Dear Delegates, Ladies and gentlemen,
It is almost exactly a year since we met in Ruse (Bulgaria), with our friend Vladimir Iliev. We learned there that great things can be created without significant resources. What remains is the memory of a Congress, which was well planned but also pleasant and very successful. We all had a really good time in Ruse. Once again we heartily thank Vladimir Iliev and his team.
As in previous years the committee cannot complain of a lack of work. Quite the opposite. Starting in Ruse, then at the meeting in Autumn 2012 (hosted by our friends Arie and Jan) and again at the Spring meeting (arranged by Zuzana Skoludova, who will host UNICA 2014) we were intensely busy with several topics, which all relate to how we can give this old lady, UNICA, a new impetus for her next 75 years.
First it was agreed in Heerlen that we should make an opening in our competition rules, albeit a tentative one, towards young professionals, provided they are under 30 years old and have not yet got a firm footing in the movie or television business. Naturally they must also be connected with their national organization either as a club-member or individual member.Now in Fieberbrunn it has been shown that this decision was correct. There were no fewer than 17 films of this type in the current festival. This emphasizes that there is in fact a place at UNICA for young authors who create short films under professional conditions and with public and / or private funding. The creation of such a category is no doubt a benefit in quality and marketing for our festival, thanks to the fine training of such authors and to increased media interest. It is, furthermore, an opportunity for national federations, who can now include entries from young "freelance" filmmakers in their official programs, without, however, neglecting the "pure amateurs" or depriving them of their chances for medals .
We have also retained new screening times for 2013, confirming our finding that the rules introduced in 2011 were relatively complex to apply, and in some cases, such as for Germany, Poland and France could even cause problems. Therefore by a large majority, the committee decided to introduce a uniform one hour screening time for each country, inclusive of two-minute breaks between films. For 2013 we retained a special arrangement for The Netherlands, Belgium and Argentina, because under the old rules those three countries had earned more than 60 minutes and a reduction to 60 minutes would have been unjust. From 2014 onwards, all national programs are the same.