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10th International Underwater Photo & Film Festival Walking beneath the Sea

Ten years. Ten Honorable years of the International Film and Photo Festival Walking beneath the Sea. Especially respectful because the festival still depends on the kindness of sponsors and donors, and, of course, volunteers who are slowly losing their motivations. But nevertheless. If we compare it to other festivals, our festival differs from others by the fact that it is not related to the consumer society and therefore at the festival advertising money does not flow. With such an approach, it has become something extraordinary, not only In Europe but also in the World.

So, what is the solution for the festival?
The first solution is thus offered by itself - a fair place and space that would open the door to the crazy consumerist society and postulates of capitalism. If we open the door to the sellers and traders, the festival loses all his charm, which is underwater film, underwater photography, children´s drawing, and music. I am not talking about music from and for the mass media, which attracts many people, despite the high entrance fee. Culture, art, and creativity are losing their authenticity because of consumerism. Without authenticity, the soul loses its weight.
The second solution is definitely moving the Festival to the capital. We´ve already received some bids. As if culture, art and documentary films, as events worth seeing, belong only to the big cities. As if the route from Slovenske Konjice to Ljubljana is not the same as the way from Ljubljana to Slovenske Konjice. Are smaller cities not worthy of culture and art? Or even worse, do they not deserve it?
The third solution? The understanding that the festival co-shapes the tourist offer of the Place.
It will be enough, I do not complain, but I´m looking for solutions. Ten years behind us, ten pleasant, unrepeatable years, which stuck to many friendships with exceptional personalities and the memory of their unique story that we have heard over all these years. We have gathered the complete history of the festival in a publication that is available on the ISSUU application.
The 10th International Film and Photo Festival Walking beneath the Sea took place between the 1st and 3rd February 2018 in Slovenske Konjice, and It was conducted on the basis of a well-established and verified scheme. Nevertheless, this time something was different. The festival celebrated its 10th anniversary. It´s a pretty important jubilee.
Thursday and Friday mornings were reserved for adolescents, disabled and elderly people. Film projections took place in Slovenske Konjice and elementary schools in Slovenska Bistrica, Zgornja Polskava, Laporje, Cresnjevec, Smartno na Pohorju and Tinje. The leadership of the event, conversation, and linking of different sets have been successfully implemented by students of the Secondary School Center Slovenske Konjice for the first time, and they also participated in the subtitling of the featured films.
The honor of the opening of Friday´s exhibition of underwater photography and children´s drawings belonged to the icon of Italian underwater photography - Domenico Roscigno-Mimmo. Mimmo traveled around the world and also explored a large part of It, spending a huge amount of time taking photos of the Mediterranean Sea. He published several publications, including the photo book Into the Mirror. He also presented a part of this book to us.
In the small hall, we could see an exhibition on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of Szent Istvan: SMS Szent Istvan 1918-2018 and an exhibition of the legendary diving journalist and test diver, Englishman John Bantin: Shark Bites & Shark Bytes. For the sixth consecutive year, the major part of the small hall occupied the artwork of pupils from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and Russia. Of the 1218 entries received, the expert jury chose six drawings, which received a gold recognition award and twelve drawings, which received a silver recognition award.
