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The 10th 9.5mm International Festival 1985


(Sadly many of the earlier 9.5mm International Festivals were poorly, or even not reported at all, in the UK Group 9.5 club magazine. It seems if someone won a prize, then they made sure to do a write-up! Lists of all the film entries are often omitted and for technical reasons there was a dearth of photos. Only if one had an original programme would the details be fully known. In the earlier days I was really busy still at work, so was generally unable to attend. So hence this somewhat abbreviated report of the 1985 event, based on an article by the late Roger Spence in the UK Group 9.5 club magazine '9.5' number 43 dated Autumn 1985, and other notes from the Group 9.5 club magazine '9.5' number 42 dated Summer 1985)

The 10th 9.5 International Festival, was hosted for the first time in the UK, by UK Group 9.5, at Bognor Regis, a seaside resort on the English souith coast. It was held from Thursday 16th to Saturday 18th May 1985.


Bognor Regis - the seafront


Preamble

England and sunshine marked the 9.5mm 10th International Film Festiival held in Bognor Regis. It was the first time that England had hosted this event and Group 9.5 as a whole, and in particular, the Sussex Group, headed by Hugh Hale, are to be congratulated on the organisation of the event.

The mood was relaxing from the word go, as guests arrived at the Beachcroft Hotel during the afternoon and evening of Thursday May 16th. It was vaguely reminiscent of "1066 and all that" as 22 Frenchmen and their wives, came from across the channel, hosted by M. Henri Jesus, President of the Cine Club 9.5 of France. From Holland came a party of four, with other guests coming from England, Scotland and Wales.


The Events

The event actually started on the evening of Thursday 16th May at 8pm with a welcoming party, cockails in the hotel bar and then the screening of the sound film "Lights Out and the Stars Appear", seen many times we know but a must at an occasion such as this. The film, made by Group 9.5 shows the history of 9.5 and includes the collapse of Pathéscope and the subsequent formation of the 9.5 recovery movement. all narrated by Michael Bentine.

The festival finished in the evening of Saturday 18th May with a dinner and dance that was run by the hotel with outside guests. There was plenty to celebrate after two days of viewing 26 nine-five millimetre films.

Mavis Spence ran a raffle which raised some £30, going towards the running costs of the festival. Prizes included two cameras donated by Ken Valentine, a crystal bowl from the Sussex Gtroup and a Pathé-Baby Spoon from 9.5 dealer Cecil Cramp.

On Sunday 19th May, there was an optional coach trip to the Buckingham Movie Museum to see the John Burgoyne Johnson collection and view more films in the private cinema, including 9.5mm, 16mm, and 17.5mm sound films.


The Films

Friday morning saw the commencement of projection of films entered in the Festival Competition. Judging was carried out by M. Bernard Trembloy Chairman of the Cine Club of France, Mr Gerrit Kruimink of Holland and Mr Baltus of England. Projection of all the 9.5mm films was carried out by Ron Middleton using Heurtier Superson and Ligonie OSM projectors; assisted by John Ferrari with his very quiet and bright converted Pathé Pax and Roger Spence with his Ligonie Europ with Heurtier sound base.

The projection went smoothly with no major hiccups, only one splice broke in the whole programme! On the whole, sound quality was very satisfactory as was the picture brightness once the blaxkout had been rectified.

For the record, 14 films were entered by British Film makers, 9 from France, and one from Switzerland. A film from Spain and one from Holland were also shown, but not entered in the competition. The quality of the films was of somewhat varying standard.

Coming first in the judging was "OPERETTEN LAND" by M. Hecart of France. A delightful, informative and very musical documentary. Possibly the most international film as it dealt with the story of the "White Horse Inn" in Austria and the Operettta of that name. It has excellent colour photography and was an instant success. M. Hecart received a glass goblet suitably inscribed.

Second was "LOUISA'S MOUNTAIN MAN" BY John Ferrari of Scotland. This film also gained the audience award. A fiction film also of international appeal, as although it has speech in it, the story is easy to follow.

Third was "EVIVA ANDALUCIA" BY A. Schmid of Switzerland. Perhaps not as successful for an international audience as it has a wordy commentary in German and tended to repeat the same scenes.

It was interesting to see six fiction films in the programme, ranging from quite a long one "Jeune Amor" (Youing Love) by Ken Finch, to the shortest film in the programme "Flash" by Roger Spence; it lasted one minute!

Ken Valentine presented the trophies and raffle prizes and gave a vote of thanks to the Sussex Group for all their hard work; this was responded to by M. Henri Jesus on behalf of the participants.

 


The 1986 Festival will be held as usual, on the Spring Bank Holiday Weekend from May 22nd to 26th in Amsterdam, Holland. In four years time, it will be back in the UK, maybe in Yorkshire!

(This report is mostly based on an article in the UK Greoup 9.5 magazine by the late Roger Spence - gln 27Dec2016)


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