[Festivals Stories] Rasnov Film and Histories Festival
Rasnov is a small town in the mountains of central Romania near Brasov. Its film and histories festival was start in 2009 and takes place in late August in the thirteenth century castle that dominates the valley.
In March 2020, the programme of the Rasnov Film and Histories Festival (FFIR) was 60-70% ready. It had an improved structure, more democratic, more transparent, more open to a new audience. Then came the months of lockdown. It was a difficult period with many cancellations (especially by sponsors and public funding sources) and uncertainty. We often had the decision to cancel the twelfth edition on the table. It was the simplest decision and we had heard many arguments that we should.
We changed scenarios several times. However, we decided to move forward because the team was very supportive and the backing of some partners was firm. And we did two editions instead of one to reduce the pressure and be able to follow the rules, 20 days instead of 10 days. We learned a lot. Our conclusion, now, is that FFIR 2020 had to be done.
For 2020, it didn't matter about the large numbers, the thousands of people who participated in public and the tens of thousands who saw us online. Much more important was the hope found for artists and guests, the normal atmosphere for the public, the fees paid to over 50 artists (most were being given their first contract in 2020), payments to local accommodation and catering services, student projects, team energy, technological leap, etc. Because in the end FFIR is part of a local and global social and economic ecosystem that we have a duty not to let get stuck -of course respecting the law and safety measures regarding pandemic situation.
FFIR is not a business, it is not about profit. It's about people and for people. That's why it didn't have to be canceled and the next editions will be easier to organise.
In 2020, the FFIR team also began to get involved in renovating the local cinema and transforming it into a modern cultural centre, with high-performance projection and sound equipment, a larger screen and the preparation of a permanent programme of events for the community.
All these developments haven taken place because we consider that the love for culture is a continuous learning process and each edition of a festival must be an integrated piece of an annual cultural agenda and not just a one-time event.
More info: www.ffir.ro/en
(General Editor: Simon Mundy)
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