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President of UNICA
GEORGES FONDEUR (LUX)

UNICA - beginning and significance

MI began my experience with UNICA 1976 in Baden bei Wien.

I travelled by car to Baden, almost 32 years old, with a wife and child, our daughter had just turned 3. The car was not brand new, when I was asked by the management to vacate of the parking space in the garage, as I had occupied the place of another client, and went into reverse the clutch broke, and smelled terrible.

It all started so well!

That same afternoon quick march to the Spa theater to pick up the congress folders. There was hardly time to admire the manicured gardens right by the theater. The next surprise was not long in coming. Already hundreds of people stood around and chatted animatedly, and each new arrival was greeted warmly and with hugs from all sides.

Everyone? Well, with one exception and that was me.

As always subject to a certain shyness, which some have interpreted as arrogance, I pushed myself past the others and crept to the bar in order to collect my paperwork and got handed to my surprise a badge with my name, and with “Lux”.

My first badge. How I loved it. It was my passport, my proof and my statement that I belonged to this select company. Like a curious animal I was then investigated.  My name and my country of origin were spelled out, I was even asked if I was from Lichtenstein.

And then the whole committee, was staffed with dignified gentlemen, especially the President, Josef Walterscheidt, who impressed me deeply with his ability at any time to control even the most difficult situations, by skillful means to ease tensions and find compromises at a time when the East-West antagonisms put a strain on UNICA and more than once threatened to tear it apart.

The films, almost all shot in the noble 16mm format, showed a colorful palette of creative movies from many foreign countries. So I discovered the fantasy world of animated films such as Ein S ... liebt ein S by André Corray from Switzerland, as well as Le vol du bourdon, by Bernard Dublique from France. I was excited by travel stories from distant lands such as the film God in Togo by Kurt and Inka Keil from Austria. I still think with awe of a movie like L'attesa by Rolf Mandolesi from Italy which created so much atmosphere. Damit Steine nicht weinen by Warus & Kheklaus from the Soviet Union, was so touching that one almost had to break into tears.

Oh God, what impressions I took home, not least because of the very successful excursions to Mayerling and the Wachau, and the visit to the Eumig works in Vienna Neustadt. It's just like in real life, where almost always the first time is the most beautiful.

The Second Time


On the 2nd time you start in a slightly more self-assured way, and are also embraced by a couple of UNICA friends.

This is what happened in Maastricht in 1977 where I was lucky to be greeted warmly by Ursula and Fred Graber, as well as by Janick and Pierre Michel with Serge and Sylvie plus dog. At that time also began my boundless admiration for the cinematic art of Jan Baca, who together with his longtime colleague Tony Garriga, showed the film La Frontera. Soon I made the acquaintance of a talented filmmaker from neighbouring Saarland, Alfred Schradt, who caused a stir with his animation film Das Netz. Great admiration was also aroused by the cartoon Plastinade by H. Haldenwang from Switzerland.

My definitive absorption into UNICA, took place on 8 September for my 33rd birthday, when my Swiss friends, the Grabers, spontaneously called a reception in the foyer of the Municipal Theatre, and many congress representatives accepted this invitation. From now on, so I thought anyway, no one would need to ask who the young man really was, and whence he came.

Thereafter, of course, I was never alone in the UNICA congresses, even though I was often the sole representative of my organization.

So much for my early days. What does UNICA mean to me now?

Not infrequently we hear comments such as “films are the second best thing at a UNICA Congress.” This somewhat casual statement is not entirely wrong. Of course, people come from many countries to a different place in the world every year mainly to see films together. It celebrates the high mass of non-professional film hundreds of times.

UNICA is, however, much more. It is the communion of cultures, bridging political and social conflicts. It is the mutual esteem of people from a wide range of backgrounds without considering conflicting opinions and beliefs of a religious or ideological character.

Movies of whatever kind, like folk music, provide a deep insight into the soul of individual nations, their traditions, their culture, all the way down to their roots. A Korean movie is instantly recognizable as such, as is an Argentine, a Tunisian or a Scandinavian, even without speech and music. It is precisely these contrasts that make an organization like the UNICA so valuable.

Moreover, it is the people who come all the way from four continents to pay homage to the medium of film, which illustrate the actual value of such a mammoth event. A varied group of film makers, young and older, supporters and family members, as well as “permanent residents”, onlookers or just movie lovers, all of this colourful crowd come together for 8 days to discuss movies, go on excursions and enjoy late-night drinks together.

All this mixed together creates a special atmosphere,  to be precise: the UNICA spirit , which is probably unique in the world. It can really only be topped by the Olympic Games and their athletes. In this sense, UNICA, in addition to being the showcase of the world's best amateur movies, is also a very efficient means for better international understanding.

- Georges Fondeur

Curriculum vitae in telegram style


Name: Fondeur Georges, father Belgian, Luxemburger mother, born in Luxemburg on September 8, 1944.

Marital status: Married to Marie-Lou Schockmel since 6 August 1970; a grown-up daughter, born in 1973, married in 2014.

Studies: classical secondary studies Latin Modern Languages at the Grand Ducal Athenaeum in Luxembourg 1956-63; Studied law at the Free University of Brussels (ULB), winning in 1969 with the title of Doctor iuris;

Career: Attorney at the District Court of Luxembourg 1969-72; appointed as Administrative Attaché at the city council Luxembourg in June 1970 (2-fold profession during the internship 1970-1972); Appointed Generalsekretöt (i.e. head of administration) of the City of Luxembourg in May 1988; Retirement October 2006; Special Representative 2006-2008 as Vice-President of the Association Luxembourg and Greater Region, European Capital of Culture;

Leisure: 1972 joining the club in the movie amateurs in Luxembourg (CAL), Member of the Board since 1974, 1st Chairman since 1998;
Between 1975 and 1990, and between 2001 and 2003, President of the Association of the Luxembourg filmmakers (FGDCA);
Participation as an official delegate or simply Participants in about 25 UNICA congresses since 1976;
President of the Organizing Committee of the UNICA 2002 Vice-President of the OC of UNICA 2011 in Luxembourg;

Hobbies: Author or co-author of about 60 filmmakers of all genres, holiday, reportage, documentary, drama, etc. Winner of several prizes at national festivals. Juror at numerous national and international festivals.
Joined the UNICA Committee as a special advisor to the president on Statuten reform¸ at the UNICA 2009 in Gdansk; re-elected in 2012 at the festival in Rousse, Bulgaria.

Membre du Conseil International du Cinéma, de la Télévision et de la Communication Audiovisuelle auprès de l'UNESCO
All information is presented in good faith. 

Alle Informationen ist in gutem Glauben präsentiert.
Toutes les informations sont présentées en toute bonne foi.