IX Film Art and Tourism Festival

Tourfilm Academy Conference

The logo that represents the anniversary of our 25 years of freedom, (which also in a way ties into the standard of the Union Trades “Solidarity”), has accompanied us throughout the duration on the IX edition of the FilmAT Festival- Film, Art and Tourism Festival. The topic of the Tourfilm Academy Conference, which is always held alongside the Festival, was also about this year’s jubilee. This international meeting was held under the title: “25 years of freedom, which was born in Poland”. The people that took part in the conference met up in the headquarters of PTTK (Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society) . This association’s honorary member was John Paul II, the most famous pilgrim and traveler.

Like every year for the occasion of the festival, the Tourfilm Academy committee gives out special, non-contest statues “Tourists” to people and institutions which promote Poland throughout the world. During this special year, the Academy committee decided to give them out to: Mr. President Bronisław Komorowski, for the 25 years of freedom; J.E. Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, who took apart in pilgrims to the world’s farthest corners with John Paul II; Marshall Adam Struzik, for investing in the tourism infrastructure of Mazovia – the Heart of Poland, and especially for building the International Airport that is Warsaw Modlin Airport.

During the conference, Andrzej Danowski – director of PTTK Sightseeing Photography Centre in Łódź emphasized that the whole world was witness of the historic moment that was the recent canonization of John Paul II. The meaning of the Polish Pope’s actions for the European freedom was appreciated not only Polish nationals but also by citizens of different countries, who also strived for this freedom. The Pope- pilgrim John Paul II – was the most famous traveler of his epoch. Leading his mission, he visited the farthest corners of the world, always meeting the representatives of different cultures, traditions, religions and generations. As a Bishop of Rome and the Head of the Catholic Church, he accepted the membership of only one organization – the Polish Association of Tourism and Sightseeing, which showed the Pope’s love for the beauty of his native land.

During the conference “25 years of freedom, and it’s beginning in Poland”, we were able to focus on the important details which were a part of our journey to freedom and democracy. It started in the Pomeranian region, old and famous for its freedom traditions Gdańsk. It was there, thanks to Free Trade Union and “Solidarity” that the first scratch mark was made upon the Iron Curtain.

Thanks to that obtained freedom, it is now possible for us today to work together internationally in different genres. We are specialists in our own right, by promoting tourism through film, which is why our discussion was tied mainly due to this topic.

25 years ago, Alexander V. Kammel with his father, Rudolf Kammel brought to life CIFFT – the International Committee of Tourism Film Festivals. They invited, from all around the world, directors of international tourism film festivals to take part in working together. In the beginning, the organization brought together festivals from either side of the Iron Curtain, which was still in existence then. From a quarter of a century during the Festival of Festivals in Vienna, a tourism film is picked as the most beautiful from all around the world. CIFFT, through their actions has educated an abundance of people from different countries and continents about tourism films – people like filmmakers, representatives of different institutions and other makers. A very important archive has been founded, a relationship has been made with the world of science, there is an ongoing development of educational programs for children and young people etc. “Freedom lets us develop a good international partnership when it comes to tourism films”, emphasized by Alexander Kammel.

Katarzyna Draba – spokesman of the Polish Tourism Organization and the representative of the European Travel Commission talked about the promotion of tourism thanks to film. Poland is a country that is very open to the world; hospitality is rooted into our nature. “Poland – feel invited” is a beautiful film that is widely awarded at an abundance of different festivals from around the world. It is a good example of the campaign that the Polish Tourism Organization leads, thanks to which Poland is associated as a friendly country, which waits for tourists from all around the world.

Ivana Bilkova – director of Czech Tourism to Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia, talked about big changes in tourism which happened over the past 25 years. The development of tourism can be felt all the time; new ideas are being promoted, the evolvement of hotel bases and the whole tourism infrastructure. Every tourist can find something for himself and his wallet. She also pointed out the increasing number of traveling families.

A more strong and deep moment of the conference was Mr.Elias Masango’s presentation – the first Secretary of the South African Embassy – about the world famous citizen of the Republic of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. A famous quote said by Mandela: “The fight is my life” became his real motto. Nelson Mandela fought with racial segregation system; he reigned even from inside a jail in which he spent 27 years. He gave up his whole life for the fight for freedom, thanks to which he has become a great symbol of liberty around the world.

