UNICA
COMMITTEE

COMMITTEE

elected on 31 October 2021

President

Rolf Leuenberger
(Switzerland)



Born in 1953 in Bern. Lives near Lugano since 1974.


Film amateur for over 50 years and winner of several awards at national and international level. 1980-1987


President of the cultural film society CineDoc, Lugano. In 1984 he founded CiAC (Film Club Cineamatori Ceresio Lugano), which he presided for 18 years. In 2010 he was director of the 75th National Film and Video Festival in Spiez.


He was a member of the National Committee "swiss.movie" for several years and a member of the UNICA Committee from 2009-2015 and currently jury coordinator.


Since 2015, he has been the founder and owner of a private film museum in Italian Switzerland dedicated to amateur film from 1922 onwards.


Rolf Leuenberger

Vice-President
Andrzej Przeździecki
(Poland)


My name is Andrzej Przeździecki. I was born in 1962 in Warsaw. I graduated from high school in Warsaw, then I started studying German philology in Warsaw but in time I moved to Magdeburg (Padagogische
Hochschule). I studied in Hanover too.


For the frst time I experienced independent cinema at OKFA Independent Films festival in Konin, Poland.


For many years I have had a pleasure to meet with the most outstanding creators of independent cinema from Poland and Europe.


Then I have been working on the organisation UNICA festival in Warsaw and Gdańsk, Poland. For many years I was at this time a part of „Fenster zum Osten”, which is festival of independent flms in Berlin. There was its successor, "Nachbarn bei Freunden”, in which I was working too.


During these parties, festivals and conversations I have met people who use this kind of art to create better communication, understanding and connection between artists and public.


Representation of Polish independent cinema is the best honour for me. Living among people, who watch over the independent cinema, is challenging but also bringing hapiness. During almost my whole life I have been connected with independent cinema and I have strong experience in this kind of art.


Andrzej Przeździecki

General-Secretary

since 2020

vacant


Treasurer
Thomas Kräuchi
(Switzerland)


Personal Information


1959 born in Zurich.


Studied at the Technical University of Applied Sciences Department of Mechanical Engineering


1982 Owner of a company in the field of industrial sewing machines


1990 Launch of the development and construction of self-designed special equipment using ultrasonic cutting for the creation of venetian blinds- automotive- and medical industries


2004 Foundation of a second company, named RCM Engineering to handle worldwide distribution of our own products



Relationship to film


1974 First contact with the film school films as a cameraman with 16 mm and my own production of  holiday films on Super8


1980 Second contact by getting to know my wife Ursula Hänsli and our first joint visit to UNICA 1981 in Siofok. I caught the UNICA virus immediately. So far I have only missed two of UNICA's annual meetings.



Working in UNICA


1991 UNICA St. Gallen in the organising committee: responsible for the projection of the contest


1994-2004 Election as technical advisor to UNICA, with participation in all committee meetings


1996 Construction of the first jury system with lights


2004 Elected committee member and treasurer of UNICA


2006 UNICA Korea: Organization of national travel, flight tickets bookings and financial accounting


2008 UNICA Tunisia: Organization of registrations, hotel issues and participant lists


2010 UNICA in Einsiedeln Organising Committee: implementation of UNICA,    documents, finances


2012  Newly responsible for the UNICA film archive.


Thomas Kräuchi

Advisor
Wolfgang Allin
(Austria)

Patronage administrativ


Brief personal details:


  • Born in 1943.
  • Studies of Architecture Technical University Vienna.
  • Until 2003 committed architect in German and Arabic speaking countries, project for schools and hospitals in Kuwait, Saudi-Arabia and Egypt, co-operation with the American architect I.M.Pei for the German Historical Museum in Berlin.
  • Film projects since 1968, mainly experimental art and new techniques (together with my wife Angelika Allin).
  • Member of VÖFA, numerous successful participation of regional and international competitions, in 1997 winner of the Austrian championship of film  authors.
  • Since 1988 several awards with UNICA competitions.
  • Juror in national and international competitions in Austria and Germany, UNICA juror in Gdansk/Poland and Fieberbrunn, Austria.
  • For two years cash auditor for UNICA in Zurich.


Main Goals for collaboration  in the position of an Adviser of UNICA :


Promotion and integration of new authors into the UNICA family.

