Hans Rudi Wiget has left the executive board of the German-Swiss Amateurfilm
It is more than 45 years now since I met Hans Rudi for the first time. A colleague of mine invited me to the amateur film club in Zurzach for a "try-out". It was a coincidence that brought me to a film club in the SIFA and not the BSFA organisation. It was also coincidence that brought me together with Hans Rudi and his father Otto.
Within a short time, it became clear that both were founder members of the Zurzach amateur film club and also of the Swiss Association of Film Amateurs, the SIFA, and also did what was necessary to establish this umbrella association. I didn't understand at the time, what it meant to be a member of SIFA or BSFA. I didn't care, either. The important thing for me was, that I was introduced to two filmmakers, whose significance was more than one might have expected. Hans Rudi helped a lot to ease the acceptance of an amateur filmmaker from Germany in a Swiss club.
For health reasons, Hans Rudi and his family moved from Zurzach to Wald in the Zurich Oberland. He was a stranger there. What he built up there in the coming years, despite this less than ideal start, is admirable.
- The founding of a film club in Wald was a matter of course for him. Imagine how, as an experienced filmmaker, he suddenly had to lead a crowd of enthusiasts who were just beginning to film. Hans Rudi did it with constructive criticism of the 8mm clips presented by the members.
Good things were praised, for bad scenes or sequences he always offered a possible suggestion for improvement. All club members benefited from this approach. And so, it is not surprising that today many members of his club are known nationally and internationally as good filmmakers. Hans Rudi himself has also presented excellent films and earned corresponding awards. For example, I would like to remind you of the film "Yellow Gold to the Gate of Hell". He was awarded a gold medal and the EAK's Golden Film Strip for that.
- Even more impressive was his ability to interest the inhabitants of Wald in his film club and the possibilities offered by it. Hans Rudi has dealt with the customs, traditions, history of this place and what is happening in the city today and has made films about these events in and around Wald together with his film club colleagues. The premiers of these films have always been highlights in the cultural life of Wald. Often there were several hundred spectators who attended such a performance. They were thrilled to see themselves on the screen and to be made familiar with the past and present of their home region.
- This skilful dedication to the cultural life of Wald not only gave Rudi access to the people, but also opened the door to the local authority. The SIFA and the EAK profited from this. A Euro-Filmfestival based in Wald was integrated into the cultural week of the town. Rooms were made available for the organisation of such events, sponsors were also on hand if necessary, but the most important thing for many citizens of Wald, was that experts in the amateur film world visited our SIFA and EAK festival events.
- As with many filmmakers who make good films themselves, and pass on their knowledge to club members, Hans Rudi has also been appointed to higher levels of the amateur film scene.
He was twice elected President of SIFA. The first presidential term was relatively short. Disagreements within individual SIFA clubs made it impossible for him to realise his vision of the future of SIFA. Consequently, he resigned.
The second period as SIFA president, from which he had to step down at the end of 2016 for health reasons, was successful. Despite the general tendency of declining membership of all amateur film associations, he managed to bind film clubs from other organisations to SIFA. This development was due to Hans Rudi's leadership style and his handling of amateur film and its authors.
During this period as SIFA President, Hans Rudi successfully represented the interests of the SIFA members within the EAK board. He spent most of his time there in a leading role in developing a new jury system for the fair evaluation of amateur films; the trial phase in this practice has already begun.
Hans Rudi has now departed from the higher management levels of SIFA and EAK. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to him for what he has done so well there and in club life. It's a good thing that we don’t have to say farewell. As long as his health allows it, he will continue to care for the amateur film world, the authors who belong to it, and the cultural environment of his hometown. He will find satisfaction in this activity.
We wish him "Good luck"!