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Nouvelles | Zeitungsartikel | Announcements | Front page

Letter from the President

Portrait of Max Hansli.TO ALL UNICA FILM FRIENDS
who have (provisionally) registered for
UNICA 2006 in Korea

Dear Film Friends,

First of all, let me offer my best wishes for the New Year. I hope you enjoy excellent health and success throughout 2005.

Here is the first newsletter with information about registrations and the preliminary arrangements made:

By 31st December 2004 no fewer than 150 participants had registered - a great achievement! Though I am optimistic in nature, this number surpassed my wildest expectations. Many thanks for that. Now you can imagine the scope of the administrative preparations that have to be made, but I take it as a challenge and we will try to be up to the task and make the project a truly great success.

We have permanent contact with our Korean friends concerning both the tour and the UNICA Congress itself. I hope to share with you in the course of the year all the details of the itinerary and program for the 5-day tour prior to Congress. I will also try to provide a description of all the places that you will visit and give information about what you will see and experience. This information is based on the tour that the Committee members had when they visited Korea in 2004.

Mr. Chang and myself are doing our best to set up as interesting and varied a programme as possible so that you will find the time you spend in this Asian country just as unforgettable as it was for those of us privileged to visit Korea earlier on your behalf. The two excursions (possibly full day outings) due to take place during the UNICA Congress will be highlights in our Korea programme. It is also quite important that we have as many common meals as possible, mostly because that is the best way to overcome the language barrier.

As I previously told you, numerous airlines serve Seoul airport. If you make a final decision to come to Korea by UNICA 2005 in Blankenberge or before the end of 2005, I strongly recommend that you immediately get in touch with your travel agency or your chosen airline to negotiate a good fare. I too will collect information and share it with you as soon as I have final data.

I will also send you a registration form some time in August/September 2005 so that you can confirm your participation. This letter will be sent to the person who filled out the provisional registration form. Please circulate that information to the other people registered on the same form. Thanks for that. Several would-be participants gave me to understand that they "do not really intend to watch all the films"- I understand that - and we are considering offering alternative events in the form of cultural visits alongside the general programme. However, proposals will be finalised only when we are in Korea.

As you can see, we are doing our utmost to make a most attractive offer and I hope that we can meet all your expectations. I will put you in the picture as soon as we have fresh information and decisions and I am at your disposal for further information.

Looking forward to seeing you,

Faithfully yours

Max Hansli (CHE), President of UNICA

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The UNICA logo.Letter to all National Federation Presidents

May I take liberty of making a suggestion to you, as the president of a national federation?

Passing On Information

I can assure you that I do my best to publish and circulate in each issue of UNICA-News data and information which may be of interest, not only to the national federation as a member of UNICA, but also to all fans and friends of film and video making. However, this information can develop and prosper only if the seeds fall on fertile ground so that the growing plants can bear flowers and fruit. In reality, we sometimes observe that the dissemination of this information, just like seeds planted in stony ground, cannot really develop because they do not find their way to the proper end-user (in this case, the member). The publications and periodicals in which this information is published are in fact very few in number.

So now my suggestion is: What about creating and reserving space in your national magazine or periodical for UNICA News, perhaps with a representation of our emblem - the globe with the UNICA banner? We imagine that UNICA Friends in particular would be very pleased to find there information of great interest to them. Would that not be an appropriate way to disseminate UNICA information? This article is obviously not meant just for national federations which already have publications of this kind. I hope that - in cooperation all the other ones - we can find ways to set up a common procedure and I would like to thank members in advance for their effort.

