Organizing film societies worldwide...


Report from IFFS/FICC assembly 11.06.05 in Gallico, Reggio Calabria, Italy

Representatives from 35 countries were present. The countries were: Sri Lanka, Mexico, Estonia, Germany, Croatia, Serbia, United Kingdom, South Corea, Indonesia, Greece, Iran, Switzerland, Lebanon, Catalonia, Portugal, France, Russia, Tunisia, Italy, Norway, Ireland, Japan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Brazil, Uruguay, Pakistan, Singapore, Argentina, Cuba, Ukraine, India, Malaysia, Columbia and Ecuador.

Before the meeting a vote was conducted to award three films in three categories from the festival. The prize for best Feature film was won by “Travellers and Magicians” by Kyentse Norbu, ”DeMoler” by Alejandro Ramirez Anderson and “Between two villages” by Muriel Jaquerod and Eduardo Saraiva Pereira won the prize for best Documentary, and “Vanja” by Christina Zulauf won the prize for best Short Film.

The meeting was introduced by Paolo Minuto, Vice President of the IFFS/FICC, who gave a general report on the status of the Reggio festival and the federation, naming new members and new representatives present in Reggio. He also told the assembly about the activities of the IFFS/FICC.
He subsequently continued by talking about the challenges of the federation. These are;
• Maintaining and developing member contact in Africa,
• Exchanging information between members via the use of internet,
• The structure of the Executive Committee (EC) and the identity of the federation.

He finished by presenting some ideas and goals for the federation by speaking about educating the audience and finding motors for exchange and distribution of modern foreign films, including Spanish as an official language of the federation and IFFS/FICC as a world uniting organisation.

After the introduction the floor was open to those who wanted to speak.

Portugal started by promising cooperation with Portuguese speaking African countries, and work to increase the communication within and between national federations. They also announced the publication of a magazine where everyone is welcome to contribute. Portugal also supports a new constitution within the EC before leaving the meeting due to a departure back to Portugal. They thanked Paolo and the festival for a nice stay.

Catalonia thanked Paolo and the staff for continuing the festival and announced that a bulletin will be published within the next few months. They expressed their discontentment with the Vice-President situation, and the loss of two Vice-Presidents is unacceptable. This situation causes the unbearable situation of relying too much on one president, i.e. Paolo Minuto.

United Kingdom informed the assembly about why one of the IFFS/FICC Vice-Presidents, David Phillips, was not present.

Croatia Suggested a system of membership fees calculated from each member’s national gross capital.
Switzerland Supported a new system for membership fees, not relating to each nation’s gross capital, but for example the number of members.
Croatia pointed out the problems of such a system for federations with only a national organisation.

France informed the assembly about the income from membership fees for the IFFS/FICC. 20 members paid in 2004 and only 12 members have until this date paid for 2005. The federation cannot continue financially with this situation.
Catalonia meant that the EC is compelled to find financial support.
Norway commented that this is a job in itself and not possible within the current situation.
Serbia thought the IFFS/FICC represent the world in a smaller dimension so there is a need to find a pathway.
France informed the assembly that an effort has been made towards UNESCO some years ago, but it was impossible to find support from this organisation.
Switzerland commented that the festival would not have been possible without the Italian federations, and that the effort towards UNESCO was made during the office of Robert Richter as one of the Vice-Presidents, but they encouraged another try. Switzerland also expressed concern about what the IFFS/FICC can offer in exchange for economical support and pleaded for realism on this topic.

India thanked Paolo for making travels around the world making personal contact possible, and thanks to him many Asian countries will join the IFFS/FICC. India will work for more countries joining, for example Nepal. India supported a new membership fee system based on the financial situation for each member.

Brazil thanked Paolo for his efforts and stated the importance of an EC supporting him in his work. Brazil supports a new structure of the EC and a sharing of responsibilities among the Vice-Presidents. Brazil informed about the status of its own national federation, and stated the importance of each member’s responsibility to contribute to and respect each other’s diversities. During the General Assembly (GA) in Brazil there should be a debate about how to appreciate these differences.

France informed about the current system for membership fees, and expressed that this system is unsatisfactory. France wanted to support members economically, but realised that this is not possible in the current situation of the IFFS/FICC. France believed that the federation support its members politically, and urged for initiation of activities within the federation on this point.
Tunis supported France, but expressed that there is no cause for pessimism. Tunis suggested strengthening the strategy on the administration of juries, the Don Quixote prize and the Reggio festival. Tunis also urged to challenge the UNESCO and its duty to disseminate cinema culture.

Singapore thanked Paolo and his staff, and informed about Singapore’s status on Film Societies. Singapore suggested reducing the costs instead of increasing the fees, meaning a shorter festival and uploading short films on the internet. Singapore also suggested presenting the festival in Reggio as a showcase to show to potential sponsors what the IFFS/FICC does with its resources.

Argentina informed about the economical status of its federation, and urged everyone present to bring suggestions on how to improve the financial situation of the IFFS/FICC to the GA in Brazil. Argentina thanked Paolo for his efforts before reading a declaration from the Latin/South American group containing the actions to be made by this group.

Indonesia thanked for the possibility to be present, and proposed sponsorship through world distribution of DVD’s.

India expressed some observations on how the assembly addresses and categorises the financial justice of each federation. India meant that helping federations financially is an unnecessary task for the IFFS/FICC.

Catalonia suggested that the EC has to co-opt other projects and find financial support.

Switzerland wanted to discuss the level of quality on the films in the festival, because this is one of the few activities the federation actually has got going. Switzerland continued by referring to decisions made on the previous GA that have not been executed concerning the web-site and a database for films and contacts. Switzerland also proposed that a DVD containing all the films screened in Reggio should be made available to all the participants, but also informing the assembly about the costs related to a screening, and the cost and work of producing such a DVD.

Paolo Minuto intervened and informed about how screenings function and the purpose of the assembly, namely to for everyone to express their opinions before the GA and to make decisions based on these opinions.

Malaysia thought that the festival should not be shorter, but longer. Financially the IFFS/FICC should make their activities more accessible, share cultural production and thus be more eligible for sponsors.

The assembly was finished by a ceremony awarding the aforementioned films with their prizes, and the signing of a film agreement between the festival and the Balkan federations.

Oslo, Norway, 2005-08-10
Atle Hunnes Isaksen (reporter)