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Nouvelles | Zeitungsartikel | Announcements | International Agenda | Front page

Letter from the President

Portrait of Max Hansli.UNICA 2005: Blankenberge Is In Sight: A UNICA Committee meeting took place from13 to 16 May 2004 in Blankenberge (BEL). The main item on the agenda, of course, was a review of the arrangements for the UNICA 2005 Congress and a discussion with the organising committee of UNICA 2005.

We notes, with great pleasure, that the conditions laid down in "Instructions for the preparation of a UNICA Congress" had been duly respected by the organising committee and thus many questions were superfluous as they had already been resolved.

The congress card will cost € 170. The facilities offered by the Blankenberge Casino fit very well the needs of a UNICA Congress. The Casino is built at the beach side, (which is not to suggest that participants will be excused attendance at the projections!) A large cafeteria, just one floor below the projection hall will make it easy to organise a catering service for meals. The projection hall is vast; it will be equipped with seats for some 350 people but the room is large enough to seat 800 people.

Several hotels in various price categories are within walking distance of the Casino.

Information about all this will be dispatched to all the participants in recent UNICA Festivals in the form of brochure sent at the beginning of 2005.  The arrangements for ordering congress cards will also be specified then..

We can be sure that the day excursion to Brugge (by rail). Brugge is really a fabulous place, with a perfectly maintained old city (World Heritage), the Venice of the North. Taking part in the UNICA 2005 Congress would be worth while it is were just for the sightseeing tour in Brugge.

The discussions with the UNICA 2005 organising committee have been very profitable.  I can assure you that the people involved will spare no efforts to meet all the requirements of participants. We can already say: many thanks to the 2005 organising committee.

2004 General Assembly: In addition, we have made preparations for the 2004 General Assembly and, on this occasion, we examined the possibility of appointing a successor to the late Franz Rienesl. The committee proceeded in accordance with the Statutes and this will probably be confirmed by the next General Meeting.

Saint-Petersburg (UNICA 2007) : at the time of drafting this letter, we had not received any answer to the letter sent to ask for a confirmation about organising the UNICA 2007 Congress in Saint Petersburg. Let us hope that a positive response will come soon.

Change of Name: The idea of changing the denomination UNICA was also examined during the meeting and it was decided unanimously that, in case of modification, the main title UNION INTERNATIONALE… would be kept in French. The General Assembly will have to make a decision about this.

Friends of UNICA:  Jan Baca has designed a new emblem (for the lapel pins). A small number of pins with the new design has been ordered in Korea so that we can submit it to people's evaluation and see if it receives approval.

Max Hänsli, UNICA President

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In The Near Future: UNICA 2006 In Korea

Map of South Korea.The UNICA Committee has a duty to visit the possible venues selected for the UNICA Congress, clarify the questions that could arise and collect useful information concerning future congresses. In general, this visit takes place one year before the congress. There is an exception to this rule when the congress is held out of Europe, as was the case in Argentina: this visit should then be made- in the interests of the organiser and the participants, - two years before the congress. For this reason, a delegation composed of committee members and their partners (a total of 18 people) visited South Korea from 08 to 18 April, 2004 to examine the situation with the Korean organisers of the UNICA 2006 congress and get answers tovarious questions.

The visit - which had been prepared with remarkable talent by Mr. Chang and Mr. Kwon was definitely well worth. it. After a warm welcome at Seoul airport, the tour started and this very friendly and pleasant atmosphere prevailed until the time of departure 11 days later. We became acquainted with this country and some of its inhabitants and were pleased - and also astonished - to observe that UNICA is a well known concept in the country, though Korea has been a UNICA member for only two years.

Buildings in Seoul.Our excursions were well prepared, timing had been carefully planned, and a very diversified programme convinced us this was the work of professionals. That made it possible for us to gain an idea of the life of the Koreans and also to foresee what we could propose to participants in UNICA 2006. The extent of the interest expressed by the industrial sector and the government agencies for our project of UNICA 2006 in Korea also has was astonishing. We found the confirmation of this impression in the fact that we were invited by two municipalities (Seoul and Dae gu) and had discussions with municipal officials of these cities, which was always associated with an invitation to taste the Korean culinary specialities.

The city of DAEGU, the third largest in Korea, will host our Congress and we could see that several sites are eligible as venues. We reminded the organisers that the site of events and those of accommodation should be at reasonable distance of each other. Though no final decision has been made yet, we think that the Inter-Burgo Hotel in Daegu would best fit our needs. We expressed this opinion to the UNICA 2006 organising committee 2006 and we can assume that this wish will be fulfilled. The infrastructure and equipment, with rooms and premises of adjustable sizes, seems to be ideal for our purposes.

