The price rises on 1st May. Jan and I often use www.transferwise.com to send money. It is much cheaper than bank transfers, but they can only operate between currencies. They cannot send from a Euro account to a Euro account. They operate in most of the currencies used by UNICA visitors.
When you buy your Congress Card (www.unica2017.de) remember to book your choice for the half-day excursion. If you hope to take a helicopter trip over the area, book that quickly too.
Book your hotel directly with the hotel, not through any online agency. Contact them by telephone or mail with the password "UNICA 2017", which gets you special low rates. The online-websites show no vacancies, because we have reserved all the rooms for UNICA participants. Most hotels are some distance from the venue, but a shuttle buses will run between them: two buses in the mornings, and two in the evenings.
The national and author entry forms have been sent out and we already have some entries.
There will be just five jurors: Bernhard Lindner (Germany), Darko Basheski (Macedonia), Georges Fondeur (Luxembourg), Sunčica Fradelić (Croatia) and Aase Högfeldt (Sweden). They will come on stage two or three times a day to discuss the films just seen. They will reach their final decisions in private, so there will be no voting in front of the public on the last morning.
That Saturday morning time slot is devoted to a hot-topic discussion ...
The prizes will be awarded in the Saturday afternoon. There are three categories: Main, Young UNICA and Film School. The jury also decide the “Most Interesting National Programme”, the UNESCO Delmiro de Caralt prize for a film witnessing to the values of tolerance and peace fostered by UNESCO. There will be no overall winner of UNICA.
During the General Assembly, I hope, that you will endorse Jacqueline Pante (Italy) as our new Secretary-General. An interesting paper from the French national organisation gives us plenty to discuss. There will also be amendments to our Statutes and Regulations. The most important of these is to confirm that UNICA is officially based in Switzerland and is thus protected by generous Swiss laws. That change would help to reduce the risk to both the UNICA and its committee members, if we happen to be sued. The formal General Assembly papers will be sent out at least one month before the meeting.
UNICA 2018 will be in the Czech Republic at a redecorated cinema in the middle of Blansko. There is a first-class organising committee in place. The city and tourism boards are cooperating fully. Your UNICA committee visited in early March and were impressed. As in Dortmund most good hotels are a short distance away, but shuttle buses will be organised. The prices are already very good and may be even better for UNICA visitors. 4-star hotels around 35 Euros a night and an attractive youth hostel at 9 Euros a night.
The excursions will be in the Moravian Karst with spectacular caves and beautiful landscapes. There will be a Young UNICA programme focusing on animation.
At her first committee meeting: Jacqueline Pante, our Secretary-General, questions the Czech organising team in the comfortable cinema at Blansko.
The organisation of a UNICA Congress is a large and expensive project. I believe that in future we must be willing to accept more modest events than in the past. We need to keep costs down for visitors and organisers.
The good news is that we have offers for future years: The Netherlands will organise UNICA 2019. Britain offers to organise UNICA 2020.
All our clubs, regions and national organisations suffer from a shortage of young people, and from rising costs. But we keep going … because what we do is important. When fear and hatred towards foreigners is encouraged by some politicians, religious leaders and newspapers; it is essential to demonstrate, that we can bring people from many countries together in friendly competition. We can talk, eat, drink and have fun together … at UNICA.
- Dave Watterson, Bath, April 2017