Informative plattform of International Federation of Film Societies- Féderation Internationalle des Ciné-clubs- Federación Internacional de Cine Clubes
Festival Etiuda&Anima of Cracow from 21st to 27th November of 2014. It is one of the most famous European festivals of animation that includes a short films competition made/directed by students of cinema. Each competition needs a judge, which in this case the competition of animation relies on a jury of five members while the Etiuda competition relies on three judges; a general jury, a jury made up by students and another jury from FICC. It was in the last one in which I had the honour of participating as a jury during the last November of this year. We were three people overall making up that jury, Raj Babu Gongajy from Nepal, Lukasz Grela from the same city of Cracow and me.
I started my adventure in Cracow a couple of days before of the festival’s opening and it began in-between clouds, cold and sleet. It was very cold.
During the first day, I visited by myself the tourist attractions of the city. I asked for a map in the Tourism office and started walking. It was wonderful except for the weather. Cracow is a city with a huge historical background, many monumental works to visit and many streets to go all over. The first impression was really good, and polish citizens are at least partly responsible. All of them are very kind and to be honest, they talked English far better than I expected. On the second day, my polish girlfriends visited me and took advantage of me to go around the city together since it was their first time in Cracow too.
Usually the festival invites their guests and translators on the third day of the festival when the competition section starts. Everybody was arriving from the third day and since I arrived there two days before from the competition, I attended to all of the events during the two first days without understanding any word. Everything was in Polish. Everything. I was fortunate that during the openings they used to say the same and I could guess more or less what they were saying. Once the competition began, I met Lukasz, a cinema critic and member of FICC jury as well. Raj, a cinema editor and member of the “Kathmandy Film Society” was going to arrive two days later due to visa issue and Swiss. (Never would I have imagined the problems that one person from Nepal could have in order to come to Europe, if Raj did not tell me). Our judges did not receive the short films in advance as the general judges did, that is why we had to attend to all the passages and at the end each of us we reunited to discuss about what we watched in order to pick our favourites and discard the others. At the end of each passage there were few minutes to make questions and responses with some of the directors of the short films who were invited by the festival. That as well helped us quite a lot to understand certain short films, especially the most abstract and surrealist ones. Moreover, I was the only jury who could attend the meeting of directors that took place in a weekday and I learned plenty and it helped me to know the world of cinema students, which I didn’t know very well at all. It was very enrichening. When Raj arrived, we spent many hours talking about the short films and trying to choose only one. There was only one award given by our jury and there were no special remarks, second or third awards. They only wanted a winner.
After hours of short films, meetings, cultural parallel events, workshops, meetings of directors and meals with the representatives of the festival, the last day of competition arrived with the awaited awards ceremony as well as the farewell party. First came the gratitude speech for everyone; the organizers, collaborators, sponsors, volunteers, guests and others. Then the festival´s and city’s representatives gave their speech and finally the awards ceremony arrived. The ceremony started by handing first the awards of Etiuda competition. We gave the Don Quijote award to “Ella”. It is a short film of Ronen Ishai from Israel and it is about a forty years old woman who fights against a breast cancer and she shows how the world moves around her. It talks with sensivity but directly about a serious topic and sometimes taboo. When we had to choose the winner, we did not have many troubles to choose “Ella” for the award.
I would like to congratulate again Ronen, whom I had the opportunity and pleasure of meeting him in the festival and his staff. In addition, I would like to congratulate and thank to the staff that worked in the festival and to the organization.
Also a special thanks to Marta and Agniezska who were paying attention and always at the disposal of the guests including me, especially when I sprained my ankle during the festival. Many many thanks to the volunteers that helped me going up and down many stairs with crutches. Thank you. Dziękuję.
Furthermore, I greet to Lukasz, Raj, Pablo, Zibi, Mehmet, Nikolai, Omar, Or, Christian, the other Christian, Ali… the interpreters, and to all those people who I spent many hours with sharing a roof, meals, teas and parties. I think I will miss more than one person. I hope I can live an experience like this again soon.
Jury member FICC Jury Festival Etiuda&Anima Cracow 2014