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Innsbruck-Izola

Two places that couldn’t be more different, are gaining a new meaning through their devotion to non-commercial film. This is a beginning of a friendship, which is bound to sail in stormy weathers, since the established cultural politics speaks an entirely different language. As of the 1st of May, 2004, both communities are to exist in a society of common economic goals and values, a society rapidly moving away from parts of the world beyond the reach of modernization. We are the ones who wish to open our windows and our projection screens and allow those distant cultures to present themselves here. To achieve this, we need to form a network based on solidarity, so we will be able to transgress the boundaries, posed by our limited financial resources, and we need openhearted people to do it. In Innsbruck, we’ve been doing this for the past thirteen years. We managed to establish connections with the local touristic agencies and convince the local public our efforts are for a good cause. I wish a similar fate to our friends from the Isola Cinema festival and we will do everything within our powers to allow this newborn festival stand the ground it deserves. It is also important to us to make the best of the opportunities our cooperation with Isola Cinema offers. This years festivals are already a result of mutual logistic and conceptual efforts. Our ideas are, of course, big, but the decisive factors are our determination and persistence. One thing is, however, beyond a shadow of doubt: we don’t need red carpets, rather we offer flying carpets to take our audience to faraway lands.

Helmut Gruschup, director of International Film Festival Innsbruck

There was an idea to make our own festival with relaxed atmosphere, you know, really relaxed, not relaxed in a way every festival presents itself but then there is all business. No business for business on our Island Cinema, we said. And no selling of festival hits, instead a serious concept of presenting African, Asian, Latin American and Eastern European cinema with Friends. To promote the films that don’t have money but have a heart. But “with friends” was actually the most important. We wanted to have a small number of films and authors for all of them on our Island. Selection followed our hearts; films and authors we have met all over the world had to make them warm. But that was later.
When I was cruising on the Internet for information about festivals with similar concept, I found out that Innsbruck IFF is just finishing. The next moment I was in my car going 160 to arrive before they close it. I sat in the bar to wait for director Dr. Groschup. I didn’t know really what to expect: the picture in the catalogue looked sharp. Well he didn’t have time for me, as expected. But then suddenly, he found time and I found that this Dr. in front of his name actually means crazy doctor. We found many common grounds and our hearts. On my way back, going 120, I was thinking of that famous Casablanca line about friendship. And for the first time I was sure that the idea of Island Cinema in Izola will come true.
Innsbruck-Izola Kooperativa is more than partnership – it is touching of souls.

Vlado Škafar

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