Inter-Burgo Hotel in Daegu.Considering that there are some language problems for us in Korea, in particular away from the international hotels, and although those are in most cases overcome by the Koreans with a broad smile, we asked the organising committee to make an offer for an all-inclusive tour (excepting the flight to and from Seoul) with accommodation and full-board and all services and expenses linked to attending the Congress itself. We had asked the Committee to organise our own tour under these conditions and I can tell you without the least reservation that it was a great success. The offer should also include the cost of the congress card. We asked the organising committee to make a provisional offer to be set up along the following lines:

  1. Flight and stay for those participants coming to attend only the UNICA Congress, arriving in Seoul on Friday - or Saturday - and leaving on Sunday (arriving in Europe the same day or the following day, depending on the airline).
  2. Arriving in Seoul 3 or 4 days before the Congress, sightseeing in and around Seoul before continuation to Daegu. Home journey as under point 1. above.
  3. Arriving in Seoul 5 or 6 days before the beginning of the Congress in Daegu. Extended tour with a program similar to what the organisers had prepared for the UNICA Committee. Home journey as under point 1. above.

In all three cases, the return fare for the Seoul-to-Daegu trip would be included. This would include transportation by bus, rail or air. All three means of transportation are highly efficient and can be recommended.

What can participants in the UNICA 2006 Congress in Korea expect?

A temple in South Korea.That was the question for which our tour had to give an answer. Actually, the answers were quite clear after the second day:

  • a new world unknown to most of us, with men and women of all age groups, friendly and radiant beyond all expectations.
  • Even those members of the Committee who expected quite a lot from Korea were more than enthusiastic about what Korean life and culture has to offer. Not only could they see that there is next to no Police to be seen in the streets or on the road - as there is not much to do for them - but we were astonished by the high degree of cleanliness to be observed everywhere - even in public restrooms. Generous expressways and motorways (with up to 8 lanes) and well thought-out domestic air lines gave us an excellent impression.
  • The Koreans are endowed with a great sense of humour, which obviously made contacts with them so easy and pleasant.
  • And also a great cultural shock! But do not worry, it is the kind of shock that does not hurt, but rather opens up a new world, beyond all our expectations. Huge palaces emerging out of the depths of history, markets testifying to the wealth of everyday life, national museums displaying treasures in optimal fashion. And next to all this, high tech at its best: a trade centre in the form of a 2-km wide block dedicated to high-tech equipment with the full range of the latest products in relation to film, video, radio, photo - displaying, not just 10 items of the latest generation, but hundreds of them Video projectors with a power of up to 4000 lumen, produced by various manufacturers. What more could you ask for?
  • And let's not forget Korean cuisine. Vegetables, salads, sauces of all description, in various degrees of "hotness or fieriness", dishes with fish and meat. However, those looking for a good steak can also get satisfaction. Of course eating with chopsticks is basic to Korean table manners, but forks and spoons are still available who are desperately clumsy with those strange utensils Meals are served in two different ways: the way which is familiar to most of us, i.e. sitting on chairs in front of a table, and the Korean way for which you adopt the lotus position, sitting on the hard ground... Both ways have to be tested as it is a part of the Korean experience.

When the final decision has been made concerning the venue for the UNICA 2006 Congress and the offers with the 3 above options have been finalised, I can assure you that there is still lots of information to be shared with you and that will make your mouth water even more and facilitate your own decision about taking part. Indeed it will be a splendid occasion to prove that the well-known expression

,,A UNICA Congress can also be great vacation TIME" makes more sense than ever. This is what I had to say about the UNICA 2006 CONGRESS IN KOREA

Max Hansli (CHE), UNICA President

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Agenda for the General Assembly UNICA 2004
Location: Mainfrankensälen - Veitshöchheim (DEU)
Date: Thursday, September 02nd 2004 - 9:00 AM

1. Opening address by the President of the Congress

2. Verification of the delegates' authorities by the Secretary General

3. Constitution of the bureau:

  • - chairman of the meeting (proposal: Max Hänsli)
  • - secretary (proposal: Jan Essing)
  • - 2 scrutineers

4. Confirmation of the agenda

5. Vote on the proceedings of the General Assembly UNICA 2003 in Warsaw (POL)

6. Address by the President of UNICA (will be read)

7. Report of the Committee by the Secretary General *)

8. Report of the Treasurer *)

9. Report of the Auditors (will be read)

10. Report of the Film librarian *)

11. Report of "Friends of UNICA" *)

12. Report on UNICA Patronages *)

13. Report of the delegate to I.F.T.C. *)

14. Report regarding UNICA Web *)

15. Admission of new members

16. Discussion and vote about proposals of the Committee (see below)

17. Discussion and vote about proposals submitted by members: Poland *)

18. Determination of next year's contribution

19. Confirmation of the budget

20. Selection of the place and dates of the Congress in the years:

  • 2005: Blankenberge (BEL) (already decided)
  • 2006: Daegu Republic of Korea (already decided)
  • 2007: St Petersburg (RUS) ?
  • 2008: Djerba (TUN) ?

