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BIAFF 2006 Results

BIAFF 2006 - The Event

North Thames Region of the IAC organised the weekend in the Park Inn Hotel, Bedford. The venue was comfortable and - almost incredible to relate - even drew spontaneous praise from our European visitors for the quality of its food. Well over 200 people attended.

Portrait of Val Ellis, IAC President. Portrait of Urbain Appeltans. Portrait of Narelle Summers. Portrait of Hilbert Nijzink. Portrait of Roy Claisse.

Val Ellis
IAC President

Urbain Appeltans
Daily Mail winner

Narelle Summers
Acting Award

Hibert Nijzink
film maker

Roy Claisse
Festival Officer

On Friday evening Peter Coles introduced a programme of the winning AV Sequences in this year's IAC Geoffrey Round Digital AV Competition. The top three were:

  1. "Room 17" by Johan Werbrouck Belgium
  2. "The Bridge is Safe" by Henk Tulp & Albert Slack Netherlands/UK
  3. "A Point of View" by Mike Kersting & Brendan Murphy UK

The full programme of 9 sequences was about 70 minutes long and left delegates very impressed - with several people asking how they might get started in this distinctive branch of media work.

On Saturday during the day four mini-cinemas were busy screening 96 complete movies and 5 extracts from long works (the complete movies will be available in the IAC library). The work ranged from bronze awards to gold ones with each 75 minute programme offering an interesting range of types and subjects. A surprising number of film makers who were known to be present did not attend shows of their own films where they could receive their certificates and applause ... they were too busy catching up with work from other people in a different mini-cinema. The tea and coffee breaks were a buzz of discussion and debate.

Portrait of Richard Rouillard. Portrait of David Longley. Portrait of Garth Hope. Portrait of Iris Schoonen. Portrait of Joy Prosser.

Richard Rouillard
toasts IAC

David Longley
film maker

Garth Hope
FVM Editor

Iris Schoonen
film maker

Joy Prosser
film maker

In the evening the Gala Dinner allowed more time for socialising. Penny Love was Master of Ceremonies. Richard Rouillard proposed a toast to the IAC with a delightful speech pointing out among other things the more relaxed and informal nature of the event since his first rather daunting experience of it. John Gibbs, IAC Chairman, replied and explained some of the changes going on in the organisation. He also announced preparations for the IAC's 75th anniversary - saying the emphasis was on looking forward, not back.

Val Ellis, IAC President, then made presentations of special honours.

The UNICA Medal for contribution to the film making cause went to Brian and Alice Dunckley.

A special framed certificate went to Finchley Cinevideo Society to mark their 75th year.

IAC Fellowships were presented to Alice Dunckley, Peter Copestake and  (on Sunday to Tom Hardwick).

Tom Hardwick

Alice Dunckley

Peter Copestake

The Sunday programme of award winning films was a gem. Brian Dunckley had, of course, to try to show as many of the International standard winners as possible. He cannot control what films are entered or which ones the judges choose. But he did arrange them in an excellent sequence.

He started with Nothing Girl which boldly begins using just a strip of image across the foot of the screen and includes many deliberately out-of-focus shots. That got debate going which lasted all day and probably much of the evening too. Then came an impeccable movie which reassured people that following the rules can work, when done as well as Michael Gough does it. His Living in the Past showed Rome, the tourist city. That was followed by the light-hearted morality tale Biyik which had a whole population in moustaches - men, women and children. U482 followed proving that a club can make a convincing submarine drama building its own sets from the cardboard centres of carpet rolls and odd junk. We ran up to the break with Battle of Oranges about the strange carnival in Arance where teams of fighters pelt one another - and any passers by - with oranges ... for three whole days!

The second part of the morning was devoted to the stunning feature-length movie The Team by John Curran. Nothing in this fast-moving tale of a violent gang of robbers was done by halves. Lots of locations, lots of explosions, fire-fights and a wealth of characters. It was a stunning achievement.

