Don’t be afraid of Super8 – Analog Resistance Festival 2024

Don’t be afraid of Super8 – Analog Resistance Festival 2024

The first Analog Resistance Festival in Yverdon-Les Bains took place in 2018. For decades, the small town in the French-speaking part of Switzerland was also home to the headquarters of the famous camera manufacturer Bolex. In 2018, the organizer also organized a company tour for the filmmakers participating in the festival. In the meantime, the company Bolex is history.

The last and now former headquarters of the company. Bolex in April 2024

However, the Analog Resistance Festival was held on 12th and 13th of April, 2024 – after a 6-year break – a very successful new edition! I was able to be a guest again with a competition film.

As with the first edition, the festival took place in the vaults of the medieval castle of Yverdon-Les-Bains, which has been converted into a theater and is located directly in the town center.

Friday evening kicked off with a selection of three films that were originally shot for last year’s Super8 film festival in Neuchatel, Yverdon’s neighboring town. The Neuchatel Festival only shows Super8 films that are shot with a single film cassette and whose settings are “edited” in the camera during the shoot. The cinematic and creative quality of these films was all the more astonishing. All three films were projected in the original Super8 format with a Beaulieu 708.

The main event of the first evening was an “Impro Projo” – the initiator of the festival, Fred “Grandmarquis” Girardet, showed found footage material from his extensive collection, also as an original Super8 projection, which was entertainingly accompanied by two comedians with improvised dialogues and explanations. Knowledge of French would have been an advantage for me at this event ….

In the “Lounge”, a cartridge projector with endless film loops (film format: Regular 8) did its job during the breaks.

On Saturday afternoon, Super8 films for children were shown under the motto “Tutti Frutti”.

The highlight of the festival on Saturday evening was the International Super8 Competition. As many as 16 films were represented in the competition. Apart from a slight preponderance of films from Switzerland and/or Neuchatel, the competition could indeed be described as “international”. The pre-selection of films was very successful. It reflected the thematic and creative diversity of the medium. In particular, however, the pre-selection emphasized independent, non-professional and non-commercial films – which have always been the very essence of Super8 filmmaking when it goes beyond mere private films.

In contrast to the previous evening, all films in the competition were projected digitally, although Super8 originals or copies of some of the competition films are also available for screening. Due to the brighter projector image compared to a Super8 projection, it was perhaps the right decision to use this uniform type of presentation.

Many filmmakers were present and there were inspiring discussions between fellow filmmakers and with interested viewers backstage, on stage and afterstage.

The winners were chosen by the public. First prize went to the film PRIPIAT by Stéphane Ryter.

The award ceremony took place in a relaxed atmosphere in the “Screening Lounge”, where the evening flowed seamlessly into an audio-visual analog performance with Super8 film and music from vinyl records.

Set-up for the multiple Super 8 projections with live DJ music from record

Up to five film projectors were used simultaneously on three screens of different sizes. To what extent these simultaneous projections were planned in advance in terms of their pictorial effect, or whether chance played a decisive role here, was not something I was able to assess conclusively. In the best case scenario – together with the DJ’s music – moments like this resulted. The event did not end until well after midnight.

As in 2018, the Analog Resistance Festival was an event by Super8 enthusiasts for Super8 enthusiasts and the participating filmmakers were rewarded for their sometimes very long journey (Canada!) with warm hospitality and a pleasantly relaxed festival atmosphere.

My thanks go to the initiator of the festival, Fred “Grandmarquis” Giradet and all his helpers and supporters!

Klaus Schreier

hört Platten, fotografiert Kleinbild, filmt Schmal und dilettiert in der Dunkelkammer und am Schneidetisch

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