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UNICA Festivals: 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | UNICA 2009 - The Event | 2010

UNICA 2009 - The Awards

The festival took place in Gdansk, Poland from Friday 4th - Sunday 13th September 2009.

A UNICA gold medal.


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.

Still from 'Rent-A-Mate'.

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.

The British Programme

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:

Still from the introduction film.

National Introduction
Brian Dunckley

Still from 'Talking Pictures'.

Talking Pictures
Mike Shaw

Still from 'Rent-A-Mate'.

Nigel Barton

Still from 'Flicker'.

Hamish Anderson

Still from 'Commitment'.

James Webber

Still from 'Blood Lake'.

Blood Lake
Paul Bagshaw

Still from 'The Drill'.

The Drill
Bob Lorrimer

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.

The UNICA 2009 Winners

Rent-A-Mate Nigel Barton Britain
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
Olympics Magalí Bayón Argentina
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
Citizens Arkadiusz Zub Poland
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
Stuck Jef Caelen Netherlands
Strong Korneev Gennadiy, Voznesenskiy Dmitriy, Borisenkova Tatiana Russia
Red August Kristo Chichinadze Georgia
Gramps Alejandro Carlini Argentina
Grandmother Martina Hudorovac Slovakia
Cutting Holiday Oleg Karpov & Umida Akhmedova Uzbekistan
Speed Limit Robert Hanousek Czech Republic
For Better and Worst Sakari Mäkelä Finland
TRKUŠICA Velimir Todorovic Croatia
Waiting Daniil Nevskiy Russia
Commitment James Webber Britain
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 Panjuškin Estonia
Glow Vladimir Iliev, Niki Vasilev Bulgaria
Roxanne Lukáš Novák Czech Republic
Forgotten World Ondrej Hejna Czech Republic
Anno Domini 987 Sancta Michael Ciné-Vidéo Flash Roeserbann Luxembourg

Film School Section


Thibaut Martti Helde Estonia
Danijel Hana Jušic' Croatia
Obsession Andrew Bond Estonia
The Past Night Eileen Byrne Germany
Abura Giorgi Maghradze Georgia
Gvido Sandro Qatamashvili Georgia
16+ Mariam Katsarava Georgia
Drawn To You Emil Gustafsson Ryderup & Sebastian Berlin Sweden
Dirty Small Bubbles Ivan Livakonic' Croatia

Special Awards

  • Most Interesting National Programme: France
  • CICT-UNESCO "Delmiro De Caralt" Award: Between by Michal Stenzel & Anna Kasperska (Poland)
  • Jeunesse Prize: Your World by Jae Kyung Suh (South Korea)
  • Best Film: Rent-A-Mate by Nigel Barton (Britain)

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Page updated on 16 January 2011
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