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2016-2017 Report of the Committee by the Secretary-General

Portrait of Jacqueline Pante.

Jacqueline Pante
Merano, Italy
Email: info@unica-web.com


2017 is, under many world-moving aspects, an exciting year, for me personally it ended  and began with a new role: UNICA Secretary General. I thank my direct predecessor for the information he has provided to me, and all the UNICA friends for congratulations and advice, an exciting task that keeps me fit between my professional challenges.

This report covers the period from the UNICA Congress 2016 to the UNICA Congress in 2017. It was written about a month before the UNICA Congress 2017 and be sent to all members of UNICA. Any developments between the time of writing and the General Assembly 2017 will be reported orally or added to next year’s Report of the Committee.

General Assembly 2016

The Minutes of the General Assembly in 2016 in Suceava (ROU) were sent to all members at the end of last year.

UNICA Congress 2016

The UNICA Congress 2016 was held in Suceava (ROU) from 19th to 26th August. It was attended by fewer than 200 visitors. There were 115 film entries and 25 films for the World Minute Movie Cup. The result was 2 (2) Gold Medals, 6 (4) Silver Medals, 16 (6) Bronze Medals and 26 (2) Honorary Diplomas (numbers between brackets for  Young professionals’ section.). The team led by Congress President Viorel Ieremie was sincerely thanked for their work.

Participating countries: (in the order of projection):
Romania,  Croatia,  Spain, Lichtenstein,  Italy,  Great Britain,  Belgium,  Germany,  Austria,  Luxembourg,  Slovakia,  The Netherlands,  Ukraine, South Korea,  Macedonia, Russia,  Poland,  Sweden,  Czech Republic, Finland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Switzerland and  France.

ITA – Jacqueline Pante, Jury leader
BEL – Eugy Van Gool
CHE – Pia Kalatchoff
UKR – Ivan Kozlenko
ROU – Florin Paraschiv
SVK – Zuzana Škludová
BGR – Stanimir Trifonov

The Ukrainian juror had to leave earlier, and was replaced by Bernhard Lindner for the vote at short notice.

Young UNICA:

Thanks to generous support from Romanian official sources, a very busy and successful youth workshop was run. Well known local TV producers acted as mentors. Local volunteers helped with practical matters and an impressive group of films from the week was shown on the final day of the Congress.

UNICA Congresses in the following years

2018: Blansko CZ
2019: The Netherlands
2020  United Kingdom

The UNICA committee

Georg Schörner has been replaced by Jacqueline Pante (to be confirmed at the GA 2017)
Tatyana Alahverdzhieva has been nominated at the UNICA 2016 in Suceava as the new delegate for the Friends of UNICA. Mr Fred Graber has been acknowledged for his long work with a roaring applause.  

The current comittee is as follows: 

Dave Watterson President
Jeanne Glass Vice-President
Bernhard Lindner Vice-President
Jacqueline Pante – coopted General Secretary  
Thomas Kräuchi Treasurer
Željko Balog Advisor
Mitze Chapovski Advisor
Wolfgang Freier Advisor
Paweł Łęski Advisor
Rolf Mandolesi Advisor
Franka Stas Advisor
Tatyana Alahverdzhieva Advisor and Friends of UNICA delegate
Serge Michel * IFTC/CICT

Meetings of the UNICA committee

The UNICA Committee met during the Congress in Suceava.
It also met on:
22nd - 23rd October 2016 in Bratislava, Slovakia
Before the Bratislava meeting Georg Schörner, announced his retirement as Secretary-General for reasons of health. He kindly agreed to fulfil the duties of that office until the end of the calendar year.  Early in 2017 Jacqueline Pante kindly agreed to accept the duties of Secretary-General. The General assembly will be asked to confirm her appointment.

Sadly Rolf Mandolesi has been unable to attend meetings this year due to illness.

Meetings of the committee always include discussions on practical matters about the running of the UNICA. We try to learn from our experiences and the suggestions of Member Organisations. We consider the future of the organisation. The UNICA faces the same problems as most National Organisations and indeed most film clubs: how do we define our purpose, how do we battle the decline in number of Members and of visitors to the Congresses, how do we respond to technical changes. Many of these matters formed part of the discussions based on the results of the questionnaire circulated to Members early in 2016, which were collated by Franka Stas and Mitze Chapovski.

At the Bratislava meeting it was agreed to run the competition with three categories: amateur, 25 and under, students at film school. It was agreed to limit the number of film school contributions per national programme to two. It was agreed to drop the award for Best Overall Film of the Competition and instead celebrate the best in each category. It was also agreed that the jury should make its decisions on awards in private.  Several other minor amendments to the competition rules were agreed. These were announced in the President’s newsletter of December 2016.

10th - 12th March 2017 in Blansko, Czech Republic

During the meeting in Blansko, the committee visited the cinema and associated buildings, where the next UNICA will take place as well as the excursion destinations. We also visited the recommended hotels and met with the Organising Committee and local dignitaries.  Most hotels are some distance from the cinema, but the organisers plan a shuttle bus service to and from them.  All the accommodation is very reasonably priced. The places for the excursions were in the Moravian Karst including spectacular show caves, a cable-car and a stylish church with a remarkable carillon. There will be a Young UNICA workshop on the theme of animation. The premises and the organisation have been approved by the committee.

The two main concerns of the meeting were changes to the UNICA Statutes to help protect the UNICA and its Member Organisations in the case of legal actions and proposals submitted by the French National Organisation. Both matters are on the agenda for the General Assembly.  The committee proposal is that UNICA should clarify its legal form by stating "UNICA is a Swiss association in accordance with Article 60 et seq. Of the Swiss Civil Code". This would give our organisation a great deal of protection under Swiss law; protection for the Members as well as for the committee.

FFCV have prepared papers on their proposals, which have been circulated to Members.

Tatiana Alahverdzhieva agreed to take on the role of Competition Officer, collating the entry forms from National Organisations and individual Authors.  Zeljko Balog and Mitze Chapovski were appointed Technical Officers. It was agreed that films funded by sponsors, grants or crowd-funding were not excluded from the UNICA competition.

It is suggested that National Organisations which host a Congress should consider using a service such as PayPal to make it easier and much cheaper for people to send their payments.

The organisers for 2017 suggest that any programme which is late, but for which properly signed forms are given, might be shown at the time scheduled for their country, but out of competition. The webmaster was asked to create a UNICA Facebook group, which is now active.
We acknowledge gratefully the continued support during our meetings of the volunteer translators including this year Jean-Claude Lejosne, Delia Vagner and Odilon Dubost.

Members of UNICA

In August 2017 the following 30 countries were members of UNICA (in alphabetical order):
Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

There are problems in contacting some Member Organisations. If Hungary does not pay before the General Assembly, then it will be regarded as a passive member without rights to vote or present films. Poland does not have a practical contact with the UNICA. We are happy that Rwanda wishes to join UNICA and await the appropriate papers from them.

Morocco has been approached several times, but unsuccessfully. 


The UNICA Committee considers communication with the member organisations to be very important. New and urgent developments are reported immediately to the members by e-mail. The President has sent various letters with current developments and decisions to the members.


According to the Statutes and legal framework, following additional reports are part of the Secretary General‘ report, as shown in the GA Agenda:

 8. Report of the Treasurer.
 9.  Report of the Auditors (will be read) and discussion.
10. Report of the Film librarian and discussion.
11. Report of the "Friends of UNICA" and discussion.
15. Report on Patronage.
16. Report of the delegate to I.F.T.C. /CICT.
And the Presidents report 

Merano, July 2017
Jacqueline Pante
Co-opted Secretary General.