Camerimage ends on a cliffhanger

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In the middle of Camerimage’s closing ceremony, Marek Zydowicz, the director of the festival, suddenly announced that Camerimage 2018 would be the last Camerimage festival to be held in the Bydgoszcz. As a result of the mayor’s decision to cut the city’s funding of the festival from 2.5 million zlotys to 500,000 zlotys, Mr. Zydowicz has launched an international appeal to other cities that would welcome Camerimage 2019.

“That is why, my dear friends, no matter where you come from, when you go home to your town or city, to your country, be it small or large, look around yourselves… If you find a place similar to the Opera Nova, an intelligent president and an intelligent government, who will put the interest and well-being of its citizens before their own petty political ambitions, then I beg of you, tell them to invite Camerimage and we will go there.”
These words were like a thunderclap to the stunned audience, and they colored the awards ceremony with the feeling of the end of an era. Many discussions took place between guests and cinematographers after the last reception of the festival, which was sponsored by Sony for the first time ever, with many wondering whether the festival would survive this announcement.

Although some Polish cities that have previously welcomed the festival seem interested —Torun in particular — many international propositions are not to be ruled out (Berlin, as an example). It is simply to be hoped that this crisis will be quickly settled and that Camerimage 2019 will take place in a city that is as welcoming as Bydgoszcz.
Whatever happens, we will always remember the devotion and kindness of all of the volunteers and members of the organization that we have been meeting regularly in Pomerania for the last eight years.

(Written for the AFC by François Reumont and Clémence Thuringer - who translated Marek Zydowicz’s words from the Polish -, and translated from French by Alexander Baron-Raiffe)

Photo by Iga Wasilewska