EUROFILMER
Europäischer Autorenkreis für Film und Video e. V.
European Film & Video Makers Circle

The fortieth Euro-Filmfestival

The active film makers came together in the summer city of Bludenz. Werner Scheffknecht and his team had prepared a challenging film and supporting events. I found the concept of the programme booklet remarkable (Photos of every film author). The projection of 63 films and 21 one-minute-movies in the Remise was done with professional equipment. Picture and sound were of very good quality. The ambience was relaxed and cosy, as you would expect with a gathering of friends. There was enough time between the projection blocks to chat with chums in a relaxed and stress-free way.

As is traditional the "reportages" were in the majority, and many film makers had used the full 20 minutes running time permitted. I often had the impression that many authors wanted to show everything they had seen on a journey. Whether the pictures also contributed to the story was of secondary importance. Too bad, because many films with good and stable shots could have been much more moving in a shorter film. I was thrilled by the unfortunately few animated films! They all showed a lot of creativity and told a good, comprehensible and meaningful story in a short time.

At many film festivals the first projection day is used to show the less good films. In Bludenz, however, there was an extraordinary entry on the first day. The film tells the story of a woman who has not had an easy life since she was born. The author tells the story in a way I have rarely seen. The film "Reni" radiates no pity and no voyeurism, but only courage and hope. The good story is underlined by excellent editing, excellent camera work and even a bit of Hitchcock feeling in the shower scene. A film that really grabbed me!

On Friday morning I enjoyed the city tour with the city guide Lisa Schwärzler and her cheerful stories. In the afternoon there were several good travel films. As a contrast to the films by older authors, the "Schrägen Vögel" (Weird Birds) brought variety and excellent entertainment into the programme.

On Saturday a real pearl was shown. "Vatan" is a short, clear story with a strong statement, perfect camera work, good actors and high-quality sound editing. The film makers had also chosen an atmospherically oppressive backdrop: the white gown of the snow, the "perfect world", and then the man who takes off his white protective coat and wears a uniform underneath! So many symbols! Excellent work!

With a good meal and a very well moderated award ceremony by Peter Klüver the Euro-Filmfestival came to an end. Many thanks to the organisers. It was a successful celebration, and I was happy to be to have been there.

Guido Haesen