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17TH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL - “ETIUDA & ANIMA 2010” Cracow, 19 - 25 November, 2010. Report by Kaja Diks


The festival fulfilled its purpose. It gave the attendee the possibility to get to know not just the animated classics, but also the works of students from film schools, as well as professionals from around the world. It was also a good move to divide the festival into two parts: etiuda and anima. I was part of a team made up of two other wonderful people. Annette Torgnysdotter Sunblad from Sweden, a chair person of the Hemse Filmstudio, and Stanislav Suknienko from the Ukraine, a film studies graduate, journalist and the head of the Visual Laboratory film club.

Etiuda
36 short films divided into 6 competition screenings were presented in this category during the festival. Aware of the large number of films, we decided to discuss the screenings at the end of each day. This also helped us narrow down our list of candidates for the Don Quijote prize. We were pleasantly surprised with the level of the presented films, which is closely tied to our final decisions. Unfortunately, there were also a few strange incidents. First of all, and I’m sure Annette and Stanislav will agree, I have no idea how the German film “Be Loved” made it into the competition. Perhaps the intention of the creators was to show irrational behavior, and raise strong emotions. However, judging by the public’s reactions, what they felt was disgust (people began to leave), and the same could be said about the jury. Another downside were the technical difficulties which had a negative effect on the screenings. A few times the screen formats changed halfway through the films, however, the biggest issues were with getting some films to play correctly. For example, there was major audio and visual desynchronization in “Wednesday Afternoons”, or the lack of color in “Essence”. This is where I have to thank Agnieszka Zajac who let us watch these movies a second time, which helped us in our further discussions about them.

Anima
This part had 59 animations, and with the assumption that we are evaluating students’ films we were “interested in”... films. Here, once again, I have to make mention of Agnieszka’s help. Thanks to the additional material which she provided us with, and marking down which films were made by students, the evaluation process was a lot easier. I have mixed feelings as far as throwing in professional and students’ films into one competition. After watching a few professional films, which were of a very high standard, we subconsciously began to demand more from the students. On the one hand, something like this is necessary, but on the other, it might raise the bar a bit too high.


Since the screenings were on a very high level, it is difficult to select one winner from such a varied amount of categories, ranging from animation to documentaries. We decided to give the Don Quijote prize to the best film, and 2 diplomas to movies from different categories than the main winner.
Our verdict:

THE DON QUIJOTE PRIZE : “WEDNESDAY AFTERNOONS”,
Directed by: Nora Alsharif, University of Westminster, United Kingdom, 2010

A beautiful drama about humanity, lifelong friendship and and its loss. It shows the life of
elderly people in a poetic way, presenting its 'blackness and whiteness'. This is a film that
everyone can relate to and which stays with you long after you leave the cinema.


DIPLOMA to :

1) “59/184/84”
Directed by: Lukas Kokes, FAMU, Czech Republic, 2009

A documentary film that has the quality of a metaphor.
The director shows us the absurd world of an eccentric character by using plenty of humor.
The main character’s “philosophy”, and how he looks at life, shows that he is a victim of a
particular system. Nonetheless, being aware of that, he tries to find the meaning of life over
and over again.

2) “Mobile”
Directed by: Verena Fels, Filmakademie Baden Württemberg, Germany, 2010

A witty, funny and positive film for all ages. It shows that everything is possible, if you really
want it.


I would like to congratulate the winners for their effort, creativity and, first and foremost, for bringing the magic of films to life.

A few things during the festival could change:
1. Even though our verdict and justifications were sent earlier, they weren’t known neither during the press conference, nor the ending of the festival.
2. A negative thing was the lack of guaranteed seats during screenings, where we would be able to make notes during the films. Luckily, a volunteer helped us by saving seats for us.

Overall, I feel that the festival was a success. The fact that it was an international jury helped create a deep and diverse discussion, and gave us a wider perspective of the problems arising in the films. Once again, I am obliged to thank Agnieszka Zajac and Maciej Gil for their help, and for creating a very nice atmosphere in the old capital of Poland.

Sincerely Yours,
Kaja Diks
Poland