20. Discharge of the Committee

21. Election of a new auditor

22. Miscellaneous, without vote


14. Report regarding UNICA Web dated: 2004-06-10

The UNICA Web consists of two parts :

  1. UNICA website
  2. UNICA filmlibrary catalog website

1 UNICA Website

The UNICA website has been developed in 1997. The website has got a very simple address: http://unica.to It contains information divided into the following categories:

  • latest news
  • next UNICA congress
  • info
  • committee
  • members
  • congresses
  • competition
  • WMMC
  • patronage
  • film festivals
  • links
  • contribution
  • filmlibrary
  • UNICA medals
  • documents
  • archive

The last 12 months 127 news items have been published. In order to save space in this report I suggest that you view these items in the UNICA website: http://unica.to (During the General Assembly a hard copy will be available)

The UNICA website has been visited:

  • 2440 times in 2001
  • 7095 times in 2002
  • 8559 times in 2003

2 UNICA film library catalog website

In 1989 a draft catalog with short descriptions of the (at that time about 400) films of UNICA’s film library was presented. These descriptions were taken from the brochures of the various federations, accompanying the films for the competition. Mostly these description were given in three languages: English, French and German. In 1990 a (paper) catalog was distributed to all delegates of the General Assembly. This led to a numerous amount of additional texts from various federations. In 1991 a (paper) catalog of 61 pages with several sortings (sequence number, film maker, country, title) was offered to all delegates of the General Assembly.

In 2001 a website for the catalog was developed. At the same time the catalog of the UNICA Film Library with information of about 750 films was also available on CD. This CD has been distributed to the Federations affiliated to UNICA during the UNICA 2001 congress.

In the website several sortings are available:

  • sequence number
  • year (with descriptions)
  • film maker
  • title
  • country
  • category
  • 1 minute
  • medals

The website contains a form to simply order films from the Film Library, either through Internet or by fax or snail mail.

The UNICA filmlibrary catalog website has been visited:

  • 357 times in 2001
  • 558 times in 2002
  • 801 times in 2003

I do appreciate feedback on the form and content of the websites. So please don’t hesitate to send your remarks to webmaster@unica.to.

Arie de Jong, webmaster UNICA

16. Proposals of the Committee - Official translation

* After the death of UNICA Committee adviser Franz Rienesl and pursuant to article IV.5.4 of the Statutes, Committee decided to ask Mr Alois Urbanek, the president of the Austrian Film Federation, to take over the task of coordinating the edition of UNICA News. As this appointment could be decided only in May/June and acting under time pressure, the Committee requests to submit this proposal as soon as possible to a vote of the General Assembly 2005. This procedure can be considered as a deviation from the provisions in the Statutes and an exceptional step as the date for the General Assembly is so close to the date of this appointment by the Committee and national federations will have very little time to examine this proposal.

* Poland proposes to replace the word "NONPROFESSIONNEL" by "INDÉPENDANT" (INDEPENDENT).

The Committee decided during the latest meeting to approve this proposal. However, the language used will continue to be French. If you approve this proposal, the new denomination registered in the Statutes will become: UNICA - UNION INTERNATIONALE DU CINÉMA INDÉPENDANT. The name of UNICA in English and German will be appended in the future at the bottom of the official letter form.

17. Proposals submitted by members: Poland (annex) Poland proposes to replace the word "NONPROFESSIONNEL" by "INDÉPENDANT" (INDEPENDENT).

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Portrait of Franz Rienesl.In great sadness we received the news that Franz Rienesl, a member of the Committee, had passed away on April 22nd, 2004.

He was such a nice person, though strong-willed and endowed with a great power to convince other people, especially when it came to promoting non-professional fllmmaking activities.

He had gained great respect and recognition for his competent contributions to the development of UNICA.

UNICA has lost one of its most prominent personalities and we will miss him. But he will live on in our memory. We have lost indeed a very good and reliable friend.

Hansjoachim Stampehl (DEU), On behalf of the UNICA-Committee

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The UNICA Effect

Still from 'Filli di Vita'.Mino Croce appeared on screen in England in April thanking BIAFF for its top award, The Daily Mail Cup. He could not be there in person because he was on an Italian film jury the same weekend.

