The world of non-commercial film and A-V
|The Film and Video Institute||Join us on Facebook|
Location: Hémicycle, Luxembourg - Kirchberg
Date: Thursday, August 29th 2002 - 9.30 a.m.
WHAT IS AN AMATEUR FILM MAKER? by Fred Graber
What can he do - what may he do - what must he do - where is his niche - is he an essential part of civilisation?
Ability: An amateur can do the same things everyone else can - or do things no one else can - depending on circumstances. In the past simply projecting a picture on the wall gave him status. The social revolution had already begun but other people simply could not do that. Today everyone can display pictures on the wall. The specialist (professional) does it well - the young beginner sometimes does so too. Where does the amateur sit between them? Where is his place today? There are so many pictures on the wall nowadays that normal people hardly pay attention any more.
Possibility: To be noticed now pictures have to be spectacular. On first impact they must touch - shock - normal human senses. In Hollywood professionals try it with awesome "monumental" images. In New York and elsewhere they generate fear with guns. In other studios they produce pornography to stimulate our animal senses. What place has the amateur among them?
Requirement: The amateur must record as much as possible, everywhere. Above all he must ask himself: how can I point my lens where normal eyes cannot reach - either because their heads are too big or because people don't think of looking? The amateur must find this niche. Everything else is already done in Hollywood or on TV so the amateur must do this or be redundant. The amateur film maker cannot do it alone. We must unite for an internal competition, which presents a formidable exterior to the outside world. Originality is essential, even if others are also seeking it. These days people with brown, red or yellow faces are not sufficient to make pictures special. Amateurs must throw ideas on the wall, possibly new ideas.
Question: Does this still require all the old skills? Young people, seem to plant seeds riddled with faults, yet harvest recognition and support. Does the amateur have to do this too or is he, as I believe, the guardian of an artistic culture with aesthetics and well-balanced dramatic skills?
- Fred Graber (CHE) - translation: Dave Watterson (GBR)
PROMOTION THE DUTCH WAY
by Vladimir Murtin
In the Netherlands there are quite a few enthusiastic members of the UNICA family. Some are active film amateurs others just enjoy the company and watching the films. Every year for a number of years we have been organising a special day for all these people. We call it "UNICA Promotiedag" - something like A Day of UNICA Promotion.
We keep track of all Dutch participants in the UNICA congress. All those who attended this festival in recent years receive an invitation. They are requested to return a slip on which they indicate the number of persons attending, how they wish to pay and whether they have a film to show during the promotion day. The venue is a small geographically central town, so that the travelling distances are divided fairly.
Normally we expect about 30 people to attend and this is the basis of our financial calculation, although the actual number is usually closer to 40. We pay the rent for the hall, which has to accommodate about 40-50 people and has to be suitable for video projection. Everybody is served coffee and cake on arrival and a buffet lunch. Additional drinks are not included. Members of one of the Dutch film clubs take care of the projection of the films free of charge using their own equipment. The price paid by the participants this year was EUR 18.00 per person. Our national organisation NOVA has agreed to cover any shortfall if the price calculated in advance doesn't work out - but this has never happened so far.
The programme is a combination of film projection and talk. Everybody who has some visual material relating to the latest - or for that matter any other UNICA event - can ask for his film or photographs to be included in the programme. There are usually 3 or 4 short films giving an impression of the most recent UNICA. Sometimes we find a film account of a UNICA festival dating back quite a few years. There is always a speaker who relates his personal impressions of the journey, the films, the performance of the jury, the excursions and other social and cultural events. We also take advantage of the fortunate circumstance that the secretary of the UNICA committee - Arie de Jong - is one of the participants. He gives us a detailed insider's account of the deliberations of the committee, new developments and venues for the UNICA congress in the coming years. We usually also show one or two successful foreign films from past festivals. A popular author in this department is Jan Baca, whose films we have shown several times during our promotion days.
An important part of the programme is information about the coming UNICA, about the travel connections, the accommodation, the venue and the excursions. If the festival takes place in a more remote location, we may organise a group of participants who wish to travel together and we try to find the cheapest mode of getting them there. We make a list of probable participants in the next festival. Doing this publicly in front of the whole audience works very well and some people make up their minds to join the group there and then. We conclude the day with the projection of the promotion film for the coming UNICA.
The whole programme is very loosely planned so that there is plenty of time left for social contact. It is obvious that people like to talk to each other a lot during an event like this. The day usually begins at half past 10, when coffee and cake are served. We take a break for some more refreshments before noon and we have lunch together. There is a tea break in the afternoon and the day ends at about 4 p.m. The event usually takes place early in May, which is close enough to the UNICA festival to bring the participants into the spirit of the occasion. Our experience is that this event is a good way of keeping the group of UNICA visitors interested and we think it may be an example for others to follow.
- Vladimir Murtin (NLD)
IN FILM: NUMBERS
by Ctirad Stipl
There may be many symbols in experimental, transcendent, surrealistic - Art - films. Sometimes it is very difficult to understand their meaning. The following information may help viewers to catch the significance of some numerical symbolism.
|1 -||victory, origin of everything, the best|
|2 -||hope and success|
|3 -||three virtues (Faith, Hope, Love); three kings going to Bethlehem; world of three dimensions; three sides of existence (substance, intellect, emotion); Holy Trinity|
|4 -||unchained forces of nature (water, fire, earth, air); natural catastrophes; disasters; horsemen of the Apocalypse; magic number of Jupiter|
|5 -||talent, knowledge, science, mystery|
|6 -||realised longing, peace, quiet, harvest|
|7 -||creation of the World, magic number in fairy tales, good luck in games|
|8 -||balance of the Universe|
|9 -||birth, re-entry of all to Universe|
|10 -||changes bad to good and unhappiness to happiness|
|11 -||danger, longing for power|
|12 -||end of one life and start of another one|
|13 -||disciples at the Last Supper, crying, death|
|14 -||extraordinary luck (twice seven)|
|15.-||variability, inconstancy, day - night, life - death|
|16 -||deprivation, destitution, starvation|
|18 -||unpleasantness, troubles, diseases|
|23 -||Sun, male symbol, matter of fact|
|28 -||Moon, female symbol|
|40 -||punishment, penalty, high power.|
- Ctirad Stipl (CZE) - (to be continued)
Out now! New shorts, clips, children's films and Robert Van Ackeren.
