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

Reports from the forums

Grand Cinema - Eurofilm-Forum West on 4 May 2018

I've never seen EAK films on a huge screen, more than 10 meters wide, as wide as the whole cinema. The venue: "Das Lumen" in Düren, a cinema centre with 7 screens. In addition to the 19 films of the EURO Forum, 6 official films of the Film Theatre were screened. That was pure film experience. Even in the early morning at the beginning of the forum 52 spectators had taken their seats in the extremely comfortable armchairs and enjoyed the perfect projection. All but two authors had come. And the two, who couldn't come because of illness, sent their best wishes to all film friends. Greetings were also sent by the EAK board.

The large screen and perfect sound reproduction naturally also placed high demands on the film material. The differences between Full HD (1920:1080) and HD and especially DV were clearly visible in the size of the projection. Anyone who shot his film at 50p naturally enjoyed a particularly sharp picture. As for the sound a bad mix and uncorrected wind noise came to light quite clearly. Thanks to the atmosphere and the excellent organisation, which was essentially undertaken by our dear Roswitha Katharina Wirtz and her helpers, these things seemed less important.

After each film block there was a presentation by the authors, whereby the presenter talked about their characters and films and asked various questions that might interest the audience. Thus, a completely personal conversation, which was managed by Oliver Bücker in an outstanding style. His deep voice and clear pronunciation encouraged the authors to speak freely from the heart.

Roswitha had also taken care of our physical well-being. Drinks of all kinds were available in the large foyer of the cinema palace. At noon most people dined cheaply at the nearby Mongols, where a room was reserved especially for the Eurofilmer. Actually, I don't eat much at noon. But here the buffet was so varied and tasty that I let myself be seduced. I couldn't resist the many delicacies.

After lunch the cinema was almost full. This was due to the invitations sent out by the district of Düren. Our sincere thanks go to Monika Sandjon. But now to the films: 2 nature films, 1 reportage, 1 fiction film, 2 sketches, 3 documentaries, 1 animation and 9 travel films. I don't want to go into the individual films here, that would go beyond the scope of my report. But I would like to mention 4 films that appealed to me very much. That was "Christmas Magic in St. Petersburg". Jacob Breidenbach's film showed me the beauty of this city at minus 24 degrees. Perfect camera work.

I was just as enthusiastic about " Nostalgia for Provence". Incredibly beautiful pictures, very personal, loving commentary, which testifies to the fact that the author Fritz Brecht has taken Provence to his heart, the animal world, the lavender and the light of this landscape. This is the privilege of the amateur photographer: He is allowed to express his feelings in the film. Because he doesn't make his film for a broad audience, but primarily for himself and his friends.

The Rainbow Society" is also great. An exciting title. The film deals with the Panama Canal. Everybody knows it. But few know what the country looks like and how the people there live. I didn't know that 20,000 people lost their lives during construction and that passage costs 100,000 US dollars per ocean giant. An extraordinary, well-made film.

And finally, "Necronomicon". A film by R. K. Wirtz. A fantastic reportage about a music group that developed their own musical style as students and today, after successful activities, e.g. as entrepreneurs or professors, make music together again. An artistically great film.

Yet none of these films have won a gold medal. None of these received recognition either. 10 x bronze and 9 x silver were awarded. I think it's the rating system, that is, the rating sheet. It simply does not take all facets of an individual film into account. Above all, I don't like it if no commendations are given. As a result, bronze and silver lose importance. All in all, the quality of the films varied greatly. There are 2 prize groups, bronze and silver, simply not enough. The award was presented by Helmi Hansen. Taking on this not so easy task for the first time, she did it excellently and also very personally. She was supported by Dominique Marlier-Wolf. Gertie Dolfen was always trying to capture everything with her camera

Before the award ceremony, Günter Hochgürtel created a lively atmosphere with his guitar and songs, mostly sung in Eifler dialect. Most people immediately recognised the artist. They knew him from the 2015 award-winning film "And yet I must move on" by R.K. Wirtz. Of course, he also sang the song of the same name.

There were two special prizes. One of them was donated by the district of Düren. As the prize-winner was not chosen by the sponsor himself, a prize draw was held. The award went to exactly the right author, namely R.K. Wirtz for her film "Necronomicon". A small compensation for her endless effort and work, with which she succeeded in making Forum West 2018 an experience.

The sponsor of the second special prize is Mr. Riedel, the managing director of the cinema palace "Das Lumen". He chose the winner himself. The choice was "Hamburg and the Wonderland". Thank you very much. I was very pleased.

The Eurofilm-Forum 2018 has shown that amateur film has gained in importance and that it is worthwhile to be there. The authors' wealth of ideas and the commitment of the competition organisers are important for a secure future. Roswitha Katharina Wirts has masterfully fulfilled this task. Thank you very much for that.


Reinhard Merke