Dear film friends,
The creation of the EUROFILMER issue after a film festival is always a great pleasure. There was a lot to report, many photos, interviews and visitor comments. This time, too, our magazine is looking back at the wonderful festival in Hamburg.
However this time there is a sad note too, because this issue is the last.
All the important information that needs to be given will henceforth be presented on our website and sent to members via e-mail. The few EAK authors without Internet addresses will be served by post. The rising costs of production have forced the Board to make this decision so that future film festivals can be financially viable.
I have put this last edition in the hands of Peter Klüver, Wolfgang Thomas will handle the technical aspects. Our treasurer, Dieter Schlemmermeier, will no longer be available as a page designer and I am not able to create this edition alone, alongside my professional duties.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who contributed to the magazine’s success with their articles and photos. My special thanks go to Dieter, who has worked hard with various layout programs. Many nights we have tinkered with the layout, kept awake by lots of coffee. Then, when what we conceived was printed, sometimes we were pleased, but often our satisfaction was limited: we found errors and had to acknowledge them: A professional could probably hammer it out better. However, we were able to save a lot of money, which will benefit all of us. Efforts to find an affordable page designer failed.
Wolfgang Thomas and Peter Klüver have now offered to take over this last issue. We know Wolfgang as a man who gets results. The festival in Ahrensburg is proof of his energy.
I would like to wish all film friends a special pleasure in this last issue!
I wish you all a happy new year, and above all what, when one grows older, is ever more important: good health!
Following a call for candidates in the September 2014 issue of EUROFILMER, the 2014 new elections for the 2015/2016 Board of Executive Directors took place in conformity with the statutes.
Since chairman Fritz Kümmel was no longer available for election as chairman after four years in that role, Uwe Haase from Lübeck was elected as the new president of EAK. We were able to keep Fritz Kümmel anyway as a new regional commissioner for the West region,. Unfortunately, the function of the vice president could not be filled due to a lack of a candidate, so Hansruedi Wiget took over the work of the jury. For the same reason, the role of the regional commissioner for the region of Norway, Denmark and other Scandinavian countries remained unoccupied. The outcome of the election was the ratification of the former Management Board.
At the last election in 2015/2016, a change was made to our statutes, which was necessary to conform with the laws on associations. Unfortunately, we could not achieve the required 3/4 majority (140 votes) in the first round, so the election had to be repeated according to the statutes. With the necessary simple majority of votes, the Articles of Association were accepted and the text of § 10 (Provisional Regulation) of the statutes, amended at the recommendation of the District Court of Mannheim.
The increase of the fees from 1 January 2016 by 10% to € 16.50 for club members and € 33 for individual members was approved right away.
While the forums were being held in individual regions, intensive preparations began for the Eurofilm Festival 2015 in Ansbach, which was arranged for the second time by the members of the Ansbach film and video club on the occasion of the club’s 50th anniversary celebration. Professional technology provided by Forum Nord, 57 films plus the minute-movie cup, an appealing ambience in the Anglet-Saal, a splendid finale at the gala evening in the stylish rooms of the Orangerie as well as always helpful and friendly film club members, who provided for the entertainment and a pleasant atmosphere, made the event into a great success.
For the first time in 2015, the Forum Nord helped the Forum West to judge the films for the Forum. Roswitha Katharina Wirts and her many helpers, among others. Wolfgang Enge, Horst Krause and Klaus Kraft, managed to get the Forum West to Düren. A fully-fledged screening room and positive press were the recognition of their dedicated work.
At the board meeting on 28.02. to 1 March 2015 in Triesdorf / Weidenbach, among other things fundamental decisions were made (see also the report in the spring 2015 magazine, pages 9 and 10).
Despite an intensive search, not a single advertiser could be found for our magazine.