The 2001 film distribution programme of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen offers around 70 new short films and videos as well as some rarities, such as early short films by German filmmaker Robert Van Ackeren, prints of which were made especially for the Festival. For the first time, it includes a children's film reel. The catalogue is available now and can be ordered from the festival office: < firstname.lastname@example.org >.
Every year, the Festival selects works from the 450 or so films of the festival programme, buys them for non-commercial distribution and sends them around the world. The distribution catalogue 2001 offers not only a selection of award winners and other highlights from the competitions, but also the third MuVi reel with all the nominees for the MuVi Award 2001 as well as a selection of works from the highly appreciated Special Programme "Out of Time."
Robert van Ackeren
With the early short films by Robert van Ackeren the short film distribution offers a truly unique programme: for 30 years those films were considered lost, the prints that are now distributed were made especially for the 47th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2001 and are thus the only existing prints of those films.
A further novelty is a children's short film reel for five-to-eight-year-olds, compiled in co-operation with the German Children's Films & Television Festival "Goldener Spatz" in Gera. This reel is also available for commercial distribution in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
Bookings and information about the distribution programme: Melanie Piguel tel.: + 49 (0) 208 825-2652, fax 825-5413, < email@example.com >
UNICA Silver Medal
Am Ende des Seins (At the End of Existence)
by Gregor Theuss, jeunesse (DEU), DV - 18´
Am Ende des Seins (At the End of Existence) - An unsparing film, yet one which is both sensitive and tactful. It takes place in a hospital ward in which the essence of humanity has ceased to exist. This young man who undertook social work (instead of military service) in Germany and worked for a year in a ward of Alzheimer patients portrays a situation which might affect all of us one day, and yet is something which we prefer to ignore. He does not comment at all, but simply shows "the way it is" - and thus he forces us to think about the essence and dignity of being human, about the last ethical and moral questions which affect us all. And just as inevitably we are confronted with the dubiousness, even the hypocrisy of the current moral discussion about matters such as gene technology and related problems.
VIDEO WORKSHOP IN
Polish, Swedish and Norwegian teenagers making movies
- Tomas Knutson
The Polish film federation, FTFN (Federacja Tworcow Filmow Nieprofesjonalnych w Polsce) is a UNICA members and in co-operation with partners in Sweden and Norway organised an international video workshop in Warsaw for the second time.
The workshop, which started on May 27, received support from the European Union, covering the cost of the workshop, board and part of travel costs.
The theme of the workshop was "Hi - Film - Story". The workshop was followed by a festival "Up to 21" for young filmmakers, which is recognised by UNICA.
The initiative for the workshop came from Agnieszka Wlazel, who is also director of the festival. This was the festival's 20th year.
The workshop, was arranged at the Centrum Lowicka in Warsaw, the participants being Polish film club members from Bydgoszcz and Cracow, Sodra Angby school in Stockholm, Sweden, and the Mediaverksted (media workshop) in Oslo, Norway.
After some get-to-know-each-other activities, the teenagers were divided into four film teams, each containing participants from all three countries.
The four teams first prepared scripts and storyboards.
Shooting was done with DV cameras brought by the participants. The films were then edited with Adobe Premiere on PCs.
The task of each team was to make a film story up to five minutes long.
During the workshop, there were also lectures on acting and editing, and - naturally - film shows.
"I am learning a lot about filmmaking and meeting many new friends from other countries", said 16 year old Alexander Henriksson, one of the Swedish participants. Alexander, who is planning to begin at a media school this autumn, added that his main interest is editing.
The four finished films from the workshop were screened in connection with the international part of the "Up to 21" festival.
The participants also brought their own films for the festival. The Norwegian group received a prize in the festival and the UNICA medal for an engaging true story about the black boy Benjamin from their workshop, who was recently killed by racists.
Next year in Sweden?
During the workshop in Warsaw, a committee was formed with the aim of arranging similar workshops around Europe, having the theme from last year's workshop in Warsaw: Film Without Borders.
The Swedish committee members said they would try to arrange a workshop in Sweden next summer. This workshop is planned to be followed by another one in Norway in 2004 and in Holland in 2005.
The organisers welcome new contacts from additional countries, as they are planning to form a network for youth film activities.
- Tomas Knutson (SWE),< firstname.lastname@example.org>
FILM FESTIVAL 2003
... invites international screenwriters and filmmakers, playwrights, short story writers, TV writers, librettists, film music composers, children's filmmakers & writers, and young (18 & under) filmmakers & screenwriters, as well as directors, producers, distributors & investors to participate in the annual film festival & festival competition, which offers a unique opportunity to come together with other writers, directors and producers to create new opportunities, develop tools for success and forge new alliances within the international film and entertainment industry.
Contact Elizabeth English at: <email@example.com>
Final Postmark deadline: October 1, 2002
Information, printable entry & release forms are on the website: <www.moondancefilmfestival.com>