Honorary Gala IX FilmAT in Prymasowski Palace

The beautiful interior of Prymasowski Palace was the frame of this year’s FilmAT Festival’s IX Gala and Conference about 25 years of freedom. We welcomed the guests with a glass of Argentinean wine and a showing of Argentinean tango. These accents were meant to underline the achievement of Argentina. The international committee, with Zbigniew Żmudzki as the head, gave to highest award, GRAND PRIX TOURSIM, to the film “Imagina un pais que lo tiene todo”. This year’s high level of art in the film entered by European Travel Commission allowed the committee to reward them with a statue GRAND PRIX ART, in the production of “Roll the Dice” which promoted Europe as a touristic destination.
GRAND PRIX in the National Contest went to the director of the film “The City of Sunken Gods” by Zdzisław Cozac and the overseer of production, Wojciech Cieliński, president of Slavic and Viking Centre of Wolin Association – Jomsborg – Vineta. We have to acknowledge, that other than the Grand Prix this film was also recognized in several other categories, in the national contest as well as in the international contest.

The Academy recognized an animated film, as the event of year, created by young filmmakers from the studio Newborn – “Warsaw 1935”. This digital reconstruction of Warsaw before World War II shows the charm of the city which was once called “Paris of the North”.

The statutory GRAND PRIX ECOLOGY was rewarded to a series of films “Escape to nature 2009-2014”, some of this family’s films have received some of the greatest awards in the ecological category within the last 5 years.

This year, there have been 290 entries to the festival’s office, which represented 30 different countries. All these films were presented to 3 different committees.

The international committee was lead by Zbigniew Żmudzki – the president of the Oscar winning film studio “Se-ma-for” and the national committee by Joanna Tryniszewska – an experienced journalist and director. The last committee, in charge of the contest for children and young people’s films, was lead by David Cooper, who is celebrated as the best producer of tourism films in the world.

Honorary guests of the Gala were: Ms. Marshall Barbara Kamińska – a member of the Board of Opolskie Voivodeship, representatives of the Republic of Argentina Embassy: Patricia Salas – Charge d’Affaires a.i. Republic of Argentina Embassy in Poland, with her husband, Miguel Angel Cuna – the Secretary of the Argentinean Embassy and Consulate as well as Ms.Marta Jordan leader of the Cultural Section of the embassy. Turkey was represented by: Nihat Gül – Undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Turkish Republic, Abdullah Kasim Sonkaya –Culture and Information Attache of the Turkish Embassy, Hamdi Turşucu – general director ds. of Libraries and Publishing of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Turkish Republic. Mr Elias Masango – First Secretary of Embassy in Warsawa was representing the South African Republic. Jelena Marković-Krstić, embassy adviser represented Serbia.
Among honrary guests, we should also name guests from the tourism film world: Alexander V. Kammel – founder and director of CIFFT in Vienna, Jahangir Mammadov – director of the Department of Cinematography in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Fariz Ahmedov – art director of Baku International Tourism Film Festival, Vugar Shikhammadov – director of the Department PR in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Spomenka Saraga – director of the Tourism Film Festival in Zagreb, producer and filmmaker David C. Cooper, Katarzyna Draba – spokesman of the Polish Tourism Organization and during our honorary festival an official representative of the European Travel Commission. The Ministry of Sport and Tourism was represented by Ms.Olga Piekarzewska – the main specialist in the Department of Tourism; and the Marshall of the Mazovian Region – Ms.Izabela Stelmańska – the deputy director of the Department of Culture, Promotion and Tourism in the Marszałkowski Office. Marszałkowski Office of the Pomeranian Region was represented by Ms. Marta Chełkowska – director of the Department of Tourism and Promotion in the Marszałkowski Office and the president of the Pomeranian Regional Organization of Tourism. Andrzej Danowski - director of the Centre of Sightseeing Photography represented PTTK.

During the Gala, we had the pleasure of serving our guests Polish specialties, with which was served Argentinean wine. Other than the Argentinean dancers as entertainment, we also had the folk ensemble “Rokiczanka” from the Lublin area; they were also the winners of awards in certain categories.

Ewa Kotus
Wojciech Jaworek

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