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Tromsø International Film Festival 2007 (TIFF) By Joep Aarts, Tromsø Filmklubb.


"Longing/Sehnsucht", the DQ-winner in Tromsø 2007
TIFF is Norway’s largest film festival and this year they sold more than 48 000 tickets. But the biggest charm of the festival is the informal feeling; the personal approach is outstanding, especially for jury members. It may be one of the northernmost festivals in the world, and the surroundings are really something special with the northern lights as a bonus.

The FICC jury was one of four juries to choose a winner from the competition programme existing of 13 films from all over the world, from South Korea to Argentina. The quality of the entries was, as usual, wavering. Personally I found the German contributions this year very strong, with Requiem (Hans-Christian Schmid), Lucy (Henner Winckler) and the Don Quijote-winner Longing (Valeska Griesbach).

This subtle film about adultery in a small village in the Eastern German countryside was really convincing. The director has an own approach of using amateur actors and combined with the documentary way of filming, she really managed to get a close view of the characters. Watch out for Valeska Griesbach in the future!

The Don Quijote-prize is an instrument to increase the interest for quality film. I guess there is still a lot to be done to use the potential. For most film society members the FICC is unknown and better communication between the FICC and the film societies would be a good start. Promotion material for Don Quijote-award winning films could for example be sent to film societies.

Outside the competition programme I saw a great film from Romania, The Paper Will Be Blue (Radu Muntean), about the revolution in 1989. For those interested in Eastern Europe this is a recommendable film.

For those of you who never travelled north of the polar circle, TIFF is really a must in winter, whereas the Midnight Sun Film Festival in northern Finland, founded by a.o. the Kaurismaki brothers, is something to explore in summer.