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

Impressions of the 2017 Sifa Festival in Hinwil

A novelty was that this year it was not a SIFA club that was responsible for the organisation of the event, but the President of the SIFA, Reto Stocker, who took charge. With the help of a few people he had gathered from the separate clubs, he set up the whole festival. Bravo! It was excellent and everyone who helped can proudly beat their chest: We put a very successful festival on its feet.

The organisers were very pleased to receive important guests from the Eurofilmers. Anni Bergauer and Werner Scheffknecht with their spouses were not put off by the long trip to Switzerland and they were able to watch the films and were also guests at the evening meal and the awards. So they were able to take home with them a good impression of how a SIFA festival runs.

What was striking was an absolutely perfect presentation on the big screen! This was possible thanks to new video technology (a new full-HD projector with a new screen for rear projection) in the Hirschensaal in Hinwil. In the ideal place in the hall were the sound mixing console and the PC from which the films were sent to the invisible projector. Since Roland Mees had transferred all the movies to HD, there were also no problems with conversion from 16: 9 to 4:3. For the imposing video projection, the ZOFA technical team received much praise from viewers and film makers. Quite superb: Each film was announced with title, author’s name etc. on the screen. In addition, the film makers, who were almost all present were introduced by the speaker to the large audience of up to 120 people.

The variety of subjects was within the same range as previous years, the organisers were happy about two successful fiction films. Animal films were again well represented, but a reportage by Urs Schadegg about an illegal gold mine in the Philippines was at the top. "The Golden Mountain" showed the working conditions in impressive pictures, even on days where the water was literally up to the workers’ necks. Obviously a film about gold production was awarded a gold medal.

Also receiving gold medals were: "Call of the Icy Autumn Winds" a film about polar bears in Canada by Willi Grau, as well as an elaborate production by Markus Beerli: "The Last Ride". He accompanied a locomotive driver on his last ride before retirement on the legendary Gotthard route, which is now replaced by the Basistunnel.

There are no trends towards new film directions, so our filmmakers will continue to bring what they like and what interests them. This is also in line with the principles of amateur filming, no prescriptions, no restrictions, complete freedom in the choice of subject. It is difficult for the film makers to discover that the entire audience (and thus the jury) do not see the film as they intended it. If you give your film to the competition, it will be made public and you will have to be able to face the fact that one film does please the audience at the SIFA / Eurofilmer and another less so. This does not mean that a badly rated film is not a good one, you just have to change the audience (jury).

There were 25 films at the start of the 2017 SIFA Filmfestival and they are all works that do not deserve to be hidden. 19 of them will be forwarded to the Eurofilmfestival in Harsefeld near Hamburg.

At the end of the concert, the audience wore satisfied looks. After a good dinner and musical performances, came the time the film makers had been awaiting, and for many, the happy message: "We are going to Harsefeld near Hamburg, my film will be shown at the Eurofilmfestival between 5th and 7th October 2017 ".

Hansruedi Wiget