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An edited version of the President’s Report

Portrait of Dave Watterson.

The President’s Report should not duplicate the Secretary/Committee report. It is partly to let me complain about how much hard work I do, and partly to bring you up to date.

At this point the representatives of the Mayor of Suceava have arrived, so I pause to allow them to greet us.

In the 2 years I have have been doing this job, I have realised that it is very difficult to control anything in UNICA, because we are people from many different lands and many different cultures. The best we can do, is to try to make friends, and to make things happen as well as we can.

Since we last met I have made a number of trips. I was invited to several events. I gave preference to those festivals, which have UNICA Patronage. Patronage indicates that the festival is fair, true and honest.

  • I had an amicable meeting with representatives of FFCV in Paris (FRA)
  • Jan and I attended the British International Amateur Film Festival in Market Harborough (GBR).
  • Then we visited Rousse (BUL) for the Danube Film Festival.
  • After that the Festival of Nations in Lenzing (AUT).
  • We went straight from there to The Cineama Festival in Nitra (SVK).
  • We attended the Neighbours to Friends festival in Berlin (DEU).
  • I went to Suceava ROM) on the jury for the Video Arts Festival.
  • Next on our calendar is the Sunrise Festival in Tblisi (GEO)
  • and a committee meeting in Zurich.

For those who are new to UNICA, I should explain that the President does receive a small allowance for travel, but going to these events is expensive, even when people are kind enough to offer us hospitality in their country.

Our vice-presidents have been doing their part representing UNICA, Bernhard Lindner at the German national festival in Radolfzell, and Jeanne Glass at the French national festival at Soulac sur Mer. In the near future Jeanne is on the jury for a travel film festival in Karlovy Vary (CZE) and then visits Kino Kimeria (UKR), which is effectively the Ukrainian national festival.

So we spread the word about UNICA. And we also learn from these countries about how they work and what their film makers think.

Competitors at Video Arts Festival.

The picture shows some of the competitors at the Video Arts Festival in Suceava furiously editing what they shot the previous day.

Since the committee report was written we have been dealing with practical matters for this event. We considered many aspects of the competition.

This year there is no public jury vote. We will have a seminar instead on the tricky question of where the boundary lies between originality and plagiarism. If any of you do not like the changes the committee makes, please write to the Secretary-General (gensecr@unica-web.com) and explain your concerns to us. Your message can be formal or informal: just let us know your thoughts. We will consider all suggestions from our members at the next meeting.

While you do that, I seek your views on another matter. We have just begun to consider the possibility of a shorter UNICA Congress. For example, we might drop the full-day excursion and have simpler meals instead of banquets. We could run Congress from Sunday to Saturday. This is not a formal proposal. We have not discussed it fully, but we would like your ideas.

In response to a question from the Austrian delegate, Dr. Georg Schörner, I point out that any member organisation can raise a matter for the agenda of the General Assembly, as the FFCV has done for the present meeting, but this must be done five months ahead. It is also possible to raise matters of concern in the last item of the General Assembly agenda: miscellaneous without a vote.

- Dave Watterson