Al always one of the main themes was the tormented finances. The very tight budget and the slightly reduced number of members required a strict savings policy, especially since the expenditure on the magazine accounts for almost 50% of the membership fees. The tense financial situation was the reason for the fact that the Eurofilm magazine was restricted to 3 issues in 2015 - in order to save costs, although W. Schydlo and D. Schlemmermeier were concerned about the content and the layout. The shipping cost for the booklet and the expenses for the elections caused huge extra outgoings for printing and additional postage. It was decided at the board meeting from 1 to 3 April 2016 in Ansbach-Elpersdorf (see also report in the magazine spring / summer 2016, page 7-9), that for the current year there would be only two issues and by the end of 2016 we would completely cease publication. From 2017, all members will receive an infobrief by mail at irregular intervals. If you do not have Internet, you will receive the info letter by mail as a simple print-out.
The Board of Management is aware that, if the number of members can not be increased rapidly, further rises in fees will be required. The treasurer plans to put the finances on a secure footing. Great discussion led to the proposal that all members should pay the same fee in the future and we should no longer distinguish between individual and club members.
In order to save costs, it was also decided that the festival jury should be reduced by one person and the 7th juror replaced by the average evaluation by the Forum.
A hotly debated topic was the shortening of future Eurofilm festivals. It was decided that 2016 the festival would be limited to 2 days (Friday and Saturday), the projection time would be shortened to a maximum of 20 hours, and films whose authors are not present or which are in the lower bronze range or with commendations will not be shown.
At this year's 2-day Eurofilm Festival 2016 in Ahrensburg near Hamburg, excellent films were again shown. Because of the time quota, only 49 of 67 nominated films could be presented. The 11-strong organising committee around Wolfgang Thomas had done an excellent job. A small but successful festival took place at the "Park-Hotel in Ahrensburg". In a sophisticated atmosphere, with professional technology, a sympathetic moderation and a warm welcome from the organizers, all the visitors felt very comfortable.
Unfortunately, the Eurofilmer flag could not be handed over to the next organizer at the Gala evening, because no host for 2017 has yet been found. It would be a pity if the Eurofilm Festival 2017 should not take place.
Several public events (for example, evenings with an author or film shows) were arranged by the individual forums. Particularly lively here is the Forum Nord, which organizes around 10 public events per year. Authors have the opportunity to show their films and to talk with guests.
On our new website a section for English articles was created from 2015 onwards. The response shows that English-speaking filmmakers have now also become aware of us
During the meetings, the jury system, newly designed by Peter Klüver and Hansruedi Wiget, which was first used in 2014, was also intensively discussed and supplemented with minor additions. A major topic was the qualification of the judges and jurors. Klüver and Wiget offered several training courses for interested jurors.
Great dissatisfaction resulted in various readers' letters, in which two long-standing members felt compelled to strike critical notes in a fierce polemic. Among other things they criticised the fact that the number of films shown is declining and that this is due to the evaluation system, which was modified in 2014, and the reduction in members, which they alleged was related, was also deplored. A factual discussion about film evaluation was unfortunately not possible, because it was bitter and in some cases very emotional and with inappropriate, unreasonable language. (See also our letter of 27.07.2016, which can be requested from the President).
In order to avoid any misunderstandings, let me state that the Board of Management is always open to considered and justified criticism. Abuse and insults can not and will not be accepted. Every member is invited to participate in the management board and to contribute his ideas. I have asked all members to communicate their concerns and ideas and to be always open-hearted to you. To this end, the Management Board and I are still standing!
The Executive Board of the EAK hereby calls on all members to attend the Ordinary General Meeting.
The vote on the ballot enclosed in this issue of EUROFILMER shall be done as follows:
Each individual member and each club member votes in the election of the regional commissioner only for the candidate in his region. This is so that the regional commissioner is elected only by the individual members and club members for which he is active.
However, the president, vice president, managing director, treasurer, press / public relations officer and auditor are elected by all members.
Each club chairman receives with the EUROFILMER as many ballots and envelopes as he has registered for the year 2016. A list of his registered members is attached to the ballot. To save postage costs the club leaders can send the ballots signed by the club members, in a sealed envelope, to the managing director.
