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

Annual Report for 2015 and 2016

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!

Uwe Haase