Schedules and Timetables

Organizing a UNICA Congress is a process entailing numerous problems which could very often be considerably reduced if everyone involved met the schedules and deadlines. The Secretary-General always sends the registration forms for video entries to national federations in good time, before UNICA Congress. He takes this occasion to ask the national federation for the name of the person(s) they intend to send as delegate(s), the name(s) of young filmmakers coming to UNICA, the title(s) of entries belonging to the Jeunesse category (authors less than 25 years of age) and an indication of films that are not appropriate for young viewers. Not only the Secretary-General, but also the organizers of a UNICA Congress have to keep an eye on deadlines and are eager to have such data for programming. If these documents are not made available in due time, there are difficulties for all participants. For this reason, it will be not be possible to accept any programme modifications for UNICA 2005 after the entry registration deadline!! This means that it will not be possible to declare just before or after the presentation that the film presented is - for instance - a "Jeunesse" work and this indication was omitted at the time of registration! Or that some other data should be modified.

Please take this into account.

Picture of mini-dv cassette and dvd disc.DV Cassettes/ DVDs

We are very pleased to see wide acceptance of the idea of keeping all the DV- cassettes with the works shown at UNICA and selected for the Film Library. I take this opportunity to thank all national federations once more. It is therefore possible to circulate the cassettes from the Film Library immediately and the task of the Film Librarian is greatly facilitated.

The value of the DV-cassette has now proved itself and life has become much easier for UNICA organisers and technical teams as they do not have to juggle with various types of equipment. The DVD format has also got into the swing of things at UNICA alongside DV cassettes. For that reason , we ask you to submit your national programme exclusively in DV or DVD format. We assume that all national federations have the capability of transferring VHS and other formats onto DV or DVD. All national federations are therefore requested to comply. That will greatly facilitate the organisation and operation of the UNICA Competition.

Many thanks.

Sincerely yours

Max Hänsli (CHE), UNICA President

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Future UNICA Congresses (Festivals)

Over the next few years the venues for UNICA Congresses will be far from our usual destinations. This means preparations have to be made a long time ahead, so we would like to share with you information about the places and likely dates. Please note that most of this is still subject to change.

  • 2005 Blankenberge, Belgium, from 10 to 18 September.
  • 2006 Seoul + Kyongju/Shilla near Daegu, South Korea, from 21 August to 03 September, with a 5-day optional tour before the Congress.
  • 2007 Liptovský Mikuláš, Slovakia, in August/ September.
  • 2008 Tunisia (date and venue still open.)

2005 (BELGIUM) - Registration forms and information were sent at the beginning of 2005 to all known participants in recent congresses. Please register as soon as possible with the organisers using the following address: Roger Vounckx, Tuinlaan 16, B-9120 Vrasene, Belgium.

2006 (SOUTH KOREA) - Information was sent in Autumn 2004 to all known addresses. It is still possible to make a provisional registration now via www.unica.to or by asking for a registration form from the President of UNICA Max Hänsli mhaensli@webshuttle.ch. Such provisional registration is non-committal until the UNICA 2005 Congress and can be cancelled without penalty. Final registration will be required by the end of 2005 at the latest.

2007 (SLOVAKIA) - Information will be circulated at the UNICA 2005 Congress in Blankenberge.

2008 (TUNISIA) - We should have more specific information very soon about the venue and the date and will keep you informed.

This list shows how much UNICA is confirming its world-wide dimension. It also means that in future relevant information and documentation should be provided to participants two years ahead of the congress so that they can decide in good time. We ask congress organisers to take this into account.

The UNICA committee.

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Portrait of Lauri Hirvonen.Lauri Hirvonen (FIN)
UNICA Committee Member

Lauri started filming in 1966, just when the first Super-8 cameras appeared in the shops. He joined the Helsinki Movie Club, learned a lot there and took part in film competitions. He moved to Sound Super-8 when suitable cameras and films came into the shops as they were perfect for documentary filming. He wrote for local magazines about Super-8 cameras and projectors and did test reports for the leading magazine in Finland.

He switched to video (because of the increasing cost of film making). He found video editing very difficult, compared with film-editing. When computer editing became possible thanks to new PCs and new editing software, he started non-linear editing.

Lauri has now shot more than 100 cassettes of MiniDV. These are mostly family films and work-related movies. He has been training other film makers to edit their movies on PC. He was invited to join the Finnish Federation and was on their board. He was elected to be the Finnish representative to UNICA 2003 and now, in 2004, he has been elected Chairman of the Finnish Federation.