The voting forms shall be returned within 6 weeks of the date of delivery to the main office. All voting forms must be received by the Managing Director Anni Bergauer, Sommerau 9, D-91522 Ansbach, no later than February 5, 2017. If the office has not received a ballot paper before this time or the time limit is exceeded, this counts as an abstention. If less than half of the members cast their votes, we use a simple majority of the votes cast. It should be regarded as a duty by every member to make use of his right to vote.
Since only one candidate has been registered after the call for candidates in the EUROFILMER issue 39, Spring / Summer 2016, one cannot speak of a real choice in this new election period.
We also hope this time for broad acceptance and willingness to participate actively.
I was born under the zodiac sign of Libra in 1950, married for 45 years and have two adult daughters Jenny and Carolin, two siblings Steffen and Heiko and 4 grandchildren Sophia and Hannes and Sebastian and Julia. We live in Ansbach, the administrative capital of Middle Franconia, about 40 km west of Nuremberg.
Until my retirement from the working life I was first employed by the government of Middle Franconia in the benefits office and later as an employee of the district staff council.
Since 1995 I have been a member of the Ansbach Film and Videoclub. As the only woman (with her own camera) among about 35 videofilmers, I was elected as a (token) woman to the executive committee of the board. Later Vice Presidency followed and since 2000 I have been the chairman of the FVC Ansbach, an association with at present 28 videofilms, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015. On this occasion, we organised for the second time - after 2007 - the Eurofilm Festival in 2015 in Ansbach.
Our association is a member of BDFA and has been a member of Eurofilm for about 12 years. Since 2007, I have been a member of the Executive Board at Eurofilm.
I like working with my filmmakers in the team. Our community films have been very often awarded with gold and silver medals and other awards. I have already attended a number of juror seminars at the BDFA and the Eurofilm and was also often employed as a juror and jury leader. Unfortunately, thanks to all the “desk work” I do not come to films so often as I would like.
In the year 2014, after a call for candidates, I was elected as the successor of Fritz Kümmel to the newly appointed office of EAK chairman.
Behind me are two sometimes strenuous, very labour-intensive, but mostly interesting and delightful years, which makes it worthwhile to continue to run the next two years for the benefit and in the interests of the EAK.
An enrichment for me were the personal contacts with individual members from near and far on the occasion of the forums as well as the EAK festivals.
Here my wife and I have always found ourselves in a circle of like-minded Eurofilmers at well-run events which we expect to continue in the future.
The board work is team-oriented, sometimes controversial, but in the end always constructive, which makes it attractive and interesting to lead the organisation in future
For this reason, I am standing for election for a new term in the EAK.
He is economical, sometimes really "stingy", as we say in the north and tireless when it comes to the finances of Eurofilm. He does not withdraw a single cent from the EAK's cash desk without evidence. Only in this way is he able to correctly keep track of every expenditure and, of course, of every income, and submit it to the financial auditors. Dieter is currently out of action, but he has asked me to write this little application. I am happy to do so, because I know that in the past years he has proved himself the correct and highly motivated cash register of the EAK.
Wolfgang Thomas LBA North
Ing. Werner Scheffknecht
Born in Bludenz in 1953, worked as an engineer for communications engineering and electronics, and has been retired for one year.
By 1980 he had taken his first cinematic steps and experiences with the then usual super 8 film. Since 1983 he has been a member of the Bludenz film club. His first contact with the Eurofilmers was when organising the 1984 Eurofilm Festival in Bludenz. Since 1989 he has been chairman of the Bludenz film and video club. He has frequently organised Film Forums and the Eurofilm Festival, as well as participating in the jury of different forums and festivals. Since 2001, he has been a regional commissioner for Austria, Italy and Slovenia. His cinematic work consists of reportage and documentaries.
To be a member of the Eurofilm family for several decades has so far been wonderful. It used always to be exciting to visit a forum and festival and to see great films and dear friends. These positive impressions have unfortunately become increasingly rare in recent years.
