities for institutional sustainability and programmatic development and, on the other, to foster collaboration and solidarity among them. The program has encouraged joint initiatives and promotes the sharing of experiences, resources, and opportunities while activating network mobility. As such, Cinapses builds an ecosystem and strong tools to be used by everyone in the network and sector more broadly, developing film circulation, community outreach, and audience engagement programs.