Furthermore, we investigated in great detail Art Hovanessian’s reform paper, which provided for major changes in terms of the structure, strategic direction, organization and activities of UNICA. I will not go into these at this point, since the reform paper was sent to all national organizations in three languages, together with a questionnaire and an associated commentary. Due to the rather belated delivery of these documents, documents which would undoubtedly have a significant impact on the future organization of UNICA, it is premature to engage with it today.
It may, in fact, still be a while before all national
organizations have studied these documents in detail in their own
bodies, and returned the questionnaire to the General Secretariat.
To avoid additional delays before the committee can deal with the
replies of federation officers, and also to avoid any suggestion of
bias, we are passing replies for consideration in the first instance
to a fresh person, someone knowledgeable and very experienced. So
for the moment, the opinions expressed in the questionnaire will be
analysed, and an attempt will be made to prepare a synthesis of the
most important guiding themes for a future, such that we will get a
gradual and sensible realignment of UNICA.
The person whose name immediately arose was, Kees Tervoort, the President of NOVA, also familiar as President of the 2012 Jury in Ruse and a candidate for the Committee. For some time now he has been entrusted by the Committee as a special advisor with the mission of preparing a reform paper for the coming years, based on the replies to the questionnaire and of course the National organizations’ own suggestions.
In this regard I must thank Art Hovanessian for his ideas, as the basis of which he intends that UNICA reposition itself with new ideas and proposals. Primarily this would be by opening up to the world, using new ways of strategic alignment, significantly improved marketing and communication, in order to become more attractive and visible for young people and professional filmmakers as well as sponsors and public authorities. Not least, however, his ideas would require that the statutes and regulations regarding participation in our annual festival would have to be radically changed and that larger sources of funding need to be developed, as well as requiring some sacrifice on the part of national organizations. In some cases the committee responded positively to suggestions and proposals, albeit with due caution and consideration.
I am firmly of the opinion that all of us in this hall are aware
that a paradigm shift (type of rethinking) must be undertaken in the
longer term, simply to avoid the risk of dwindling membership, dying
clubs or even like some associations eventually reaching the point
where our very existence is endangered.
However, the great majority of the Committee cannot believe that everything that has been recognized as good and right yesterday, is wrong and disastrous from today and into tomorrow. On the contrary, UNICA lives - as we see here once more in Fieberbrunn, where we have again witnessed excellent film programs from many countries around the world.