Another highly successful Camerimage festival has drawn to a close in Bydgoszcz, Poland. Over the week there have been many screenings, workshops, presentations and of course the Golden Frog awards. There really isn’t anything to compare this festival to, drawing over 800 DOPs from around the world it has become a hot bed of communication and sharing of knowledge.
But there is a shadow on the horizon
Putting on an international event of this scale requires a huge amount of funding. There have been rumblings for a while that there were issues with the co-operation with the city funding and officials. Then festival director Marek Żydowicz laid the cards on the table in his speech at the festival’s closing ceremony.
He pulled no punches when he spotlighted ‘petty political squabbles’ as the root cause for the uncertainty over future of the 26 year old event. A stunned audience in the Opera Nova were presented with the bizarre scenario where the city of Bydgoszcz had cut funding by 25%, forcing them to look for another location. He asked the audience to help them find a new location where they could remain independent.
Maybe the city officials will capitulate, but it feels as if there is a really serious rift there now. Hopefully another city or venue will be found to benefit from the huge profile and associated goodwill that surrounds an international event of this ilk.