UNICA Films in our club

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Willy
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UNICA Films in our club

Post by Willy » Tue Feb 06, 2007 1:24 pm

Last night I saw some UNICA films in my club. In Flanders you can hire a DVD with some UNICA films on it. Perhaps also in Britain. I am sure that Dave Watterson has seen the film. He was a judge in South Korea and also some other forum friends attended the world festival down under.

The Dutch had made an introductory film for this DVD. I recognized Herman Otten and some of his friends. They wanted to attend the festival in South Korea. Their filght from Schiphol Airport Amsterdam, however, was cancelled. Therefore they took a rowing-boat. In Indonesia there was a tsunami. After the storm they could reach the shores of South Korea.

I enjoyed "Buon Giorno" made by the Italian filmaker Melo Prino very much. The psychiognomy of the main actor was fantastic. We laughed a lot. The best film, however, was "Darrera La Porta" made by the Spanish filmmaker Els Ultims Dinosaurus. A very strange name, isn't it ? It is a very very powerful film with superb photography. After the show I listened to some friends who said that they were sure that the actors in both films must be professionals. They wonder how much the filmmakers had to pay for them.

I agreed with them. I know that Ned and some other friends are just not of the same mind in this matter, but I still think that there should be always an "OPEN CATEGORY" for filmmakers who ask TV-stars to act in their films and even for filmschools. Some years ago there was an "open category" at BIAFF. I don't know why they have changed this. BIAFF still means "British International AMATEUR Film Festival". Shouldn't the organizers delete the word AMATEUR then ?

Working with actors from your own filmclub or with members of an amateur theatre group is a real challenge, but working with TV-stars in easier and more rewarding. I know a TV-star who always wants to direct the director when the latter is directing the actors.

A festival is a competition and why do we take part in it ? I don't like filmmakers who are always very fanatic when they have not won. Some friends are not able to get to sleep with bronze and even blue. That is ridiculous, but there is also something like fairplay. Douglas Boswell is a young professional filmmaker in my club. I have already told you this. From time to time he shows his films. We are very grateful to him.

Thanks to that UNICA DVD we had a wonderful evening. In particular the Spanish and Italian films have given me new inspiration for my own films. We need professionals who make commercialized films to improve our own films.

In my regio he has done it again. I mean one of our "prominent" filmmakers. He asked 6 or 7 TV-stars for his film. With a poker face he always claims that he never has to pay them. Of course we are not naive. That film will certainly be used again for cinemas. This works paralysing for real amateurs. I do not want to re-open the discussion about that problem, but I want to go on fighting for filmaking as a hobby. Our festivals are competitions for HOBBYISTS.

An other UNICA-film that I enjoyed very much was the Argentinian "In Golf We Trust". It's an amusing film about a golf player. I was also impressed by the German animation film "Der Verrükte, das Herz und das Auge" a film made by Annette Jung and Gregor Dashober. It was based on the story "The Tell Tale Heart" by the English author Edgar Allan Poe. Also this one was very professional.

It made me think of an animation film made by a young filmaker in my own region some time ago. I was the president of the judging panel. One of my colleagues had already seen that film on TV.
After the local heat the judging panel invited the young man in order to take a final decision. He admitted that he had made that animation film together with some members of his filmschool and he also said that his film was for sale in FNAC, a famous chain of stores in Holland and Belgium. As he was a young man we declared him to be the winner of the local festival, but we still had our doubts ... It was a difficult dilemma for us because we must also try to attract young filmmakers as most of us are just like dinousaurs. Me too !

Anyway, thanks to the UNICA-DV we had a very enjoyable evening.
Willy Van der Linden

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stingman
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Post by stingman » Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:34 pm

Dear Willy,
I find this AMATEUR and Pro thing serious. The IAC (in my opinion) is for AMATEURS only. The Pro`s have there body of competitions and organisations so they should keep to that!
I class a Pro as someone who works fulltime and an AMATEUR who works part time or does a hobby for no money gain or very little. It depends if the rules of the IAC`s competitions state about being Pro or AMATEUR. If they don`t mention it then any body could enter a film even Speilburg! He could enter the next StarWars in the next IAC Competition! Would this be fair. Of course not but you do see AMATEUR films inthe Pro Comps and places like the Cannes Film Festival! So are we for ALL films in our comps or just AMATEUR ones. I go for AMATEUR.
On a similar vein. Could a club film be entered into one of that clubs `standard` competitions?!
But how can we brach out in the making of our films (grow). Do we stay AMATEUR or is there an IAC type thing for Semi-Pro?
Ian Gardner
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Dave Watterson
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Post by Dave Watterson » Tue Feb 06, 2007 5:44 pm

Hi Willy

Los Ultimos Dinosors is one of the many joke names used by Spanish architect, Jan Baca when he makes movies. He tries not to use his own name so that juries are not influenced by it. He has made nearly 60 such superb films over the years, starting on 16mm and now on video. This one was made with the Austrian master film maker, Horst Hubbauer, as lighting-cameraman.

