The award for “best amateur film maker of 2014” was made at the end of November in Mönchengladbach at an event run by the film club "Mönchengladbach Lens". Throughout the last year, filmmakers in Germany were observed at national and international film competitions by a specialist jury. This expert team recommended to the organiser, who among Germany’s best gold medal winners is the top film maker. This year for the first time, the large jury chose the Passau filmmaker Anton Wallner.
In 2014 Anton Wallner not only won the highest Bavarian award for amateur filmmakers - the Bavarian Film Award, a”Llion” - with his film "A Paradise, called Namib" but also received several special awards for best cinematography and best film design. These numerous gold medals came from home and abroad. Probably one of the most coveted prizes was the "Golden Diana" at Klopein am See, because Wallner had to compete not only with "amateurs", but also with professionals and even here he won both a Golden Diana and the special prize for best cinematography.
The video "A Paradise, called Namib" was shown with films by three other authors at the end of November 2014 in the "Carl-Orff-Saal" of the city of Mönchengladbach. In the impressive setting of the great hall, filled to the last seat, it was a very special experience for Wallner. The musical entertainment created by the Mönchengladbach Music Group "Pink Fluid", was followed by speeches from the organiser, Mr Gerhard Comelli.
The Lord Mayor of the city of Mönchengladbach, Mr. Hans Wilhelm Reiners, acted as master-of-ceremonies for the successful film makers and effusively introduced the authors’ films. So the mayor declared, among other things, that Anton Wallner was certainly the best ambassador for the city of Passau, because he and his films act as a very good advertisement for the city of three rivers, especially thanks to his attendance at events at home and abroad. What could be better than to have a cinematic ambassador, asked the mayor.
Mayor Reiners had been well informed about the achievements of the man from Passau. "Anton Wallner is probably the most successful film maker in Bavaria" according to Mr. Reiners "he was known as a successful filmmaker, not only in Germany but also across the borders of Europe." He reported on the successes of the past year and thereby painted a picture of the ambassador’s work for the city of Passau.
Anton Wallner, who travelled to Mönchengladbach in Bavarian dress, gave a special welcome gift to the organisers and the Mayor of a small "survival package" - wheat beer, white sausages and white sausage mustard. This surprised the large audience as much as the author’s previously announced film. Prolonged and passionate applause were the Passau director’s reward. The author thanked the audience and said that he wants to shoot his new project before Christmas. This time about the people in Khao Lak, -Thailand- who suffered the terrible fate of the tsunami exactly 10 years ago. Wallner wants to empathize with the situation of the survivors and work up the drama of the terrible event. This will be the theme of the film "Back to Life”.
For Anton Wallner 2014 was certainly the most successful film year. He brought back to the city of three rivers many national and international prizes, especially with the "A Paradise called Namib". The film maker said that, unfortunately, he was one of the last in Passau who successfully participate in national and international film festivals. But he said in an interview: "Hope dies last".
by Anni Bergauer
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At this year's EUROFILMFESTIVAL in Ansbach there will be once again a 1-minute film competition. Anyone who has such a movie and wants to show it should send it to Anni Bergauer no later than 1st August 2015.
Dear Eurofilmer members,
dear film friends.
In 2015 the Ansbach Film and Video Club celebrates its 50th anniversary. On August 18, 1965, nine participants came together for a narrow-gauge film seminar in the house of popular education in Ansbach and established what was then known as “The Ansbach Narrow Gauge Film Circle”, chaired by Hans Zottmann.
For this occasion, the managing committee of the Ansbach Film and Video club decided to join forces with the EUROFILMFESTIVAL in 2015. We warmly invite you all to come to Ansbach from 8-10th October 2015. Please note the date in your diary immediately!
The film screenings will take place at the cultural centre at the Karlsplatz in the Anglet Hall. For the gala evening we have rented the banquet hall at the Orangerie. The festival program and further information can be found shortly on the Eurofilmer website!
My fellow members and I look forward to welcoming you to Ansbach.
Chairman of the Ansbach Film and Video Club.
By Uwe Haase
You have chosen me to succeed our film-friend Fritz Kümmel. I thank you wholeheartedly for the confidence placed in me and happily accept your decision.
For me it is a self-evident obligation to continue the constructive work associated with the Board you have re-elected. For this reason, I ask you to extend this confidence also to the other board members. I am convinced that together we will all do our best to lead the EURO FILMER onwards, because there are difficult times ahead.
Among the problems which await us in the future are the number of film entries, the length of EUROFlLMFESTIVALS, finances, our older age profile, volunteer activities as well as existing and future activities of the Eurofilmers. These are not only a concern of mine, but provide us all with great challenges. To cope with these complex tasks, it requires everyone’s efforts to secure the continued existence of the Eurofilmers.
Above all I am asking the members themselves for new ideas. We are increasingly dependent on new initiatives and ideas from your ranks. I will always be ready to listen to your requests or suggestions and I hope for a lively exchange from both sides.