Recognition of new tendencies, regarding subjects and new techniques, integrating features of literature music and the arts into the movie of the future.


Discussing the possible participation of authors, students of film schools and academies in UNICA competitions.


I would like to suggest a more open procedure of evaluation and the discussion for the UNICA jury for the auditorium.


With this application I would like to offer my long term theoretical and practical experience in film making to the UNICA Committee.


Wolfgang Allin

Advisor

Mitze Chapovski
(Macedonia)

Minute Movie Cup


I was born in Skopje, Macedonia in 1985. I have been an active filmmaker since 7th grade, when I first joined the Academic Cinema Club from Skopje. So far, I have authored 10 short films and participated in the making of over 20 others.


Over the past years, I have attended many film festivals in Croatia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Tunisia, Poland, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria, Russia, Romania and Germany, where I had the chance to present my film work as well. Moreover, my films have been awarded at several international film festivals, as well as at the National Festival of Non-professional Film in Macedonia. My film work is often associated with that by my father, Petre Chapovski.


For the past ten years, I have served as a delegate for the Cinema Association of Macedonia at the UNICA congresses. In addition, I was the coordinator of the International Film Festival - OSFAF that took place in Skopje during the period between 2006-2009. Furthermore, I have been in charge of the cooperation with our partner organisation from France, the Union Méditerranéenne de Cinéma et Vidéo since 2012, and a member of the UNICA Committee since 2015.


Besides my active engagement in the field of film, I have a different professional life.


I hold a degree in Economics, and I have been working as a banker for ten years. I have never quit my film work (nor do I plan to), and I have always tried to keep up with both, the film making and the banking (so far successfully).


Submitting an application for candidacy at the UNICA 2015 Congress in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was not an easy decision. However, the incentive was to bring positive change to the organisation and help UNICA manage the newly established challenges. My election as a member of the UNICA Committee was important for my country, the Republic of Macedonia, because for the first time, our cinema association took part in the organisational structure of UNICA.


My work in the UNICA Committee has been supported by the Macedonian Film Agency. As a Committee member, I constantly strive to fulfill the key points I have laid out prior to my election in 2015:


  • Maintaining UNICA as an institution that takes care of non-professional filmmaking
  • Bringing UNICA closer to young filmmakers
  • Strengthening the cinema and video club network of each member federation
  • Making UNICA a real world association for non-professional cinema


I hope that I will continue working as part of the UNICA Committee and contribute more towards the type of cinema we all care about.


Mitze Chapovski

Advisor

Viorel Ieremie
(Romania)

Jeunesse / YUW

 

Having been a professor for over 33 years, I believe that I have enough experience in managing activities with teenagers, both in formal and non-formal settings. Although I am a philologist specialized in Romanian language and literature and German language and literature, I have always been a cinematography enthusiast. I am currently teaching at a high school in Suceava, Romania, where I started The Video ART Club 12 years ago, in which I guided teenagers who felt drawn to the seventh art. Along with them, I created The Video ART Film Festival for Teenagers, which is well-known in Romania and is also attracting more and more people from other countries, especially since it is under the patronage of UNICA.


   In 2016, Romania had the honor of organizing the Annual UNICA Festival at Suceava, where I was the President of the Organizing Committee. The participants from over 30 member countries of UNICA have stated that that edition of the festival was a successful one. In this context, I have demonstrated the managerial skills required to organize such an event. This edition of the UNICA Festival was also greatly appreciated, especially because most of the volunteers were teenagers whom I coordinated. During this festival, I also organized a Workshop for the YoungUNICA section, which was acclaimed by the young participants from around the world. Subsequently, other establishments took our organization methods as a good example.


   I am a communicative person, I speak two international languages (English and German) and through the nature of my intellectual and professional profile, I believe that I am capable of successfully coordinating the YoungUNICA section’s activities, especially since both I and the young members of The Video ART Club (participants at the YoungUNICA Workshop) have attended all of the festival’s editions since 2014 until the present day.


   My main intention is to create a positive trend overview for the young generation, which is something that UNICA needs at the moment. The only thing that can guarantee a future for The International Cinema Union is them.