Baca makes films of such a high standard that young actors do perform for him free of charge, so that they can have a copy of the film for their showreel (a sort of video C.V.). His collaborator and for many years his star is Maria Josa, who is a theatre performer and teacher. She introduces actors to him.

I also share your delight in the other two films you mention. Indeed this past weekend I showed "Buon Giorno" and another Jan Baca film to a very appreciative audience.

I was on the UNICA jury in Belgium in 2005 but not in Korea in 2006.

By the way - there was another gold medal award winner at the 2006 UNICA ... a little film called "Extinction Event" which brought the audience to its feet for a standing ovation. Willy saw it at BIAFF last year ... other people, note that you can get it from the IAC video library and at a bargain price this year.

Dave

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Post by Willy » Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:39 pm

Hello Dave,
Yes of course, also "Extension Event" and "Plan B" are on that DVD, the two British entries. Wonderful films. I had already seen them a few times before. In Chesterfield I think and also on a British DVD. The Belgians enjoyed the British humour in these films very much.

I'm also happy to have seen one of Baca's films. I had already met his name many many times and I wondered how his films were. Now I'm more than convinced : HE'S A FANTASTIC FILMMAKER !
Willy Van der Linden

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Post by ned c » Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:44 pm

Thanks for your posting, Willy, and I look forward to seeing the UNICA films. There really must be a broadly aceptable resolution to the amateur/professional discussion. The AMPS definition is clear, the film must not be made for financial reward or expect to be rewarded at some later date. If a winning film goes on to commercial distribution then the award is forfeit and an announcement would be made in the AMPS newsletter.

There are a few amateurs who make films that are indistinguishable from those made by professionals but quite honestly the general standard of amateur film making is pretty low. Compare with amateur still photographers or diaporama makers and there is a wide gulf. For the film maker who makes what are essentially commercial films, wins awards and then gets commercial distribution this is a flagrant disregard of the spirit of n-c film making and he should have his rewards publicly rescinded.

If an amateur is defined as someone who is in no way involved or ever has been in the film/TV/event production/wedding activities then the ranks will thin out pretty quickly.

Discuss (one more time!)

Ned C

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Post by Willy » Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:54 pm

The AMPS definition is clear, the film must not be made for financial reward or expect to be rewarded at some later date. If a winning film goes on to commercial distribution then the award is forfeit and an announcement would be made in the AMPS newsletter.
_____________________________________________________
That's a very good definition, Ned. I will give it to the organizers of our regional and national festivals. Something must be done here on the European Front. More and more amateur filmmakers are discouraged.

Once I worked together with a highly reputed filmmaker. We had to hire a costume. The hire firm asked if filmmaking was our job and if we had a VAT number. I said no, but my colleague said yes. "My firm is called 'TK Vision'", my friend said. I was surprised. I didn't know that. After having finished the amateur film he asked me to commercialize it. "Maybe we can earn quite a lot of money", he added. "We could sell our film to schools for instance because it's a film with some educational value..." I refused. Perhaps I was an idiot. Perhaps I was very naive. But I also have my principles. That was not the agreement before making the film. I also wanted us to take part in international amateur festivals with it.

It's true that we spent some money on the film, but it was not excessive. I would have accepted to sell some videos in order to cover the costs. I think that's acceptable. But earning money with it ? Then I say no !

All this does not mean that I am against friends who make films for pocket money. Maybe to buy a new HDV camera. That's even a good idea. Some friends in my club make wedding films. Why not ? As long as they do not take part in amateur festivals with their commercialized films then everything is OK.

One more thing about my friend. Maybe it was not he who showed eagerness for money making. Perhaps his partner is a bit like Mr Pickwick ! His enthusiasm for filmmaking is always great ! That's one of the reasons why I have some doubts.

Last week I invited him to give a lecture in my club. We are still very good friends.
Willy Van der Linden

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Dave Watterson
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Post by Dave Watterson » Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:38 pm

I think that in the USA and UK there is little opportunity for non-commercial films to be seen on television because there is so much material professionally available. In countries with a smaller language base that may not be so.

For example I suspect that in such countries television likes to present a lot of programmes in the native language. That means having a large and expensive production force themselves, dubbing American material ... or possibly buying a local amateur production. Some of the smaller tv stations may be specially tempted because they do not have the budget to produce new material professionally ... and by using amateurs in their area they can feature local talent.

I too like the AMPS definition ... but some traditionalists would object that if Spielberg chose to make a film with no intention of selling it anywhere ... he could enter.

Dave W

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Post by ned c » Thu Feb 08, 2007 3:33 pm

I love the Spielberg argument, I only wish he would enter a non-commercial film in the AMPS Fest, what a publicity coup that would be!

Ned C

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