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I am pleased to confirm that the preparations for the great Korea 2006 Tour are running full swing, not only for myself, but also for the Korean organisers. Mr. Chang spares no effort to solve all the problems as soon as they arise and to publicise and promote the great UNICA event in his country. We can rest assured that we will experience something that we can hardly imagine, probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most of us.
We should make something clear about this tour and journey. You will visit a country where so many things are different from what they are here in Europe and we should be aware that we will be steeped in a culture with different tenets and values, including probably a different sense of time. We already had an idea of that almost two years ago when the UNICA Committee paid a visit to Korea. As the time and experiences we had there were so positive, I asked Mr Chang to design a program along the same lines as what we had - and which we "survived"...
We knew that we would land in Seoul after a 10 or 11 hour flight. We also thought that we - some of us being over 70 - would be exhausted. But none of us wanted to miss the starting signal of the circuit and as we were checking into the hotel upon arrival the first evening, we realised that it was such a privilege to have the opportunity to see all that.
Do you really want to miss the visit of the splendid park of Cheong Wa Dae with the Presidential residence? Or the colourful changing of the guard ceremony in front of the magnificent Gyeongbokgung Palace? You have a right to watch from no distance and capture fantastic close-ups. Do you want to miss all that? And the day will end with a stroll in the famous Insadong shopping street in Seoul where you will find marvellous handicrafts, in particular antique ceramics, and various specialities. That will be the first opportunity for you to make special buys ... do you really want to miss that Isn't that sufficient reason for you to reconsider this idea of spending the first day resting in your hotel room? I do not want to have you change your mind if there is no other way, but if there is, then take advantage of all these opportunities to visit new places.
We will have final information about the following points 2 or 3 months before departure:
You will receive the air tickets about one month before departure in so far as you ordered and paid them via UNICA. You will then see what time and from which airport - Amsterdam (KLM) or Frankfurt (LH) - you will leave. I will also inform you what you should do to make sure that you have no trouble with your luggage and it is safely delivered upon arrival in Seoul.
A 6-member UNICA team (composed of Hänsli and Kräuchi family members) will be there in Seoul to welcome arriving travellers. The documents and relevant Congress information will be handed over right at the airport and participants will then be distributed by preferred language in the coaches for the five-day tour. Together with your flight ticket you will receive a card to be exchanged for this documentation upon arrival in Seoul Airport.
I will fly to Korea next April to obtain answers to all the issues left open and the questions raised. Moreover, I would like to visit the places and hotels that have been selected after the tour of Committee. Of course, you will be informed immediately after my return about the results and I hope that I can complement this information with original news.
To date about 210 people have registered for the UNICA-tour and Congress in Korea. For those which have ordered a flight via UNICA, the necessary bookings have been made with two airline companies (KLM and Lufthansa), including connecting flights when required. We also received in the mean time relevant information about airport taxes and possible fuel price increases. The corresponding amounts will appear separately on the invoice that you will have received at the end of January. These additional charges should be regarded as provisional as it is impossible at the moment to assess what these amounts will actually in August 2006, but we do not expect to have any significant change in the next few months.
As was recommended by various professionals, we took out insurances in agreement with EU directives. If you ordered your flight from UNICA, there is no change for you. We have circulated relevant information to all "autonomous" travellers concerning the kind of insurance coverage recommended.
In conclusion, I would like to draw your attention to the cancellation and repatriation insurance issue. If you have ordered it at the time of registration, this will appear on the invoice. If you did not, I strongly recommend to do it as soon as possible, unless you already have such an insurance as part of your general insurance policy. In all cases, I suggest that you get in touch with your insurance company and make sure that this cancellation and repatriation coverage is really included. Sorry that I am so insistent but I take as a duty to tell you. Should it appear after asking the question that you need such an insurance (40 ?), please let me know immediately so that I can make necessary arrangements.
I hope that this information will bolster you up in anticipation of this tour!
As usual I am at your disposal if you have any question.
Max Hänsli (CHE), UNICA president
Ladies and gentlemen, dear film friends
I sent you a questionnaire last November and requested you to fill it in and then return it to me; the deadline was December 31, 2005. Unfortunately, no federation - to date - has done so. We do need these data as the organisers in Korea have to set up a schedule and this will obviously be done in relation with the programs announced by the national federations. It is therefore very important to know whether your country will take part in the Contest with a video programme or not. Moreover, we should also have information as to whether your country will be represented by a delegate or if you intend to give a proxy to some other federation. This is also quite important as we have to elect a new committee or confirm the current one in Korea.
I took the liberty of sending the questionnaire again and ask you kindly to return it immediately or as soon as possible Thank you.
NB. Please, provide national programs - as far as possible - in mini-DV format! Only this format is acceptable to take films up into the UNICA Library. Please use DVD only in "emergency" cases.
Thanks for your understanding.
Max Hänsli (CHE), President of UNICA
Look Ahead to UNICA 2007
The UNICA Committee met in the city where the UNICA 2007 Congress is to be held. The Committee members had the opportunity to visit the premises where the Congress will be held, including the Projection Hall with a capacity of approximately 350 places, equipped with a large wide screen. Many rooms will also be available for the jury and committee meetings and arrangements will be made for them to be equipped with the advanced IT systems.
A large reception hall next to the movie house has already been booked for the opening and closing events. This other building also offers large rooms where meetings can be held.
The transportation issue was also examined with the Organising committee and arrangements are made to provide transportation to participants by train or bus from Vienna (AUT) or Bratislava (SVK) to Liptovský Mikulá. The participants will be informed in the course of the coming year. A wide range of smaller hotels is available at very attractive prices in Liptovský Mikulá city centre. The warm welcome we had at the Ministry for Culture in Bratislava and in Liptovský Mikulá City Hall showed that the authorities are fully involved and willing to play an active role in the development of the UNICA 2007 event.
We wish all the best to the Organising committee and we are sure that this UNICA Congress will be a great success.
The following items have also been examined on the occasion of the Committee meeting. Here is an abridged report about these issues:
The UNICA Committee
- Alois Urbanek (AUT), UNICA Council Member
In November 2005, a film contest between Austria and the Czech Republic took place for the 14th time. This year the people responsible for organising the much-loved event were Herr Hermann Blaschke from Austria and Mr. Ctirad Stipl from the Czech Republic. The event alternates between the countries each year. Each side may choose as many films as it wishes up to a total of two hours worth. The films are assessed and compared to find the best movie from each country, to award the best national programme prize and decide a jury prize for the outstanding video entry.
However, the true purpose is to bring film makers from both countries together. Over the years many good friendships have begun that away.
This most recent event - in Austria - was another big success. We recommend this type of international film contest as a means of encouraging better understanding between peoples.
Alois Urbanek (AUT), President of the Austrian Film Federation
This publication gives a short survey of the history of non-professional filmmaking in the former Soviet Union between1920 and1991. Some essential facts concerning the period up to 2005 are referred to in the part on Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
The book covers all the relevant film festivals in the Soviet Union and other aspects of non-professional filmmaking. It also gives a short summary of the history of non-professional filmmaking in all the former Soviet Republics.
Readers will find a survey of the activities of several all-Union bodies: the USSR Association of Film Friends (founded in 1988) and other organizations coordinating non-professional filmmaking activities. There is separate chapter dedicated to the results achieved by Soviet non-professional filmmakers at the UNICA festivals between1966 and 1991and at other festivals.
It includes a separate section on the history of non-professional filmmaking in the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), together with the development of Baltic Non-professional Film Festivals (1967 - 2004).
- Jaak Järvine (EST), President of the Estonian Film Federation