It all started in 1963. After my success in the baccalauréat, my father offered me a camera, a Kodak Retina II which still occupies a prominent place in my small collection. I had some exciting times with this camera and I was making slides, probably because of the possibility of a big screen projection. A good omen?
Later my studies, entry into the professional life, and the founding of a family left little time for hobbies. Until the day, in October 1972, when a friend persuaded me to accompany him to a screening of films in his club. I was immediately fascinated by these images ,that were moving. Another member of the club lent me his camera, a Leica, to explore whether the shooting of a film was likely to please me. Even though my disappointment was great, because of the mostly under-exposed and shaky shots, I was certain that amateur cinema would now occupy a substantial place in my life.
Two years later, I joined the club committee. This club, to which I have been faithful for 45 years, became my second family. Together we shot many films, mostly little comic fictions. This was a time, when I could try out several cinema professions, such as post-synchronisation, assistance with directing, acting (twice I found myself a policeman in uniform) and I wrote some scripts. This is how some "masterpieces" were born, whose making gave us incredible pleasure. My own output is essentially summarised in a few very short, documentaries and reportages, alongside the usual films of travel and holidays.
In 1976 in Baden near Vienna, for the first time I was in contact with UNICA as a delegate of our national federation. It was a real revelation for me. I was delighted to be able to admire for the first time in my life more than a hundred films from more than thirty countries. I felt a sort of cultural shock that fascinated me. I was hooked. A profound desire arose within me to be part of this renowned circle one day, if not as a film-maker, at least in another function.
The inevitable happened. In 2006, at the end of my professional
career, I felt ready to take on new assignments within our
organisation. With the support of Max Hänsli, I had the chance to
join the committee as a special adviser, and in the year of grace
2009 I was called upon to take over from our esteemed president. The
next six years were, for me, a kind of crowning of a long career
spent under the spell of the amateur film. Think for a moment about
becoming UNICA president at Gdansk and retiring at St Petersburg. It
was like a long and delicious dream.
Being appointed to the jury in Dortmund makes me proud. It is like fulfilling a new honorary mission in the service of our organisation to which I owe so many joys and satisfactions.