We Eurofilmers are getting older and young filmmakers regrettably do not join us - the reasons are well known and we will not be able to avert this trend. As a result, fewer and fewer films are coming to the festivals and the authors remain largely remote. The hard work for the forum and festival organiser remains the same, whether many or a few visitors come to the event, but one wonders: For whom am I doing this at all?
But even more painful is that we are also more and more withdrawn for different reasons! These disputes and arguments are completely incomprehensible to me and have little to do with a positive development or even the preservation of our association.
This endless discussion about the jury system is blamed for the negativity. Here, for example, a film evaluation is meticulously dissected and it is then assumed that in the old jury system, instead of a good bronze medal, a bad silver medal might have been achieved. That is really not sensible!
We all know that there is no perfect jury system! And in film evaluation, there is unfortunately no possibility for precise measurement as in sports, in which the fastest time or the longest throw wins. Let us, therefore, end this debate, because I believe, we have now brought the jury system to an acceptable level.
Another issue is the criticism of the officers of our association: Please bear in mind that the organisation’s leadership all work on a voluntary basis.
What’s more, you cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs. None of us is immune from making mistakes and constructive criticism is entirely desirable, if it takes us forward positively. Unfortunately, the way that criticism is currently expressed is anything but purposeful. It is not only hitting the Board members below the belt, but upsetting many other members.
Some have unfortunately lost sight of the objectives and values of the EAK. I appeal to you all, come back on board and those who cannot stand it in our federation, should try elsewhere - things are much the same there.
Perhaps we can return Eurofilm to what we previously enjoyed: the joy of our beautiful hobby in the circle of a wonderful family in which one can feel comfortable -
With this hope I stand for election again.
I, Wolfgang Thomas, born on 21.05.1947 in Hamburg, would like to continue this honorary office in the EAK as I have been in the last 2 electoral periods. The social character of the competitions in the Pferdestall has proved itself successful as well as the meetings with authors in the three cinemas belonging to Gerhard Plambeck, Gerhard Jagow and Georg Brand. The Matinees in May in the Moorkino as well as in the Pferdestall in October are very popular, the Eurofilm Festival in Ahrensburg, in place of the matinee this year, has been much praised.
Now it is important not to rest but to take on new challenges. These are further visits to film / video clubs to discuss with you the changed way of handling the jury system. The offer for the training of jurors in the EAK system will not be forgotten. The finding of new venues in Lower Saxony, Bremen and Schleswig Holstein for Matinees or even meetings with authors is an additional challenge that I would like to accept in the medium term. There are also 1-2 seminars with lecturers from our own ranks per year. Support me with your vote so we can continue in Forum North to hold an annual competition and many other social gatherings within our hobbies. Please take note of the article: "The times they are a-changing…".
Most of the authors in our organisation have retired.
Many of us joined the association only after our working career was behind us. Those who had time to pursue their hobby during their working lives have also been able to invest more. I am convinced that those who organised the EAK in the past have given the association a considerable sum of private money without mentioning it. This was not only a generous gesture, but also showed a lot of empathy for the EAK. Likewise, unnamed members have recognised the need to make financial contributions to the EAK, and thus provided selflessly for a balanced budget.
Times have, however, changed: pensions do not bring in as much as before, but the expenses have remained or even increased.
This has consequences for the EAK: donations no longer exist, and companies, are likely to switch their advertising and can no longer support our small association. Premises for competitions or for a Eurofilm Festival with amenities for the older authors among us are no longer to be obtained without incurring costs. The judges cannot be reimbursed with the cost of their tickets, but are rewarded with a cheap bottle of wine! How embarrassing that is!
A competition for 200,00 Euro with an entry of 20 films is simply not sustainable! Those who train judges also travel to venues at their own expense. The President or his representative is not given any means to visit the contests of the forums in South or West, let alone abroad. No wonder they cannot do this job.
