Monday, July 11, 2016

Swiss 'Self-Determination' Film Demonstrates Simplicity

Filmmakers often struggle to find an artistic and creative way to communicate the theme of their work with elaborate plans and on-site filming. But sometimes the exact opposite does the job in a more memorable way.

Seed Audio-Visual Communication AG, Zurich won a Certificate for Creative Excellence in the 2016 U.S. International Film & Video Festival for  "Swiss Life: Facts," an introduction and overview of the Swiss Life Group, Zurich, its markets and its life and pensions and financial solutions. It is an entertaining information film that helps the viewer become familiar with the corporation.

But it is Seed's second entry, "Swiss Life: Self-Determination," which also captured a Certificate for Creative Excellence, that can grip its viewer in the first few seconds and hold attention. The film covers three minutes in which persons from 3 years to 103 years of age explain in a sentence or two what self-determination means to them. It underlines the Swiss Life Group's point that we all want to be in a particular place in life and that to get there we should do some careful planning for our financial security, in essence that a key to a longer, self-determined life is financial preparation. The message is blended with precious faces and lots of smiles as participants open their hearts about what is most important to their happiness.

Seed Audio-Visual's Producer for the film was Felix Courvoisier; Director: Elias Ressegatti; and Editor: Christoph Menzi. Cinematographer was Daryl Hefti and Writer was Sam Knaus.  
Triplets Studio provided sound by Christian Schlumpf, Martin Skalsky and Michael Duss. Watch the video at

Other Swiss awards included:

The Swiss Armed Forces Electronic Media Center, Bern, captured a first place Gold Camera Award for "Touch the Limits-Being Better When It Counts" in Professional Development & Continuing Education. The entry also was named Best of Festival in the Education category. The film was made for SPHAIR, Dubendorf. The film informs the viewer of the challenges awaiting if a decision is made to try out for the Parascouts, who may do covert reconnaissance and information-gathering for 10 days at a time as an element of the Swiss Armed Forces. The Producers were Markus Lengen and Mike Lüscher; Director: Christian Dietiker;  Cinematographer: Marc Bachmann; Editor: Simon Kipfer and Sound: Silvio Ramseier.

The Swiss Armed Forces also won a Certificate for Creative Excellence for "Cooperante-Joint Rescue Mission" in Corporate: Public Relations. During Exercise Cooperante, civilian rescue teams, the Swiss civil protection organization and the Swiss Armed Forces practiced the operations they would need to perform well in the event of a major emergency to guarantee the safety of the public.

Other Swiss entries earning awards: International Trade Center, Geneva, earned a Certificate for "An Introduction to Kayah State, Myanmar" in Corporate: Tourism Films; and Lichtspiele 'The Film Agency,' Zurich, took a Certificate for "SBB The Heartbeat of Switzerland" in Corporate Communications: Employee/Internal.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Tourism winners include tips for off the beaten path

Photo by Naja Habermann - Visit Greenland

Tourism films leave us with a desire to get up and hurry off to a new place, and the 2016 US International Film & Video Festival winners include some fascinating options for doing that. 

The films represent a variety of techniques for promoting the destinations, from the play of light on a winter scene in Finland to 6,000 people lip-syncing a song in an Austrian Alp town. The winners also include a delightful approach to getting the attention of flyers for safety information. 
Six films won Silver Screen awards and 10 more received Certificates of Creative Excellence. 

Silver Screen winners are:

“5 Moments,” produced by Paravision, Højbjerg, Denmark, for Hotel Arctic, Greenland, taunts a potential traveler with broad scenes of ice on water and close-ups of igloo rooms as it explores this facility on the edge of te Ilulssat Ice Fjord, on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

“Back to Your Own Time. Holidays in Austria” offers a hiking tour with pristine nature and mountain scenery. It was sponsored by the Austrian National Tourist Office and produced by Gebhardt Productions, Mödling. Producer was Jürgen Eckstein; director was Johannes Grebert with Matthias Pötsch  as cinematographer and  Karuan Marouf  on sound.

"Dubrovnik and Time," from Balduci Film Zagreb, Croatia, was sponsored by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and produced by Spomenka Saraga and David C Cooper. The film offers a look at the history and beauty of the area through a speeded-up passage of time. Director was Hervé Tirmarche. Others on the project were cinematographer Daniel Salas and editor Jalil Armijo.