I realise that this requires everyone’s constructive cooperation and this can only be achieved in a trusting relationship with the management board, the State Commissioners and me. With this sentence we want to begin a new phase in the history of the Eurofilmers.
Allow me to conclude my report with a personal wish:
I wish that in future we double the number of people in each senior post on the board.
Film makers authors and the jury
by Gerhard Plambeck
My topic has been so overused by now that I no longer want to write about it. Both film makers and jurors are really good film enthusiasts and for both their hobby is filmmaking. But at every film competition there is a distance between them. The film makers have made their films and the judges must now evaluate these films. The problem is that there are no measuring instruments for reviewing movies. Therefore, we need several jurors because naturally each juror gives different evaluations. One considers the movie good, others find it not so good. Sometimes their opinions are very far apart.
The average is then worked out from the different opinions. The result is the prize awarded to the film. If the film judging uses a scoring system, then the filmmaker gets a written document with all the details about his film rating.
When I participated in the jury, all the results of movie evaluations were discussed again prior to deciding the awards, and each juror was asked if he agreed with the prize for the film. Possible discrepancies could then be balanced. I am convinced a film judgement can never be equitable. As a spectator, I like to visit film competitions, because there I watch with great pleasure the best movies of the filmmakers.
For me a film competition is an event that should end with joy and satisfaction. We film makers can contribute to that, if we were prepared to be satisfied with the prizes for our films. According to some people, that's impossible, for example, if you only get an "honourable mention". I say it is possible to show a satisfied expression.
Yet many still say to themselves: "l have, nevertheless, made a film with so much love and labour, that was even shown to an audience. Why was it still so poorly assessed by the jury? They grumble about the jury, but this is unjust, because the jurors have no reason to give a film bad grades. The judges are always trying to get the best for a movie. They too feel badly if a film cannot get a higher rating.
Much in life has become digital and we wait to see if movie rating can be tackled by computers. It has even arrived in football. Let's just hope that the discussions remain analog.
I wish you all "good light"
by Harald SCHOLZ
The invitation to an author evening in Hamburg on the occasion of my last film: "END" could be described in one sentence:
"A very nice, interesting and memorable experience."
What made me feel this way is a wealth of individual experiences. A detailed description is beyond the scope of this article but nevertheless, I want to highlight a few points:
- A cinema-minded, interested, well-versed and attentive audience that gives a "lecturer" a sense of belonging. I would like to heartily thank all those present once again.
- An organizer, Mr. Wolfgang Thomas, State Commissioner - South, by whom I was not only personally looked after the entire period, but whose universally creative and organizational talents and unshakable calm made this event so special.
- A beautiful room, with great projection, that was managed calmly by an experienced team and perfectly handled without my having to intervene once with correction.
- A city where I felt immediately at home, and "last but not least" the joy of meeting once again sympathetic and friendly people and getting to know new ones.
For me it is an honour to belong to the circle of "EUROFILMERS".
The making of the film "500th Anniversary of the Consecration of the altar in the Church of St. Lawrence"
by Werner Scheffknecht, Chairman of the Bludenz Film and Videoclub
Over a year ago 4 members of the Bludenz Film and Video Club decided to produce a documentary to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the consecration of the church altar.
Initially we had only vague ideas and visions of how the film should look. The extensive research work and the time-consuming filming soon brought us down to earth and back to reality. Sometimes it even brought the project to a standstill.
Thankfully, we received knowledgeable support from the historians Dr. M. Tschaikner and Mag. Dr. A. Rudigier. Much of the information had to be assembled, but it also had to be checked for plausibility. We found some useful material in a variety of archives, but we often ended up in a dead end and had to leave out some items because there was little or no visual material, especially from the 16th and 17th centuries.
Sometimes, however, our painstaking detection work was crowned with success, such as when we discovered a fragment of a 500 year old relic-certificate in the parish archives. This document – until then rather neglected - lends credibility to the consecration of the high altar over 500 years ago and represents an invaluable document for the history of the venerable church.
We had another success when researching the Baroque high altar, which was built from a black, marble-like stone. It was known that it had been mined in the region, but there was great uncertainty about the precise location. We managed to track down an “eyewitness” approximately 80-year-old, who knew all about the mining area in the Bingser Gasse (beside Bludenz). He had even hauled such stones himself. We could determine the mining area and there found "marble" pieces for ourselves and thus had a valuable, authentic contribution to our film.
From this variety of material the script was written based on a comprehensive, self-generated chronicle of the last 500 years of the church.
The ensuing filming was structured very elaborately. In the tower that is almost 50 m high, we underwent intensive fitness training, as we climbed dozens of times from the ground right up to the onion-shaped dome.
The shots of the peal were a challenge - in a confined space, it was difficult to find suitable angles.
Fortunately, we were able to avoid hearing damage, which might have been almost inevitable at a distance of 1 meter from a 3.5-ton bell. It should also be noted here that the feast peal was rung at our request in the middle of the day. This resulted in amazement if not panic among the Bludenz population. In former times this festival bell served alongside a siren as a disaster warning!
