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