We wish you a good projection!

The whole year round, our programme advisory board works to prepare the Provinziale. The board reviews incoming entries and goes through extensive discussions before finally compiling the competition programmes. During the festival, its twelve members introduce the nightly film blocks and host discussions with the filmmakers and other guests. It is part of our self concept to have the films represented not by hired facilitators but by the curators who selected them. We have found that this open-minded and co-operative procedure suits us well.

But when the festival begins and we send our audience on a cinematic journey, we are sometimes at a loss to deliver the final words of introduction. What we want is to give the audience our best wishes for the stories they are about to explore and to express our confidence that the films are worth watching. But we can hardly ever wish them to have fun, for neither the world nor most of our films are exactly fun. Although we strive to include some bright and cheerful notes when we select the films, it’s not that easy, because the decision is always one in favour of quality, and the resulting programme is naturally valuable in our eyes but does not usually provide entertainment.

We therefore fall back on an expression of our own sometimes when we say Have a good projection. What we mean is this: not only should the images be projected well, technically, but we are hoping that the whole process from first ideas through film production to reception in the auditorium might be a success. Whatever the films can tell us, show us, testify to, there are ways to do it particularly well, to make particularly sincere, inspired, fair-minded or intelligent films. We think that the films we selected all bear this mark, and we hope that you will share this opinion.

Judging films in this way involves a curious contradiction. A film may relate to something sad, but the way this something is being told and dealt with can radiate a kind of humaneness that appeals to us and gives us fresh courage. Whenever that happens, we are having a good projection. This is what we wish you and wish for ourselves, and when it happens, a film festival can be uplifting, after all.

Dr. Kenneth Anders is director of Filmfest Eberswalde since 2013. He studied Cultural Sciences and together with Lars Fischer he´s running the Büro für Landschaftskommunikation.