I will start by conveying warm compliments to the team of the Fieberbrunn club headed by its President, Gerhard Hengl and its Secretary Wolfgang Schwaiger, who took on the roles of Director and Head of Communication for the 2013 UNICA Festival and managed the event in a very impressive way. More than 200 participants from numerous countries enjoyed a well organised congress that met their expectations in an atmosphere of great cordiality and unique charm.
The perfectly staged official opening organised outdoors, followed by the traditional banquet set the tone for the following days. This also applied to the closing ceremony with the awards, the banquet and the handing over of the flag.
We had the chance to enjoy a display of the local culture with a fanfare, a shooting club performance and two "yodlers" who shared the stage with a modern music band. The sightseeing tour of Innsbruck including its ski-jump arena, the cathedral, the castle and the old town was delightful. All the participants really enjoyed this full-day excursion which climaxed in Rosenegg Castle hotel in Fieberbrunn. The half-day excursion filled all participants with enthusiasm when we travelled in the cable cars up to the alpine pastureland above Fieberbrunn, enjoyed the cheese and beer tasting sessions, enhanced with some 'obstler' (fruit brandy) and finished the day in a typically Tyrolian atmosphere up in the mountains.
a technical point of view, the projections - pictures and sound
-were of excellent quality. However there was a hitch: the ceiling
in the projection hall was rather low so that subtitles at the
bottom of the screen could not be seen by everyone.
A large majority of the films selected for the national programmes were of admirable quality. It was a hard task for the jury, chaired by Bernard Lindner, to identify the best films; they opted for severity and preferred to award fewer prizes so that even film-makers who were awarded Diplomas of Honour could feel proud of their achievement.
The World Minute Movie Cup was - once again - one of the highlights of the festival; obviously all members of the audience were delighted to play the role of the jury panel and adored viewing these films that are mostly comedies. Dr Georg Schörner, the Secretary General of the Austrian Federation was a brilliant master of ceremonies, when he substituted for Zeljko Balog, who could not attend the Congress.
The General Assembly of the Delegates took place in a very pleasant
atmosphere and almost all resolutions were accepted unanimously. The
Assembly also confirmed the status of Kees Tervoort as a special
adviser appointed by the Committee to collect all reform proposals
submitted by national organisations when they returned the
questionnaire. Kees Tervoort will examine and thoroughly analyse the
proposals with a view to drafting a document with suggestions of
reforms that will then be submitted to the Committee, possibly as
early as the committee meeting in Spring 2014.
The Assembly was pleased to see that a new "UNICA Committee” has come into being in Korea and that country in the Far East was well represented in Fieberbrunn with many Korean friends attending the Congress.
On invitation by Ursula and Fred Graber, the Committee held its autumn meeting in Nyon (CH) from October 17 to 20. We were welcomed with open arms and our hosts spared no efforts to offer great hospitality. Thank you very much.
We were happy to see that the Hungarian Federation once more subscribed to Unica, thanks to initiatives taken by Horst Hubbauer.
Zuzana Skoludova, who joined us for the Nyon meeting, reported about the latest preparations for our 2014 Congress which will be held in Pieštany, in Slovakia. The UNICA 2014 website is already online and everyone can already register and book a hotel room.
Some proposals for reform have already
been submitted, not from federations which can respond to the call
up to the November 30th deadline, but from some individuals worried
about the future of our organisation. The proposals have been
forwarded to Kees Tervoort and will be examined as individual
contributions. It already appears that opinions may be fundamentally
The Committee devoted much time and attention to a complaint lodged by a federation that expressed serious accusations, mainly concerning plagiarism, against a film-maker and his federation with reference to a film that was awarded a medal in Fieberbrunn.
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The Spring 2014 meeting of the UNICA Committee will be held in St Petersburg, Russia, following Nina Zaitseva's and Vyacheslav Zaytsev's invitation. This will be an opportunity to meet the organizing committee and collect information about the preparations for the 2015 Congress. The Committee will visit the venue for the Congress and also the possible accommodations. Arrangements have been made to meet the political authorities of the city of St Petersburg.
With best regards
Luxembourg, November 2013
Georges Fondeur, President
Photos by Franka Stas.