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Tromsø interntional film festival 2008 by Ada Guilà del C. Catalan Federation of Film Societies

FICC reps in Tromsoe from left: Paolo Minuto, Ada Guilà and David Miller

My polar adventure

I have studied Audiovisual Communication and I’ve been part of the Manresa Film Society for about two years. I love films, talking about them, screening them, making them and, of course, seeing them. It’s my passion, my hobby, it’s what I live for.
When I got an email asking for participants to be part of a Jury in the northern part of Norway, I immediately felt like going. I didn’t hesitate much, I ask for permission and sent my candidature to be chosen. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but I wanted to have a go.

After a few months, I was told that I was going to be part of the FICC Jury and I just couldn’t believe it. That was such a nice surprise that involved a lot of expectations. Neither had I ever been part of an international Jury nor had I been to Norway. So, I was eager to be there, to start the adventure in Tromsö, in the polar artic.
When the day finally came I set off, I got there and a taxi was waiting to take me to the hotel and to the welcome reception. It was great to get to know people, especially my partners in the Jury: HEGE KRISTIN WENDES, from Norway representing the Tromsö Film Society and DAVID MILLER, from UK representing the British Federation of Film Societies, with whom I spent most of my time.

The festival organisation was awesome. There were five kinds of Jury: the Aurora Jury, the Fipresci Jury, The Norwegian Peace Film Award Jury, The Tromsö Palm Jury and the FICC Jury and we all had a person taking care of us, a young girl who tried to make the most of our stay, helping out with everything she could, as well as the Festival Director, Martha Otte and all the other girls from the organisation, more worried about how we felt or whether we needed something else, than for the festival itself. I really want to thank all them for doing such a nice job and being so caring.

Four days are not really enough to get to know a country, but we did caught a glimpse of all the people living in Tromsö, their loving character, the traditions, the food, the costumes, etc. We had a great time in all the dinners and we loved the Wildlife Experience, which was a dog sledging trip. A must do activity they had organized for us in an evening. I was thrilled, just as good as I had expected. We could even see the aurora boreal for a while. Awesome, words are really not enough to describe the trip.

As for the films, twelve were the movies we had to see, but I also saw more competing for other prizes. They were all very different in storyline, but all of a quality that made the final decision quite difficult. For example, I really enjoyed The Secret of the Grain, which told the vivid story of a family in a very awkward way and I was glad to know that it finally won the Fipresci Award, I thought it was well worth it. The Festival’s main Prize, the Aurora, was given to the French film Water Lilies, which led us to a lesbian teenager’s world sensitively described. A parting shot is also a film to be mentioned, with a great actress defending a weird and interesting plot.
The FICC Jury finally gave the Don Quijote award to The Kautokeino Rebellion directed by Nils Gaup, from Norway. It portrays one of the most dramatic episodes in northern Scandinavian history. Our reasons for prizing the movie were that:

- it tells a story that audiences around the world can relate to,
- film societies can plan to screen this title in the sure knowledge that it will create a debate as people everywhere can relate to oppression and the divides it creates. Any film that can get people talking about film and cinema is one well worth our support
- the acting was convincing and it was clear to the jury that all concerned with the film had a passion and commitment that transferred to the screen and will involve an audience even if they have no knowledge of the story, its history or its heritage.

I will always remember the 18th Tromsö International Film Festival as a fulfilling experience. It felt like a dream for me, spending almost a week watching interesting films surrounded by experts and out coming friends with whom we were always talking about the seventh art and sharing our opinions about cinema. I want to thank the organisation for all the hard work and especially the FICC for choosing me. I will never forget the chance I was given. Thank you.