The next edition of Fresh Film Fest cancelled
We sadly announce, the 12th edition of Fresh Film Fest had to be cancelled and will no longer take place at the end of summer as it used to for over a decade.
It is with immense regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the 12th edition of the International Festival of First Features and Student Films Fresh Film Fest. Although we have managed to make the festival a respected event in our 11 year history, complications related in particular to funding developed to such an extent that it is no longer possible to organise the event without severely reducing its range and quality of the programme. We have therefore decided for this radical solution.
In the last few years, Fresh Film Fest was organised under financial conditions that were not corresponding to the extent of the event. Each year, the festival presented approximately 100 to 150 films in six screening halls, several free entry open-air screenings often for 500 to 1000 people and its programme included corresponding accompanying programme – musical, graphical and focusing on film professionals and authors. Each year, many important guests (although the number reduced with each edition) accepted the invitation to take part in the festival and present their work which means the festival was fulfilling its goal to create a sort of a platform for young filmmakers. With a budget that has never exceeded 130 thousand Euros during the last few years, it was not easy to fulfil our goal and all cost-saving measures naturally affect the quality. An event that focuses primarily on minority and demanding audiences, does not attract big film stars and in turn the attention of the media, is not easy to fund from private sources. However, the final blow came in 2014 when Fresh Film Fest after 9 years in a row failed to qualify in a new grant tender of the EU programme Creative Europe. Without the support of the Media Programme, our festival has lost nearly a third of its budget.
We are not a festival that defines its statute at the very beginning and thus definitively sets its outlines. Fresh Film Fest took up after the traditional Karlovy Vary student film festival CILECT and during the years gradually put more and more emphasis on first features. The Fresh Generation competition turned into a small showcase of new progressive trends in the world of cinema. Non-competition sections Break Rules and Bright Future became inspirational selections of young cinema that appears very rarely in home cinema. In past few years, we have also managed to rediscover the personalities of the world of cinema that have been overshadowed by their more media-friendly colleagues and introduce them to Czech audiences. The films by Peter Watkins, Alan Clarke and James Benning cast, according to responses of the audience, the right amount of doubt on the rooted stereotypes of who defines or influences trends in the world of film. We collaborated with the British TV station Channel 4 and presented miniseries that destroy the concepts of TV production limits with their poetics (e.g. Black Mirror, Southcliffe). Many renowned capacities of world cinema accepted our invitations and sat in our juries (Christoffer Boe, Sean Ellis, Benedek Fliegauf, Angela Schanelec and many more), we presented a number of local premieres of films that would otherwise be excluded from Czech distribution (To the Wonder by Terrence Malick, Under the Skin by Jonathan Glazer). Each year, we deliberately infiltrated our programme with non-cinematic work that noticeably complements cinema such as exhibitions, installations, profiles of conceptual artists and groups.
We believe that every cloud has a silver lining and that our festival will rise from its ashes in the future. For the moment, we sincerely thank you for your support, interest and cooperation and look forward to it some other time. We wish good festival luck to all young filmmakers.
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