Portrait of Frits Cohen. Portrait of Brian Roberts. Portrait of Bill Greenhalgh. Portrait of Christine Collins. Portrait of Brian Dunckley.

Frits Cohen
film maker

Brian Roberts
film maker

Bill Greenhalgh
AV maker

Christine Collins
NTR Chairman

Brian Dunckley
Competition Manager

After a break for lunch or a windy stroll by the river it was back for Confidentially - a black-and-white psycho-drama featuring Narelle Summers in a role which won her the best acting award. Making a monologue visually interesting was an impressive piece of film making. For me there was one moment which might have got a laugh in a lesser work, but here thanks to the impact of photography and performance just earned a gasp. (I cannot say more without spoiling the film for those yet to see it.) Next, easing the tension, came The Grand Sale, another of Tana Fletcher's puppet animations about the characters in Willoughby Drive. Sadly injuries caused by a fall a couple of weeks ago prevented Tana being present. A good laugh was earned by Clive Atkins's Plan B.  (Next year the one-minute movies will be judged by audience vote and if he can match that standard, Clive must be in with a good chance of the prize.)

Having got us thoroughly relaxed, Brian then threw at us Packin' It In - a character study of two 20-something people. Their marriage has broken down, he has a new girl and his ex-partner is supposed to quit the house. They flip between anger and careful politeness to one another in performances and dialogue that was wholly convincing. It was our second study of women suffering for love and ended with a bang. After that we needed something calmer. Brian gave it to us in Urbain Appeltans's Hannah - a simple tale, set in an idyllic past but based on truths about human nature which are timeless. As soon as it ended one film maker leaned over and whispered to me: "We've seen the winner - and it deserves it completely." When the top prize was announced at the end of the show, he was proved right. What impressed me was that he was the maker of another film which was also in the running for the Daily Mail Trophy.

Val Ellis presented the Daily Mail Trophy to Urbain Appeltans

To follow Urbain's rich colours would have been difficult but Brian picked Little Wonders of Nature which featured glorious colours in a simple but beautiful study of the wildlife in Florent Van Opstal's garden. On paper having two Belgian films together may have seemed strange, but it was the perfect choice. Then having relaxed us, Brian hit us with Reasons, a powerful tale told in the style of a tv investigation interviewing people and piecing together just by their conflicting and biased accounts pictures of events which formal official enquiries failed to reveal. It was all too credible and took us into the dark side of human character.

Again the pace was changed as we delighted in the music and cutting of Making Music by Tristam Thomas which took the youth award. It allowed us inside Abbey Road recording studios where he showed the intense concentration of a session orchestra making the soundtrack for a feature film. To round off the show came Alan Atkinson's latest story of Walter Ruddles, his pig-farming hero, Extinction Event.  This time our hero spotted a comet coming to destroy the Earth - and eventually found an unlikely solution. It is packed with jokes visual and verbal, many with a special twist for British amateur film makers. It brought us to a laughter filled conclusion of the screenings.

Thanks, Brian, for such a masterly structuring of the shows. Thanks to all the makers for such amazing, powerful movies.

Portrait of John Astin. Portrait of Patrick Woodcock. Portrait of Geof Caudwell. Portrait of David Peffer. Portrait of Alan Colegrave.

John Astin
film maker

Patrick Woodcock
film maker

Geof Caudwell
film maker

David Peffer
film maker

Alan Colegrave
film maker

Small Pleasures

The weekend was a great success and a very happy occasion. For me there were also a number of small pleasures in addition to the big events ...

BIAFF is an event not to be missed.

P.S. The photos show just a few of the people present - my clumsiness and a lot of red-eye shots mean this is a small selection.

"The Daily Mail Trophy went to HANNAH by Urbain Appeltans and Magda Verbist.

IAC Fellowships were presented to Tom Hardwick, Alice Dunckley and Peter Copestake.

The UNICA Medal for contribution to the movement went jointly to Brian and Alice Dunckley."

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Page updated on 16 January 2011
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