There are eight days to the Provinziale, but there‘s a whole year of preparation in advance. During its last three months, workflows at our office become denser. Our staff write texts and talk to film crews on the phone; some build the catalogue, some make appointments and coordinate travel plans with our guests. And then, a few days before the start, we move into Eberswalde‘s Paul Wunderlich Haus. The Gateway to the Province is set up in front of the building‘s glass-panelled entrance, the district assembly‘s plenary hall becomes a cinema. Later on, with the festival club put in place and the dispense unit installed, we can finally relish a test beer.

To have this place of politics and administration at our disposal is a stroke of excellent luck for us. It means that our festival does not thrive in an ivory-tower recess but under the eyes of all citizens. Everybody‘s invited, and those who cannot or do not want to follow our invitation will still notice us being there when they visit the authorities, pick up yellow refuse sacks at the counter or go to the toilet from the adjacent Café Gustav. Passing by, they can watch a film at the Heimatfenster screening booth or just look what‘s going on. The way we take possession of the building is extensive but orderly and temporary. Having started more or less as a makeshift solution, this arrangement has now become a model example of public cultural life. We‘d like to thank everybody at the district administration for this opportunity.

Many are involved to make this special week happen, in particular our sponsors and our ever-growing circle of helping hands during the festival. We are grateful for their support as well because it makes the festival a common cause to a lot of people.

Now it‘s up to you – the audience – to come, look and talk to each other. After all, the Provinziale is a festival of communication.

Kenneth Anders