Translation: Dave Watterson (GBR)

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Geoff Addis being congratulated by Serge Michel.News from IFTC - Image & Science Conference 2004

Mutations, metamorphoses "Top Billing Worldwide"2004

The prize award ceremony for the 21st Image and Science International Conference Image & Science under the auspices of the French Centre de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the International Council for Film, Television and Audio-visual Communication (IFTC) at UNESCO, was held in Paris on October 1st, 2004 in the cinema on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower.

The "A l'affiche du monde"("Top Billing Worldwide") Grand Prize for a UNICA film was awarded this year to Geoff Addis for his film Elegia. This work had been shown at the UNICA 2004 Congress in Veitshöchheim, Germany. The "Gustave Eiffel" movie theatre was, once again, full and no less than three hundred spectators enjoyed the film excerpt screened.

Geoff Addis, accompanied by his wife, made the long trip to Paris to receive this prize which is also a reward for the British federation "IAC - The Film and Video Institute".

Still from 'Elegia'.Elegia was thus the sixth film produced by a UNICA member taken up in the Film library of mankind which is currently set up in cooperation with CNRS and IFTC as part of a joint programme and all of us hope that UNICA will go on contributing to this meritorious and valuable effort and are looking forward to the 2005 contribution.

UNICA had pride of place again in Paris some days later - on October 07, 2004 - this time at UNESCO as our friend Željko Balog organised a presentation of one-minute movies as a contribution to a temporary exhibition dedicated to Croatian Cultural Heritage (see separate article by Z. Balog).

We are very pleased indeed to see that this partnership with IFTC and UNESCO is constantly developing.

Serge Michel (FRA), Vice-president of UNICA, Member of the Executive Committee of IFTC at UNESCO

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Simple map of Korea.KOREA IN BRIEF

Land: The Korean peninsula extends southward from the eastern end of the Asian continent. It is roughly 1,020km (612 miles) long and 175 km (105 miles) wide at its narrowest point.

Mountains cover 70% of the Korea's land area, making it one of the most mountainous regions of the world. The lifting and folding of Korea's granite and limestone base has created a breathtaking landscape of scenic hills and valleys. The mountain range that traverses the length of the east coasts plunges steeply into the East Sea, while along the southern and western coasts mountains descend gradually to the coastal plains that produce the bulk of Korea's agricultural crops, especially rice.

The Korean peninsula is divided just slightly north of the 38th parallel. The Democratic Republic of Korea in the south and communist North Korea are separated by a demilitarised zone.

South Korea's 99500 sq. miles is populated by 47.9 million people. Administratively, the Republic of Korea consists of nine provinces (do), the capital Seoul, and the six metropolitan cities of Busan, Daegu, Incheon, Geangui, Daejeon and Ulsan. In total, there are 72 cities (si) and 91 counties (gun).

Climate: Korea lies in the temperate zone and has four distinct seasons. In late March or early April, the trees burst into leafy splendour to mark the beginning of spring. Mostly sunny days can be expected from March to May. During the relatively hot and rainy summer season, the vegetation is lush. By June average temperature is over 200 C (680 F). Monsoon rains usually begin around the end of June and last until mid-to-late July. August is hot.

The coming of Autumn in late September brings continental winds and clear, dry weather, making the autumn months perhaps the most pleasant time of the year. October's vivid golds and vibrant reds create a colourful panorama. December to February are cold and dry with occasional snow or rain. During the winter months, three or four days of cold weather are often followed by a few warmer days.

Religion: Freedom of religion is fully guaranteed in the republic of Korea. Korea's traditional religions - Shamanism, Buddhism, and Confucianism - have all played an integral role in the country's socio-cultural development. There are also various minor religions based on various combinations of elements from these traditional religions. Christianity has developed a large following since its introduction in the late 18th century.