Therefore anyone who makes themselves available for an honorary office on the Board should ideally be well-heeled! But those who are elected are not or no longer so! They are pensioners like almost all the Eurofilmers!
Now only a collective effort can help: the revenues of the EAK must be matched to its real needs. On 16.50 euros for club members or 33.00 euros for individual members per year, such an association cannot be kept alive.
A fair distribution of all costs on all shoulders is the only sensible decision that can save the Eurofilm Association. One can see in the preliminary budget of our treasurer, which costs will be incurred in the future. He should include a 10% reserve. The calculated total sum of the annual rate divided by the number of members results in a yearly contribution - uncomplicated and comprehensible for everyone.
I submitted this suggestion to the Board two years ago. It did not won a majority on the grounds that it would cost us the loss of too many members. I do not believe it! I cannot and I do not want to believe that members of this association are not willing to pay for their much loved hobby possibly 33.00 euros per year instead of 16.50 euros, so that the meetings of the filmmakers in the Forums North, South and West as well as in Austria and Switzerland can take place.
Give the regional commissioners and the organisers the opportunity to give the judges from our ranks travelling expenses and to organise the competition at a reasonable level. To strengthen our base thus means to maintain direct contact with the authors.
If you choose me as a national representative, you should know that I will be particularly committed to this position.
Wolfgang Thomas, national representative Forum Nord
As you sit in the evening before the televison and click between stations you only find crime films or murder stories, horrible! So you zap one more time and there is a familiar face with a large film camera and a magnificent tripod. He wanders through his small town and is shooting a movie as well as a busy director.
Then he is seen in the village church during a Sunday service. Since the same day there will be a village festival, he is also rapidly moving and covering it all cinematically. And not only that, on this occasion he makes a speech to his village neighbours and even films a marching band.
Since he has been filming for many years, he shows, to the great surprise of all, many of his old black-and-white films in his own cinema!
I have to say that this meeting with Fritz Kümmel in the Südwestrundfunk television channel on 6th of November at 8 pm, (in the best broadcasting time-slot) not only surprised but also pleased me. It shows, that non-professionals can attract the attention of the television companies.
Fritz Kümmel, congratulations on this brilliant TV appearance.
47 films displayed creativity and a high level of cinematic skills.
A summary of the Eurofilm Festival 2016 in Hamburg / Ahrensburg should start with this sentence: It needs men like Wolfgang Thomas and his excellent organising committee, to prepare over many months so carefully and comprehensively, that a happy, superb and friendly international meeting for film makers resulted. Therefore, we owe them a warm vote of thanks.
In the Park-Hotel in the town of Ahrensburg near Hamburg, the European Film Circle (EAK) presented 47 films on the last weekend of September. Authors from Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Slovenia and Germany submitted work. EAK President, Uwe Haase from Lübeck, in his brief welcome speech, expressed delighted that this event was successful and that so many filmmakers had accepted the invitation to Hamburg.
On Friday from 9 am until after 7 pm in the evening 32 films were on screen, the remaining 15 were shown on Saturday. There was a lot of applause from around 80 spectators for consistently good and even excellent films. The five-person international jury, headed by Switzerland's Hans Rudolf Wieget, had already evaluated all the films submitted weeks before, awarding three gold medals to the following filmmakers: Heinz-Werner Breiter (Switzerland) for "The Last Garden", Frank Lauter (Germany) For "A village is Brown" and to Markus Beerli (Switzerland) for "Hautnah". In addition, 14 silver medals and 7 bronze medals were awarded. It should be noted that this time there were no actual medals, but folding cards, which presented some striking Hamburg sights - the Michaeliskirche, the new Elbphilharmonie concert hall and a three-masted sailing ship.
During the festive gala evening in the Park Hotel, Wolfgang Thomas and Anni Bergauer handed over the prizes, and then came the savoury buffet, where we were spoiled for choice.