Viorel IEREMIE

Advisor

Jaroslav Kolčava

(Czech Republic)

Friends of UNICA



Dipl.-Ing. Ing.-No. Jaroslav Kolčava born 28.11.1951


Education Mendel University in Brno agriculture, economy, organization and management. During his studies he worked with Prof. Calábek in the Department of Scientific Research Film. Plant movements etc.


Languages: Czech, Polish, German, a little Russian, a little English.


As a film lover he started super-8mm movie filming in the 1970s.


In the years 2014-2020 he was chairman of the Czech camera club in Prague. In the Prague Club, he demonstrates new technologies such as editing software or new drone technologies, etc. He is a member of the Czech Unica Committee for more than 30 years and since 2017 president. He has the whole technical experience of film grabbing, drone recording, cutting, sound post synchronisation etc. So he creates complete amateur films and has more than 150 of them on YouTube. E.g. The return wild ducks and wild horses. He still produces both documentary and event coverages (UNICA 2018 Blansko) as well as feature films.


The film is truly his greatest life hobby.

Advisor

Romet Põhako

(Estonia)



My name is Romet Põhako. I first picked up a camera at the age of 8, one attached to a basic Alcatel phone. With said phone-camera combination I made my first short films. In 8th grade, having experimented with various animation softwares, such as Pivot, Macromedia Flash, Windows Moviemaker, and Toonboom, I got the opportunity to make my first live action short film.


  After primary school, I directed, and edited my first feature film in 10th grade. In 11th grade I made a short gangster film. After finishing high school I founded my own company Romulus Studios OÜ with a business grant given by the Estonian government. From then on I have been freelancing, and tapping into various markets, acquiring experience in TV, music video, short, and feature film production. I have played every so-to-say above the line role on a set, from assistant director, producer, production manager to cinematographer, and director. By now I have probably edited upwards to 100+ projects of various capacities, and written/produced/directed short films in growing ambition, quality,production value, and artistic complexity.


  Furthermore I have taught primary film education in local schools for three years, creating my own material, and organizing the curriculum. At this date I lack formal education in film, however I have attended several youth exchanges and film workshops, one of them being UNICA in 2019 August.


  If film hadn't gone digital, you could practically say celluloid runs in my veins, and my fate is intertwined with its reels.


Romet Põhako

Advisor

Tini Schuurmans
(The Netherlands)

Webmaster



My name is Tini Schuurmans. I was born in 1961 in Oss, The Netherlands. I’m married, have three sons, two granddaughters and two grandsons. My profession is information security consulting, specialized in security auditing.


  I started filming at the birth of my first son in 1988, using a borrowed VHS camera with the recorder and battery in a backpack. I bought my first camera (a Canon 8mm camcorder) a few months before the birth of my second son. Then I also became a member of Videofilmclub OASE in Oss, The Netherlands.


  With OASE I made several films. Usually films at the request of local socially involved or amateur art associations such as the sports club for people with disabilities, the amateur theatre company, the amateur opera company, the youth fire brigade of Oss, the local drum and brass brand, and air-gliding club.


  At the end of the nineties, I followed a jury course led by Piet van Eerden. I have been judging for NB'80 at regional level for years and have gained a lot of experience at club competitions, the NB'80 Podiumfestival and NB'80 Mottofestival. In the autumn of 2013, I successfully completed the NOVA jury course led by Henk van de Meeberg, René Roeken and Rob van Maanen.


  I’m webmaster on local, regional and national level of the amateur filming society in the Netherlands and was the webmaster for the Dutch UNICA 2019 website.


  My goal is to have a website accessible to the public and inspiring them to participate in amateur filming. Therefor an attractive layout and efficient tools are important. I’m open to suggestions and to learn new skills that contribute to the best possible website for UNICA.


Tini Schuurmans

Advisor

Marcus Siebler
(Germany)


In the cinematic context: Marcus Siebler


Life:


Born in 1981 in Bavaria, Germany, grew up in the Hallertau region. Interest in theater and film since early youth, also in history and politics, focus on National Socialism. Apprenticeship in the printing industry. From 2003 to 2011 owner of a video store in Schrobenhausen. Since 2011 professionally active in the media department of a well-known scientific research institute in Munich.
Member of the Film- und Videoclub Landshut as well as the Bundesverband Deutscher Film-Autoren e. V. (BDFA) since 2002. Since 2013 organizer of the BFF FICTION - KURZFILMFESTIVAL SCHROBENHAUSEN. From 2013 to 2016 BDFA board spokesman. Since April 2016 Chairman and President of the German Film Authors Association.