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Picture of the Trans Siberian Railway.The Korea Train Project initiated by Franz Schlager of the University of Salzburg  and organised by EVA (European Video Archives) and the Festival of Nations in Ebensee, is planned as a big media sensation. This event will be a first.  It will be a unique journey by train for a group of European amateur film makers travelling to their world competition in South Korea. That is not counting the additional plans such as live-TV transmission over satellite, non-stop recording with 50 cameras on hard discs and so on. It will be an "event" for mass media, because a high public interest is a "must" for journalists.

Cooperation with sponsors could reduce ticket prices, perhaps as low as Euro 2,400 for Korea-Zug-1 (August 2005) or Euro 3,100 for Korea-Zug-2 (August 2006). The latter fee includes the pre-programme week of sight-seeing in South Korea scheduled before the festival and the UNICA-Congress itself. Every participant is called, to contribute his work for this project and to bring other sponsors.

We need to publicise the event immediately. Send information to: Erich Riess, Gaumbergstrasse 82, A-4060 Linz or by e-mail: eva.video@netway.at

Translation: Franz Schlager (AUT

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FACINEB - the organisation behind
67th UNICA 2005 at Blankenberge,Belgium, September 10th - 17th 2005

In the name of FACINEB, the CvB welcomes you.


Like all Belgian federal political structures, the majority of socio-cultural associations are divided into a Flemish federation and a Walloon federation. Thus the FACINEB (Federation of Belgian Amateur Cineastes), which began 1941 and brought together amateur film clubs from all over Belgium, gave birth in 1973 to the Flemish NAB (Nederlandstalige Amateurcineasten van Belgium) and the Walloon FCVFB (Fédération of the Cineastes and Vidéastes Francophones of Belgium.) The Brussels Association belonged to one or the other according to the language used by the majority of the members.

From this point onwards, FACINEB was nothing more than a structure on paper. Moreover, it does not have financial means. Two representatives of each sub-federation (generally the president and the secretary) choose FACINEB's secretary-general. For nearly 20 years the role was filled by Louis Meulders, who thus represented Belgium in the General meeting of UNICA and who filled all the administrative formalities. Since 2003 that job has fallen to Willy Van Blaere.

New Amalgamations

Map of the Belgian regions.In June 2001, on the Flemish side, the Centrum voor Beeldexpressie (abbreviated to CvB), which might be translated as the Centre for Expression through Images, was founded. It is a fusion of the NAB and the Flemish Federation of photographic circles. It was a matter of financial survival because the Centre now is recognised and subsidised by the Flemish Community. So the number of members almost doubled compared to the NAB and it is currently approximately 4500.

In all there are 300 cine clubs and/or photo-slide groups which are split for the most part between Flanders and Brussels. The Cinema section has approximately 1800 members, divided into 80 clubs. The provinces of Antwerp (PROVAC), of Western Flanders (WEVAC) and Eastern (VAKOV) have roughly equal numbers, the provinces of the Flemish Brabant (BRACINA) and Limbourg (LIVIFI) being smaller. Most of the budget necessary to organise UNICA 2005 in Blankenberge will be provided by the Flemish Community via CvB, which also has charge of the event's organisation.

One Common Purpose

The principal objective of CvB is the promotion of the universal language of the image, whether it is by film, photograph, video or multi-media. To that purpose contests, festivals, courses, exhibitions and study days are organised each year. It was with this same aim, to widen the horizons of our film makers by bringing films from all over the world to their doorstep, that CvB offered to organise UNICA 2005 in Blankenberge.

In all the history of UNICA, Belgium has only twice before organised the event: the first time in 1931 in Brussels and second time in 1973 in Ostend. This year, we look forward to seeing you in Blankenberge from the 10 to September 18. The Belgian coast in September has the advantage of being calmer and the weather can (?!) still be very pleasant.

We are ready to help you appreciate our rich cultural heritage in  a spirit of universal friendship.

You are indeed welcome!

Michelle Cooreman (BEL), for CvB

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