The Purpose of FIPRESCI Is to Support Cinema as Art
By Klaus Eder
Festivals offer an exciting opportunity to become acquainted with world cinema. As film critics, it is our interest and often our pleasure to support national cinema in all its forms and diversity, considering it an important part of national culture and identity. We do this by writing and talking about cinema in newspapers or specialized magazines, on radio and television or the Internet. And we do it by awarding the best of them (from our point of view) the International Critics Prize (FIPRESCI Prize). This prize is established at international film festivals, and its aim is to promote film art and to particularly encourage new and young cinema. We hope (and sometimes we know) that this prize can help films to get better distribution, or distribution at all, and to win greater public attention.
FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics, has been in existence for more than 65 years. The basic purpose of the organization, which now has members in over 60 countries all over the world (among them, of course, in the U.S., the National Society of Film Critics), is to support cinema as an art and as an outstanding and autonomous means of expression. We do this for cultural, not political, reasons: Our interest is focused only on cinema itself and its artistic development.
FIPRESCI also organizes conferences and seminars and is increasingly playing a part in a number of cultural activities designed to protect and encourage independent filmmaking and national cinemas. We are cooperating with the European Film Academy and are deciding, within the framework of the European Film Awards, a “Felix of the Critics.” It is with pleasure that we come to the San Francisco International Film Festival. We are excited to participate in this event with its precious tradition of half a century.
Klaus Eder is the general secretary of FIPRESCI, which can be found on the Web at www.fipresci.org.
2007 A Parting Shot
2006 Half Nelson
2004 The Story of the Weeping Camel
Mihai Chirilov lives in Bucharest and is a film critic and director of the Transylvania International Film Festival, which he cofounded in 2002. He also works as a curator for the Romanian Film Festival in New York. He writes for several publications, runs a film and music Web site called Rekino and is coauthor of The Films, the Women, the Ghosts, a book about Lars von Trier. He has served as jury member in film festivals such as Hong Kong, Berlin, Gothenburg, Chicago, Cleveland and Moscow.
Rob Nelson has been a member of the National Society of Film Critics since 1998. His writing appears regularly in Variety, Film Comment, and Cinema Scope, and has also appeared in Spin, the Village Voice, LA Weekly, Utne Reader, and Mother Jones, among many other publications. For five years Nelson was the curator of Get Real, a documentary film festival in Minneapolis. He teaches film studies at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
Charles-Stéphane Roy is a film critic, journalist and lecturer based in Montreal. He is a contributing writer to Sequences, Cahiers du Cinéma, ICI and Cinema Scope magazines. A member of FIPRESCI since 2002, Roy has sat on juries at the Venice, Toronto, Rotterdam, Locarno, Palm Springs and Moscow festivals. He is currently the editor-in-chief of Qui Fait Quoi (www.qfq.com), a Web-based trade magazine. His reviews and writings on cinema are collected at ecrantrifugeuse.blogspot.com.