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UNICA 1999 - Main Report

Pictures by Valrie Ellis, FACI

Finnish Festival President, Tula Turtia. The event is partly a gathering for amateur movie makers from all over the world and partly a film and video festival.  Tula Turtia, Finnish delegate and president of the festival welcomed delegates to Lappeenranta .  Next to her is Max Hansli the President of UNICA.

The choice of film to enter lies with each country's delegates.  Kenneth Seeger, IAC's Vice Chairman and Films Officer, selected Cheesecake by St. Cuthbert's Films as most suitable for an international audience.  The choice was specially appropriate because at the IAC festival this year the two teachers who run the school video club, David Peffer and Frank Hodges, were awarded UNICA medals in recognition of the outstanding work they have produced over many years. The school produces a unique form of "tales with a moral" combining excellent performances by pupils and superb camerawork.  Their success is, however, due to excellent scripting and planning.

The visual introduction to the UK programme done by Doug Collender went down very well with the international delegates.

Well known British film makers Reg and Annabelle Lancaster are seen here greeting film making colleagues from all over the world.

Note: All UK delegates paid their own way to the festival and regarded it as a "working" holiday.

The Lancasters
Former Chair Reg Townsend and Vice-Chair Kenneth Seeger spotted enjoying one of the trips.  They visited beautiful Finnish scenery and briefly crossed the border into neighbouring Russia. Reg Townsend and Kenneth Seeger.
Russian dancers (left) they were treated to the local folk dancers.

Life President, Gerald Mee (right) never misses the chance to shoot!

Gerald Mee

Betty Jennings and TuliaTurtia.

Cheesecake by St. Cuthberts High School Video Club from Newcastle upon Tyne won a bronze medal.  Betty Jennings received it on their behalf.

The festival winner - getting a gold medal vote from all seven judges - was Del Costat de L'Ombra (Out of the Shadows) by Jan Baca - UNICA delegate from Spain and movie maker extraordinary.  His work has been enjoyed and admired in Britain for several years - the IAC Film & Video Library has Accident (made with Tony Garriga) and How To Write Love Letters.  In both films his leading actresses also won the Le Hedan trophy for best performance. Jan Baca.


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