Our shots took us to the huge 500 year old roof of the nave. We soon knew most of the woodworm by name, and swallowed masses of 500 year old dust.
We set ourselves the challenge of incorporating some special camera angles in the film.
We were able to get an exciting camera shot from the roof through the ceiling and down into the vault - about 10 seconds of film, after 20 hours of work. This was achieved on the 4th attempt with a specially made rig.
A camera crane was also used for shots inside.
A complex tracking shot along the bell tower with a drone enabled us to catch unique perspectives.
The big moment came on 26 October when we could project our 32-minute film in the church with a high-performance projector onto a large screen. The church was filled to the last seat with 400 visitors.
Our long work and the enormous effort were rewarded with prolonged applause.
For the club members who took part in this project over a shoot of 1¼ years the work was associated with fun, excitement and many new experiences. There are already enquiries about new projects – we never run out of ideas and topics.
by Ruedi Wiget
"Variety of topics at the film festival" was the headline in the local press. Although only 21 films were submitted, the headline was true.
Good advertising meant that 70 viewers were in the hall for the first film, which naturally made us very happy, because besides a few film makers, these were mainly people from the village come to watch the films.
But one has to say that the screenings did not start until around 9:30. This is the advantage of the smaller number of competition entries, you do not have to start screening at 8:00 or even earlier.
The number of viewers increased then so that in the afternoon there were around 100 spectators present. Technically, everything went smoothly and without a hitch, even the 16mm film by Günter Viereckt ran flawlessly.
The "Filmerbeiz" had their hands full, "Mince with macaroni and apple sauce" went like hotcakes and finally some would-be lunchers had to be given a refund, because there simply was no more food. But cake was sold, which helped the club coffers, since all baked goods had been given free by our lady filmers.
The Banquet in the Windegg and subsequent award ceremony was the culmination of a successful day. An excellent dinner and an atmospheric prize giving ceremony rounded off the day.
Conclusion: Even with fewer films a nice and warm festival can be held.
by Max Conradt
This time the people who are always present if amateur movies are to be seen, were here.
In Ammersbek " Pferdestall " the Forum North European Authors’ Circle showed the Spring Competition films on a big movie screen. And once again, the Country Commissioner, Wolfgang Thomas, and his technical helpers organized it well. And the catering was as always equally perfect .
The film program was launched with an opus that was not part of the competition - namely the equally versatile and exciting one-hour film-and-travel lecture by Ilka and Horst Burmeister, who led the audience through the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
Ten films were entered for the competition, and the fascinating film "The Gate to Nowhere" by Anton Wallner, which showed the sequence of a cremation according to Buddhist rituals, won the Gold Medal, the highest honour of the day.
There were two silver medals: for Denny Schönemann and the GeraPforten Film Club with the film "No hit on the Radio", and for Max Conradt, who showed the film "The Wise Delight in the Water". This film also won the Audience Award.
There were five bronze medals: Kurt Grundler with the film "A Special Park", Dr. Horst Hufnagel with "Where Once my Dream of Freedom Shattered", Thomas Tiefelsdorf for "Hammonias daughters”, Peter Schwalm for "A Glimpse into the Great African Art" and Gerhard Jagow with "The Chair Man Fountain in Altona". The diplomas went to Uwe Ortgies with "Ferryman Move Over" and Ingo Poggensee with "Contrasts".
Seven of the ten films will be sent to the EUROFILMFESTIVAL in Ansbach.
by Fritz Kümmel
Roswitha Katharina Wirts from Aachen Film and Video Club, brought the Forum West to Düren on Saturday, 25 April 2015. A day earlier, all the helpers met in the afternoon to prepare the room.
Her many helpers present with advice and practical help, included Wolfgang Enge and Horst Krause from the EAK, who hosted the entire competition. The technology was in the hands of Klaus Kraft. After work we all met for dinner and pleasant company.
On competition day, everyone enjoyed a delicious breakfast, which boosted the mood and anticipation of the event. During the breaks, all those present were spoiled by the hosts with delicious food which they praised highly. Roswitha Katharina warmly welcomed all film friends and many guests. There were on average about 75 spectators in the hall.
The makers of 22 of the 23 films were present. Thank you! The films were previously judged by Forum Nord in Hamburg. There were 5 Golds, 4 Silvers, 11 Bronzes, 3 honourable mentions. 18 films were passed on to the EUROFILMFESTIVAL in Ansbach.
Of particular note was the Audience Award. Roswitha Katharina and Klaus Kraft got it for their film.
The company, the program and the films shown were highly rated by the public and by the invited presenters from the regional radio station, the local TV station and the press. Reinhard Merke was able to give an informative interview about the EAK.
Roswitha Katharina filmed the event and the film can be seen on our website.
Dear Roswitha Katharina THANKS. It was a successful event. See you at EUROFILMFESTIVAL in Ansbach.