Britain, "the island kingdom", is sometimes thought to ignore the rest of the world, but our film festival results prove otherwise. Movies from all over the world have long been welcome at BIAFF (the British International Amateur Film Festival) and it is probably the only world amateur festival with no restrictions on film/video format or length.

In 2004 it was held at Harrogate in the north of England on an unusually sunny and hot weekend. Among the prize winners were several familiar to UNICA delegates: A-Wiwiwi by Dr. Frank Dietrich (Germany), To Be Conscious by the Saitsev family (Russia) and Verzauberte Zeiten by Horst Orlich (Germany) were among those receiving "International standard" medals. A-Wiwiwi also won Best Documentary and Verzauberte Zeiten won Best Animation.

Among delegates at the festival were Belgian film makers Willy Van Der Linden (whose documentary Schola Europaea Synphony won a Gold Award while his Mi Tio Paco and Magic Clown both won Silver Awards) and Urbain Appletans (who won an International Medal for an unusual love story called Prinsje.) A group of youngsters from Denmark received a lot of attention. Known as Film & Videohlub Bornholm they made a big impression with their movie My Grandad's Autumn. All were under 18 yet deliberately chose to enter the adult competition and got a Silver Award.

There were lots of UK winners too, but plenty of awards went abroad. Henk van de Meeberg (Netherlands) won Best Photography for Verspeelde Energie. Robert Becker (Germany) won Best Editing for Mahlzeit. Chris Saville (Australia) beat the Brits in the Humour Award (!) for In The Beginning. Sonia Ashbee (France) won Best Junior Entry for Around The World and Lale Nalpantoglu (Germany) won Best Youth entry for Etienen Mies.

223 films were entered, but despite running four viewing rooms simultaneously only about half of those could be screened during the weekend. Among them was A Nest by Yuri Kotovoy (Russia), Canowindra by Barry McKnight & Roger Cowland (Asutralia), No Signal by Frank Kopic (Slovenija), Vetrny Mlyn by Zdenek Prikryl (Czechia), A Dream by Tonu Aru & Eve Esther (Estonia), The Faded World Of Mine by L'uboir Patsch (Slovakia), Blood Marriage by Zerial Alessio (Italy), Ludwig Der Springer by Jurgen Wisner (Germany), Seidene Fallen by Bernhard Schmitz (Germany), A Street In Russia by Petr Baran (Czechia), The Fly Paper by Foxymon Productions (Czechia), Waernog Post? By Henk van de Meerberg (Netherlands), My Flesh Is Beautiful by Hee Jung, Jwa (Korea), The Retrieval and Picasso by Vladimir Murtin & Andre Van Der Hout (Netherlands), Le Voleur D'Ames by F. Bardiaux (Belgium).

During the festival's Gala Dinner the UNICA Gold Medal was presented to Val Ellis, film animator, President of the IAC and member of the jury at UNICA 1998 at Zillertall.

Brian Dunckley.BIAFF competition manager, Brian Dunckley (a familiar visitor at UNICA congresses), was very pleased with the results and welcomes entries for BIAFF 2005 whose closing date will be early January.

Is it Britain's membership of UNICA which encourages so many people from other countries to enter? Or is it our admiration for films from overseas which brings more UK delegates each year to UNICA? In either case it is a welcome result of better international communication: the UNICA effect.

- Dave Watterson

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Video Cassette Labels

It is hard to believe, but it seems that the problem of inscriptions on video cassettes is nearly insoluble. Why is it so?

The information supplied on the cassettes offered to UNICA are often so confusing that there are major problems, not only at the time of reception, but also - and even more - when it comes to projecting them. What are the causes of trouble?

  • The cassettes have not been properly rewound
  • The cassette contains several films, some of them having nothing to do with UNICA. And very often there is no indication of the spot / number where the video actually starts.
  • Both cassette and box should be labelled. The information to provide includes : film title in the original language, author's name, length of the film, type of sound track.
  • If the language used is not so common, translation in the 3 UNICA languages should be provided.
  • It would be good if the year of production is also specified, which surely could be useful for the author at a later time.

It would be very helpful if all national programs were delivered with a leaflet with information, which would be most important in the case of uncommon languages. There is no need to provide this documentation on fine glossy paper; plain paper photocopies can be very helpful too. About 300 copies seems appropriate.

Certainly a translation into the 3 UNICA languages (French / English / German) would be ideal and highly appreciated as supportive information for the spectators and the jury These leaflets should be handed out just before the projection of the national programmes to the jury members and the UNICA audience. They could be considered as an indispensable part of your national programme.

I thank you for your cooperation. Max Hansli. (CHE), UNICA President

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