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

Short pen-portrait and statement on the occasion of the 2017 Executive Board

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But even more painful is that we are also more and more withdrawn for different reasons!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.

Bludenz, 26.11.2016