Reports from the forums SIFA Festival 2018 in Basel
As every year, I was curious about the films that the authors would submit to us. The deadline for entries was February 3, 2018. 22 films in total reached us, which is the average in recent years. What is new, however, is that the films were transmitted not only via stick, mini DV tape or DVD but also via We Transfer. The authors move with the times.
Felix Heiber prepared all films carefully, so that we were able to carry out an orderly adjudication at the Haus der Vereine in Riehen on Saturday, 17 February. The atmosphere among the jurors; Marianne Hübner, Roberto Mafolini, Max Rüegg, Franz Plessl and myself (Res Gnehm) was very good, Martin Stumpf, who was responsible for the technology on this snowy February day, made sure of that. The schedule included 2.5 minutes of judging time for each film, which we were able to keep to thanks to the slim judging sheet.
There was little to discuss. In general, we saw many very good films. The fact that the authors are considered amateurs can only be seen in the names of the respective film clubs. The films themselves, reveal a clear, clean film style.
The organising team made up of Riehen Martin Stump, Roberto Mafolini and Felix Heiber now had seven weeks to plan the festival down to the last detail, because on Saturday 5.5.2018 the time had come. The doors to the Gare du Nord were opened at 9 am and the 48th SIFA Film Festival could begin. Reto Stocker, President of the SIFA, announced each film block and paid tribute to the authors who were present. The 100 seats were soon occupied and after the breaks, everyone who could still do so was invited to the dark, harmonious screening room with grandstand seating, to enjoy more films. Of course there was room for all of them. At 5.30 p.m. the projection was finished with the film "Wässerwasser" by Erwin Bosch. Everyone enjoyed the open-air aperitif in the middle of the city of Basel, but nervousness about the forthcoming award ceremony was palpable.
Last words about successful shots and exciting scenes were exchanged, while the appetizers on the white covered, long wooden tables, were brought to mouths via spoon and fork.. After the excellent main course, I spread the prizes on the display table. Now it could be seen from afar that only four bronze awards were awarded. There were 15 cups in the silver section and two gold awards. Reto Stocker once again praised all the authors and the organisers of the Basel Festival. So, I still had the task of introducing the jury, which was also fully present at the festival. It was a pleasure to honour the films and the authors individually together with Reto Stocker to present them with the prizes and detailed evaluations.
The ranks in the middle silver were densely occupied, sometimes within a tenth of a point. The winner of the festival was Markus Beerli with the film "River of Life". He told a breath-taking story about wild bears waiting for spawning salmon to build their winter fat! We presented the second gold award to Erwin Bosch, who shot a feature film about the traditional water channels in Valais and captured the audience with a successful arc of suspense!
Of the 22 films submitted, we were able to personally hand over 18 to Werner Scheffknecht for the final Eurofilm judging. He visited our festival, which made us very happy. We are looking forward to the festival in Bludenz and are looking forward to many personal contacts with other enthusiastic film authors.