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Report part 2 | RESULTS: Top Awards | Minute Movies | Gold | Silver | Bronze & Blue

BIAFF 2007 - buzzes part one

Royal Tunbridge Wells may be beautiful. I wouldn't know. Jan and I came there to attend BIAFF and so we were far too busy to go sight-seeing. The weather was beautiful, but even that could not tempt us away from the films, people and chatter.

Arrival

The Wellington Hotel was on the shabby-genteel side but the cheery service more than made up for any failings. Its main staircase was a celebration of creaks and groans when even the lightest person skipped up or down it. The food was good, the drink reasonably priced and the welcome first class. The overspill hotel down the road looked more "wedding cake" in style. Several people stayed at B&B places around town.

Portrait of Dorothy Borrie. Portrait of Frits Cohen. Portrait of Val Ellis. Portrait of Peter Cole. Portrait of Alice Dunckley. Portrait of Brian Dunckley.

Dorothy Borrie

Frits Cohen

Val Ellis

Peter Cole

Alice Dunckley

Brian Dunckley

We were driving past the entrance, looking for the car-park when we spotted the Rouillards en masse by the door waving us down. They said someone who spoke a little German was needed ... were they joking? Later it turned out they were not, but Pat Adcock translated for the delightful couple Martin and Pavla Ctvrtnicek, who came originally from Prague but now live in Germany. They, poor souls, were in a b&b 20 minutes away but before long we organised a series of lifts to and fro.

Pavla and Martin Ctvrtnicek. Turning into the rear car-park we smiled to see a white mobile-home which we knew held Bernhard and Karin Hausberger from Austria. Bernhard's English is good but Karin can be a little shy so she spent part of the weekend in the van watching Austrian television through their satellite system! I don't think they have an illegal still on board, but Bernhard was generous with the Schnapps all weekend. Slipping in the back door and up to the main lobby we passed Andy and Maria Mauger, the guys who run Motcombe-Relf music setting up their stand at the foot of the stairs. Next morning we were serenaded down to breakfast by samples of their royalty-free records. Andy and Maria Mauger of Motcombe-Relf records.

Pavla and Martin Ctvrtnicek

Maria and Andy Mauger

There were so many nice people to greet that it took some time to get through the lounge to the front lobby where the SERIAC team had their welcome stand and issued us with tickets, programme, a pack of information ... and a full set of warm smiles. We turned round ... and there were Mike and Jo Coad. Astonishing! Only the night before we were reading the blog of their six months back-packing tour of the far east (a riot to read and with super photos - click here) and envisioned them in Asia not Kent.

Portrait of Bernhard Hausberger. Portrait of Christiane Surdiacourt. Portrait of Jean-Pierre Hue. Portrait of Karin Hausberger. Portrait of Jan Schoonen. Portrait of Romi Van Krieken.

Bernhard
Hausberger

Austria

Christiane
Surdiacourt

Belgium

Jean-Pierre Hue
France

Karin
Hausberger

Austria

Jan
Schoonen

(Netherlands)

Romi Van
Krieken

Netherlands

Friday Night

The Rouillards and the Van der Lindens. The AV Show went like an express-train. Obviously Peter Coles had taken to heart concerns in previous years about the length of this show and was determined not to waste a second. I swear a couple of the digital presentations had movement at 24 fps in them! For me the best trick was in a sequence about a young woman who wanted to become a Goth. On the side wall of the cinema appeared the famous silhouette of Alfred Hitchcock. Was this a new trick in the AV repertoire? As I was by a window I peeped out to see Ken Wilson walking past one of the floodlights at the front of the hotel and realised it was his shadow.

I wonder why I never, ever agree with the judges decisions in AV competitions. As the two forms grow technically closer I suspect there will be more cross-fertilisation of ideas. I do, however, miss the really high-fidelity sound that accompanied non-digital AV shows where sound was often on tape.

Michael Slowe, David Newman and John Gibbs.

Peter & Mary Rouillard with
Willy & Etienne Van der Linden

Michael Slowe, David Newman
and John Gibbs

Saturday

An audience in one of the mini-cinemas. On Saturday the mini-cinema shows went remarkably smoothly. The rooms were on the tight side so sometimes we took our second choice of cinema - but no matter where you went Brian Dunckley had planned a varied and interesting programme.

Mike Shaw had created a 15-minute "interval" tape which played as we entered the cinemas. It showed the IAC logo in animated form and a succession of local images. With gentle music it helped make people feel at home when they came in and did not deter conversation.

Carol Wilson in a deck chair.

An audience in one of the mini-cinemas.

Carol Wilson in a break.


The story continues in part two - click here.


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Page updated on 16 January 2011
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