This was a slogan of the EAK many years ago. That slogan is long forgotten, but its meaning has remained. Bludenz was proof of that once again. It began on the evening of September 26th at the "Kohldampf", a rustic trendy restaurant with many travellers, among whom were the authors and their partners. People who have known each other for many years were happy to greet each other again. The warmth of the gathering continued until the last day of the festival. Sometimes, one wondered what actually was more important: the many films or the encounters with film friends. I think it balances itself out. There would be no reunion without films, but also no films without the gathering!
All this was made possible by Werner Scheﬀknecht, his wife, Gaby, and the charming and attentive team around them. Everything ran so smoothly over the festival days, which belied a whole year of intensive preparation to make this apparent simplicity. The Bludenz people deserve a triple applause!
A new factor was a professional programme booklet with portraits of all 63 authors, a "Who’s Who". The Remise as the venue had exactly the atmosphere that film lovers want for an optimal cinema experience. The quality of the films varied. How should the best differ from the less good? We were at a contest! Which was the best and which less so, could probably not be determined absolutely by the jurors. At any rate, opinions diverged.
How could it be any different? The lower level of presentations was complained about. Thumbs down! How did they get to the festival? And then they were awarded a bronze medal, some say: Lousy forum rating! The others – those with open minds – were happy about the generous recognition.
About those at the very top there was also a swirl of discussion after the prize-giving ceremony. No quality, no compelling story, no dramaturgy and then these eternally beautiful pictures that don't yet make up a good film.
It's all completely normal, it's never been any different, and it probably won't be any different in the future. We are a group of passionate filmmakers. And maybe it's the passion that sometimes makes life difficult for us. But once the passion is gone, the diversity of ideas dies. So, let's leave it as it is - and it was actually wonderful.
I didn't like all the movies to the same degree either. But there were many which excited me, moved me, inspired me and which I have seen several times and could see again and again. That's my conclusion. Maybe some people will share it with me.
If not, the encounter with so many friends nevertheless remains, no matter whether they were gold boys or "only" bronze junkies. I enjoyed it and am very, very grateful to Werner Scheﬀknecht and his team for this unforgettable event.