Following the opening of the exhibitions, the ensemble Marko Hatlak & KAPOBANDA, came to the scene. Members of the band have long been engaged in music, together they generate excellent music since 2013. The group consists of four classical and jazz-trained musicians, accordionist and vocalist Marko Hatlak, clarinetist Goran Bojcevski, guitarist Miha Meglic, and contrabassist Rok Hozjan. During their performance, three guests joined them on the stage. Our old acquaintance and regular guest of our festival, accordionist  Borut Mori his son, Lovro Mori, who played the djembe, and violinist Vito Bejat Krajnc.
Saturday lectures AST Talks began with a lecture by the Croat Drazen Goricki SMS Szent Istvan expedition 2017, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the SMS Szent Istvan immersion. Frenchman Florian Launette and his team brought a story from our region, Red Lake & the Extreme Dive. Lectures continued with another Frenchwoman Francine Kreiss. She presented her new literary project The Corsican Man. This is the story of a serial killer from Corsica, who has been in prison for 40 years. Before he became a murderer, He was an exceptional apnea diver, fisherman, and a diver. At the lecture under the title The Shark Bites and Shark Bytes, Englishman John Bantin at the lecture under the title Shark Bites and Shark Bytes presented numerous adventures, encounters, and incidents with sharks, which are also described in more detail in his book.
The Grand Prix evening was opened by Andreja Lazar with a dance floor. Our permanent leader Luka Bregar was joined by Marcel Hren and Manca Ravnak from Gimnazija Slovenske Konjice, in one part also Andreja Lazar. Some interviews with guests were led by John Bantin. Katja Veber took care of interpreting into the sign language. Welcoming speeches were given by the mayor Miran Gorinsek, and by the special guests, mayor of the Star City, Russian officer, military pilot and cosmonaut, Valeriy Ivanovich Tokarev, and the minister of the adviser at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Slovenia, Galina Zamyatina.
On the Grand Prix evening, which by some is considered as too long, and for some of the underwater world fans always too short, we have broadcasted four films that received awards at numerous festivals.
Ciril Mlinar CICA Hot Spot In The Cold Darkness (7:45)
Jerome EsplaGeneration Grand Bleu (52:22)
James Morgan: Jago: A Life Underwater (45:00)
Andrej VojeRed Sea Impressions (8:55)
The specialty of the evening has been the guests associated with the films that were broadcasted. The generation of The Big Blue (Le grand bleu (1988) was represented by  Francine Kreiss, one of the main artists in the film. James Morgan introduced us to the backstage of his film Jago. Representatives of the old and new generation of underwater cameramen, Marijan Richter, and Andrej Voje focused their attention on the differences between recording in old times and today.
The 33-year-old film Freedom in Depth, which presents the beginnings of diving of disabled people in the world, was broadcasted for the first time in Slovenia, and from America, Jim Gatacre, executive producer of the film and President of the Handicapped Scuba Association, contacted us via Skype.
We awarded two awards to the faithful visitors of the festival. For the set of memorial tickets of all ten festivals, first prize, diving computer Suunto EON Core was received by Marko Kristan, and second prize, an underwater Green Force lamp was received by Nada Vilcnik.
The Grand Prix prize was awarded to James Morgan for the film Jago: A Life Underwater, for the story of a simple fisherman, his life story, his experiences and wisdom he had accumulated during his lifetime. Although he comes from the other end of the world, many can find themselves in his wisdom.
Will there be enough energy for the 11th International Film and Photo Festival Walking beneath the Sea? We do not know yet. The decision will be taken later. The answer is Walking beneath the Sea.
Alenka Fidler
More photos:
FOTO Friday, 2. 2. 2018 (Jan Godec)
FOTO Saturday, 3. 2. 2018 (Jan Godec)
FOTO Saturday, 3. 2. 2018 (Masa Zivec)
In the media:
TELE M: 9. 2. 2018
Novice: Iz morskih globin v Slovenske Konjice, 8. 2. 2018
POP TV: Valeriy Ivanovich Tokarev v Sloveniji, 5. 2. 2018
24ur.com: Ruski kozmonavt meni, da bi morali najprej zgraditi bazo na Luni, nato ciljati na Mars
TELE M: Reportaža OŠ V parku, 2. 2. 2018
Štajerski val: Kaj obetajo deseti Sprehodi pod morjem?, 2. 2. 2018
TELE M: Napovednik, 1. 2. 2018
RTV SLO 1: Dobro jutro, 1. 2. 2018
NOVI TEDNIK: Konjice gredo pod vodo, 1. 2. 2018

3. 02. 2018




Production & design: Creativ, Novi mediji d.o.o.