Informative plattform of International Federation of Film Societies- Féderation Internationalle des Ciné-clubs- Federación Internacional de Cine Clubes
A welcome second visit to this most marvellous of Film Festivals. With 20 films in competition there is always going to be debate and the FICC jury was no exception. In addition to the feature film competition there is one for shorts and one for documentary. There is a critics jury, ecumenical jury and international jury as well as one covering the shorts and documentaries. This is now a major festival and to experience how it has evolved since my pervious visit just five years ago is a joy to behold. The number of guests and accreditations as well as a programme that is crammed full is testament to the work that has gone into making the Jameson Film Festival, Miskolc what it now is.
And, every screening is free. Yes you read that correctly – free. Quite amazing. And when the out-of-competition programme offers gems such as Mr Turner, Boyhood, Gibraltar and many, many more you know this is a festival for anyone who loves film. In addition there are master-classes and industry forums and anyone who wants to gain an insight into how to run such a colossal event could do no better than apply for a space in next year’s jury.
Miskolc itself has a number of interesting places to visit. All the key buildings are in a central location and easily reached by walking. Two attractions require a bit more effort to get to but are well worth the effort. One change that perhaps did not work as well was the use of one restaurant for all meals. The previous option of being able to select from three choices provided a better memory but having the one venue did mean all the juries met on a regular basis.
The screenings in the main theatre were popular and having a special room allocated purely for use by jury members was a godsend. The festival team were well prepared, extremely helpful and always available. In short, the organisation from landing at Budapest airport until taking off again was faultless.
The FICC comprised myself from the UK, Konrad from Poland and Gabor from Hungary. From the 20 films we saw, it was no surprise that agreement on which to select to make the award was not going to be easy. However, two of us did select the same title and this was second choice of the remaining juror. But, boy, what an argument he put forward for his first choice! The organisers made it clear that they dislike ‘special mentions’ and we, therefore, had to stick to one outright winner. Were we allowed to make a special mention then ‘White Shadow’ would have been there but as it was the Don Quixote went to a masterpiece called Class Enemy. This brilliant film tells the story of the consequences of a suicide but does so in a way that shows so many emotions and to what lengths the establishment will go to protect its interests. Quite devastating. Class Enemy also took first prize from the International Jury and deserves many more. If you get a chance to see it, then do so. And if by some chance White Shadow comes your way then that too deserves attention.
David Miller. British Federation of Film Societies. October 2014.