EAK President Uwe Haase in his closing speech praised the diverse creativity of the filmmakers and their high-quality work, but then also took the opportunity to deal with the long-term downturn in membership and the lack of interest among young people in the type of films we make in the EAK. "It is the Internet that gives young people the opportunity to quickly implement their ideas and creativity," said Haase. “In addition, they refused to engage with a jury who judge their films according to predetermined criteria.” He appealed to members to continue to promote films nevertheless.
Finally, Uwe Haase also called for members to be more objective and fair in their criticism of one another, he asked for more objectivity, more confidence and more thoughtfulness. Insinuations, half-truths and insults were not conducive to the work of the EAK, Haase said in conclusion.
The cheerleader effect means that women in a group are even more attractive than when they are seen individually. Small physiological irregularities of any single person are balanced by the group, so scientific investigations have proved.
So far as Ahrensburg is concerned, these irregularities could not be ascertained with the naked eye, because the female welcoming team excelled with immaculate freshness, invincible cheerfulness and charming competence. The organization committee deliberately appointed three absolutely likeable personalities to the cheerleader group: Ilka Burmeister, Antje Klüver and Pamela Schlemmermeier, who contributed to the success of this year's festival.
The way arriving guests are welcomed has a lasting effect on the good feelings at the start of the day and the following day. And so it was. The ladies created a wonderful atmosphere, there was much laughter and they even presented German poems in chorus before the enthusiastic Swiss film friends.
Despite the ease they always remained professional. A well-known Austrian film festival organizer did not succeed in upsetting the cheerleader's ballet. He had brought hard liquor from the Alps and he tried to give it to the team in small glasses produced from his pocket. This had only moderate success, only increasing the mood - nothing else.
So all that remains at the end to is say a big thank you and hope that at some point, once again an opportunity offers the cheerleaders from Ahrensburg can be brought on stage.
It was enjoyable at this year's Eurofilm Festival in Ahrensburg near Hamburg. Our North German film friends matched with high professionalism a completely successful and top-quality film festival in an impressive ambience. A very warm thank you to the 11-strong organising committee around Wolfgang Thomas.
I specially liked the moderation by Peter Klüver. Targetted in the right light by the spotlight, Peter welcomed the numerous established authors and guests. He approached the films sensitively, recognised the successes of the individual filmmakers and interesting styles of the authors.
For me the many-sided encounters, good conversations and the friendly co-operation at the film festivals are always like a family meeting. I hope and wish Eurofilmer that we will be able to continue many such meetings in the future.
The compliments of the guests confirms their view that the Eurofilm Festival 2016 in Ahrensburg, just outside the gates of Hamburg, was a completely successful event and it is also an endorsement that the whole organization has paid off.
We would love to return was the unanimous opinion of the authors and guests. The hospitality was great they said at the farewell. Thank you, we felt at home.
Congratulations to the organising committee, which was well organized in all matters and thus contributed to a family event. True to the slogan: "One meets Friends" little printed bags of sweets were presented to guests.
The Eurofilm Festival, coupled with a very nice hotel, equipped with an excellent cuisine, and a well-decorated room in which an outstanding projection system was installed is the impression, which will long remain with participants as a positive memory.
Once again, creative and talented authors satisfied us with their wealth of ideas and thus, as in previous years, contributed to a successful film event. For this, my sincere thanks. What was evident was the degree of consensus between audience and jury. This is a sign that we are on the right track.
One highlight was the bus trip through the Hanseatic City of Hamburg with a very local tourist guide. The high point, however, was the boat trip on the Elbe and the port of Hamburg.
The “Pötte”, as Hamburger use to call the huge ships, were most impressive, even for the locals. Geared and ungeared containerships were loaded and unloaded with the help of cargo cranes. It was an astonishing feeling, navigating alongside these huge containerships. The thought that such a ship is traveling all over the world and does not go down will make you sink in awe.
The festival was rounded off by the gala evening and the award ceremony. A tasty cold and hot buffet contributed to atmospheric award ceremony.
Sadly and all-too-soon this is now over. There remains only the hope for the next festival in 2017, where we can meet again in the circle of like-minded friends.