Winter in Finland spans many seasons, November until early May, and “Polar Night Magic,” produced by Otto Production, Helsinki, set out to lure visitors to come visit and see how the mood and light vary during the winter period. The film was done for Finpro-Visit Finland, and produced by Ari Laitinen with Pekka Hara as director. Cinematographer was Hena Blomberg, and editing was done by SEK & Grey with sound by Lauri Porra.

In “TAP Safety Video – 70th Anniversary,” 10 people, ages 7-70, are featured on their trip to the airport for their first flight on the Portugese airline.  The film takes a different approach to the usual information given air passengers by having the passengers explain plane safety during their trip to the airport. 

“The Danube in Serbia: 588 Impressions” traces a journey along the west-to-east flowing river that flows by cultures and fortresses dating back 9,000 years. The National Tourism Organisation Serbia in Belgrade sponsored the production, which was done by Supernatural. Editor was Srdjan Stankovic; Dragan Vildovic was director of photography.
Certificate winners are:

Kayah State residents ready to greet tourists
“An Introduction to Kayah State, Myanmar,” sponsored by the International Trade Centre in Geneva, shows off Myanmar’s smallest state, but maybe its most culturally diverse. The area only recent opened to tourists. The production was done by Max Kerkhoff’s company in Berlin. Kerkhoff was the producer and director with Till Girke as cinematographer. The editor was Valérie Anex.  Sound was by Paul Glodek and composers were Mu Shant and Mu Pran, Myanmar.

The Bangladesh Tourist Board commissioned “Beautiful Bangladesh – Land of Rivers” to show off the country’s greatest resources, its thousands of rivers that contribute both to the economy and to the philosophy of regions.  Market Edge Limited, Dhaka, produced the film.

“Biggest Lipdub Ever” – Opus ‘Live Is Life,” a look at the small Austrian Alp town of Kapfenberg and the spirit of its residents that worked to beautify the city. The project has been set to music, “Live is Life” by Austrian band Opus. Some 6,000 people participated in the mass lip-syncing experience. Stadtgemeinde Kapfenberg entered the film, which was sponsored by TIQA Werbe- und Marketing GmbH, Leoben, and produced by Piwi Media GmbH, Bruck an der Mur.

“Cities We Love – UNESCO,” features the 15 UNESCO Spanish World Heritage Cities. It was produced by Readmore Basic s.l., Madrid, for Grupo Ciudades Patrimonio de la Humanidad de España (GCPHE), Ávila. Producer was David C. Cooper with director Hervé Tirmarche, cinematographer Daniel Salas and editor: Jalil Armijo.

 “Color Your Christmas with Zagreb” features Advent in the Croatian city through the eyes of a little girl. It was sponsored by the Zagreb Tourist Board.

 “Norte Region of Portugal – A Unique Region” tells a story of a young couple visiting the region and its 144 kilometers of Atlantic coastline. The theme promotes the area’s potential for potential for entrepreneurial and industrial opportunities. It was sponsored by Norte Portugal Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDR-N) and produced by Farol de Ideias, Vila Nova de Gia. The producer was Arminda Deusdado with José Lemos as director.

“Turkey: Home of the Turquoise” features an actor discovering different areas of the Turquoise Coast such as Marmaris and Gocek and discussing its connection to the gem turquoise. Sponsored by Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ankara, it was produced by Kala Film Reklamolik Ve Tantim Hizmetler Ticaret Ltd. STI. Producers were Daghan Celayir and Hazar Beycan. Celayir also directed.

"Vienna Now," produced by Slash for the Vienna Tourist Board, features a tour of Vienna by British journalist and Viennese-by-choice Chris Cummins. The director was Stefan Schlager with Matthias Smycka as director of photograpy and Thomas Scharf as editor. Overdub was by Gregor Rašek. The film is one of a series on the area that can be accessed at
Wish You Were Here,” from the Deutsche Zentrale für Tourisms e.V., German National Tourist
Romantic Germany
Board, Frankfurt, offers views of romantic locations. It was produced by Insa Gonzalez, Cora Walker and Romano Warlo, edited by Romano Warlo and directed by Insa Gonzalez and Cora Walker. Cinematographer was Chris Grewe.

Within 1 Hour,” from VisitDenmark, tackles the theme of what can be seen in each region of the country in one hour. The entire project consists of nine films, which took two years to produce. Three were entered in the competition. They are designed for VisitDenmark’s website,

Vnr.TV, Hellerup, produced the works with Anders Garde Kongshaug as producer-director, Mathias Peter Christian as director of photography and Mads Gelting as editor. The presentations are designed so they can be played without sound, if need. 

To learn more about winners visit,