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The festival took place in Gdansk, Poland from Friday 4th - Sunday 13th September 2009.
ONE GOLD & TWO BRONZE MEDALS for the UK
Nigel Barton's gentle comedy Rent-A-Mate was unanimously voted a gold medal and best film of the festival by the rather tough jury at UNICA 2009, which gave only four gold medals in all. It was such a hit that during the closing banquet of the festival one Swiss delegate was spotted wearing headgear like the film's hero and accompanied by three apparently sozzled friends!
James Webber's Commitment and Paul Bagshaw's Blood Lake were voted bronze medals. 27 bronze medals were awarded in the main section of the contest with 7 more in the film school section.
The only country to earn more medals for its main programme was France with one gold, a silver and two bronze. The excellent French programme was - unsurprisingly - awarded best national programme prize.
Although many British regulars could not attend this year, the contingent from UK included Hamish Anderson, Alan Atkinson, Freddy Beard, John & Jane Gibbs, Michael & Linda Gough, Eric Granshaw, Reg & Annabelle Lancaster, Robyn Marsh, Henry Metzger, Eric & Sue Montague, John Morin, Dave & Jan Watterson, Tony & Jackie Williams. Gdansk - formerly Danzig - turned out to be much more than the famous ship-yards where Lech Walesa and the Solidarity Movement made the crucial crack in the Soviet system which triggered the collapse of the USSR and freedom for the nations it had dominated since the war.
The town centre which was largely destroyed in the war by both German and Russian bombardment, has been rebuilt as it used to be with narrow streets, tall buildings, cobble-stones ... and is utterly delightful. Around it is an area where bomb craters sit side-by-side with modern buildings ... including the Baltic Philharmonic Hall which was the site for the UNICA festival.
According to Reg Lancaster the films we chose to challenge the rest of the world were: Gadajace Obrazy, Zobowiazanie, Kumpel do Wynajecia, Jezioro Krwi, Wiertlo and Lokomocja ... Reg always tries to list the films not just in the three standard UNICA languages of English, French and German but also in the language of the host nation, in this case Polish.
In more familiar guise they were:
Flicker went into the World Minute Movie Cup, which is judged in a series of knock-out heats by audience vote. Thought it was admired technically as a serious piece of film making, that contest tends to be dominated by comedies. This year it was won by Folk Healer from the Slovak minute-movie experts: Jan Kuska and Jaroslav Chomo.
You can read a bit about the event, the setting, the outings and more here.
|Employment||Santiago Bou Grasso||Argentina|
|The Least One Can Do||Renaud Ducoing||France|
|Your World||Jae Kyung Suh||South Korea|
|Between||Michal Stenzel & Anna Kasperska||Poland|
|Santo and the Others||László Káldy||Hungary|
|Hijab (Headscarf)||The Lumetics (Jan Bacca & Horst Hubbauer)||Spain|
|When Paula Leaves||Claude Saussereau||France|
|Rainbow Angel||Anna Kasten||Germany|
|Clint||Florian Gregor & Philipp Scholz||Germany|
|A Long Way||Bernhard Hausberger & Erwin Naschberger||Lichtenstein|
|The Cross||Jef Caelen||Netherlands|
|Mayflies||Alfred Leumann & Erich Preisig||Switzerland|
|Burst||Dan Robert Andersson & Mario Castro Sepulveda||Sweden|
|Pssst !||Jaroslav Nykl||Czech Republic|
|Belated Horror||Thierry Knoll||France|
|Small Change||Loïc Nicoloff||France|
|Sciola: Beyond the Stone||Franco Fais||Italy|
|The Other Side||Friedrich Kober, Martin Kober||Austria|
|I Just Wanna Say Love Confession||Kyu Bum Park||South Korea|
|Strong||Korneev Gennadiy, Voznesenskiy Dmitriy, Borisenkova Tatiana||Russia|
|Red August||Kristo Chichinadze||Georgia|
|Cutting Holiday||Oleg Karpov & Umida Akhmedova||Uzbekistan|
|Speed Limit||Robert Hanousek||Czech Republic|
|For Better and Worst||Sakari Mäkelä||Finland|
|Blood Lake||Paul Bagshaw||Britain|
|Person No. 72||Nikolina Mudronja||Slovakia|
|Teeth||Dan Cerný||Czech Republic|
|What has happened to Us||Gerardo de la Fuente||Spain|
|Under the Lucky Star||Polina Tikunova & Nikita Panjukin||Estonia|
|Glow||Vladimir Iliev, Niki Vasilev||Bulgaria|
|Roxanne||Luká Novák||Czech Republic|
|Forgotten World||Ondrej Hejna||Czech Republic|
|Anno Domini 987 Sancta Michael||Ciné-Vidéo Flash Roeserbann||Luxembourg|
Film School Section
|The Past Night||Eileen Byrne||Germany|
|Drawn To You||Emil Gustafsson Ryderup & Sebastian Berlin||Sweden|
|Dirty Small Bubbles||Ivan Livakonic'||Croatia|