Film:


Founded in 1997, the film group Dram-Film, directed by Marcus Siebler, shoots experimental, documentary and short fiction films, shows them at film evenings as well as festivals and participates in competitions.
Two works are nominated for the German Young Filmmakers Award at up and coming in Hanover in 2009.


The short feature films "Schattenspiel", "STILLEN!", "SAMSTAG" and "Shit-Storm" are awarded the "Großer Bayerischer Löwen", the prize of the Bavarian Prime Minister, at the Bavarian Film and Video Festival of the BDFA in Bavaria.


The short feature films "STILLEN!", "Wildschaden (One Shot)" and "SINNOS" win a BDFA Film Award. "STILLEN!" is awarded a gold medal at the 75th UNICA 2013 in Fieberbrunn, as well as the UNESCO "Delmiro De CARALT" award for a film that promotes the values of tolerance and peace. Many other films are awarded prizes, including thirteen productions with a BDFA gold medal.


The documentary "13. Juni 1944," about the murder of three crew members of a U.S. bomber by fanatical Nazis during World War II, is seen by many thousands of visitors, results in the unveiling of a memorial, and is rebroadcast by ARD-alpha with "13,5 km." The film is honored with an Appreciation Award by the 485th Bomb Group Association in Dallas, Texas in September 2014.


Markus Siebler


Serge Michel

(France)

IFTC/CICT (UNESCO)


Born in 1960, Serge Michel discovered amateur film in his early youth, as making films was his parent’s hobby after having bought their first camera in 1955, an Erscam 8 mm. So he soon appears in front of the screen, later on the screen, in family stories which to-day are the joy ... of his own children! But Serge is also interested in what happens on the other side of the camera, and he made his first film in 1972. His personal products are mostly reportages and documentaries; an animation and a fiction film (Le conte du soir was admred at UNICA in Villa Carlos Paz in 1996) complete his collection. Moreover he very actively participated in the realisation of many fiction films, as cameraman when not being actor.

Serge became acquainted with UNICA in 1971, at the Montreux congress. Since then he has present at almost all UNICA congresses. On demand of the president Josef Walterscheidt he was coopted by the UNICA committee in 1984, in order to develop the circle of The Friends of UNICA.

Serge Michel and baby.He dedicated himself with happiness and passion to this work, setting out to intensify UNICA and to strengthen the ties of friendship woven within UNICA by the „members of the great family“. For above the personal relations created around a common passion for the animated image, our union tries to give its modest contribution to the friendship between the peoples, according to the objectives which are also those of the UNESCO.

In 1988 Serge Michel was elected as a member of the committee, and between 1994 and 2006 he was vice-president of the committee in the team animated by Max Hänsli. He represents UNICA in the International Counsel for Cinema, Television and audio-visual Communication, the CICT, and is currently a vice-president of its executive committee.

He was many times a member of an international jury (UNICA in Mar del Plata, the festivals of Igualada, Troyes, Antibes, Ghent).

His professional activity made him move home several times, now he returns to his original region, the West of France, taking the responsibility for the regional railway infrastructures. Being Engineer he so completes a career orientated towards the structure of the territory: after urbanism, roads and port infrastructures, the railroads will attract all his attention.

His „Tour de France“ allowed him to discover different regions and also different sensibilities. As for his cinematographic activity, he more or less took part , according to the period and his free time, in activities on club-region or federation level (the FFCV, French Federation of Cinema and Video), on the one hand still faithful to the family studio (ACi88, atelier de cinéma et vidéo), on the other to UNICA.


What pleases him in UNICA?


To enable one to a better understanding of the world in which we live, starting from films reflecting different cultures, personal sensibilities. To be able to exchange, confront and bring nearer points of view, without any commercial consideration. To meet men and women, authors, creative persons or spectators, animated by the same state of mind, wanting no advantages but passionate.


What are his dreams for UNICA?


May our organisation continue its development towards the poorly represented continents, in order to be more and more representative and may it multiply the exchanges between non professional film- and videomakers of the whole world. Awaiting the organisation of an interplanetary meeting, for example on Mars!

Serge Michel