Guest blogger Bart Weiss is director of VideoFest. He sends this report from his trip to Poland to attend the international public television conference INPUT. Click here to read his previous entry.
The week at the INPUT conference of international public TV producers was great but exhausting. When I go to most festivals, I go on a film-a-day diet. Here, I average at least six or seven, and then I go to a film at the Polish Doc fest in the evening.
In the last few days I saw a program that critiques TV adds in a serious but funny way from Australia. I also enjoyed Welcome to Westerwaltd, a drama about a very small German town. Some of these will be at the Videofest in November.
At night, I saw Burma VJ, a film that will show on HBO about a group of citizen video journalists who document a revolt in Burma that the traditional media can’t report. These folks sneak out the footage at great personal risk to expose the situation. Better living through video for sure!
As the conference ended, we got a day to check out Warsaw and see how it was destroyed by the Nazis at the end of the war. After walking around for a week, Warsaw was pretty drab – gray and drizzly often. I could see how people could get depressed.
But after the conference was over, it was off to Hungary, where now I am in Budapest. The sky is bright, the weather is warm, everything has good design and style here. Lots of cafes, bright colors and paprika. My grandparents came from Hungary – or what was once Hungry – so this part of the trip is to understand the things my grandparents were talking about when they mentioned the old country.
Today we went to the Turkish bath. Every time I go to the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, I make sure to do the hot bath there, so I was expecting something maybe like that. This was more like a water park for adults (many overweight people in Speedos), but the pools were relaxing, which was great.
Hopefully it will help me cure my insomnia.