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HAPPENINGText: Eduard Prats Molner, Anna Mentzel

Hector Ayuso and some of his friends started organizing the OFFF festival five years ago. In 2005, the festival has finally proven its great significance. We have to thank the festival organizers for being able to keep the prices low (around 24 EUR for a three day ticket), especially if you consider that OFFF congregates some of the best speakers in the world. If we compare it to similar events this year such as FITC in Toronto or the Flash Forward Conference in San Francisco, OFFF gathers most of the same top speakers at a considerable lower price.

But if OFFF has achieved to offer a great conference event, the exhibition space and festival contest were clearly not quite as well organized. The exhibition space in particular was poorly documented. The installations were just labeled with the artist’s name, and visitors had to get the festival book if they wanted to know more about the pieces.

The film contest wasn’t given much attention either. We believe OFFF should show the clips in the lecture breaks and permanently in the exhibition space to make the contest more public.

Some problems might have resulted out of a badly structured festival booklet. The printed program looks stylish but lacks structure. The tiny program may be difficult to understand when somebody tries to find their way in the event’s space.

We have to take into account that OFFF is being organized by a few friends with no big sponsors, and these problems are probably a consequence of not having big resources and charging very low prices.

Hector Ayuso was always very kind to us, and he told us that they are working really hard to improve the exhibition space (showplace). In fact, Jose Luis de Vicente (exhibition’s chief), is going to be a lot more involved with the organization of the next year’s edition.

OFFF seems to evolve into the right direction, offering better lectures and workshops every year. But OFFF needs to adapt to the requirements of the festival’s growing scope and offer a better schedule and more information to its visitors. The OFFF exhibition can become a big event too, and should be perceived at the same level as the lectures. The contest has been reduced to a film contest, and there is no more space for other disciplines such as interactive pieces, or generative and computational art. The contest should be highlighted and exhibited permanently in the exhibition space. Besides, it would be great if visitors had the chance to rate the pieces presented in the festival.

We are already excited about what is yet to come. And we believe that it will be great. Where will OFFF 2006 take us?

Very special thanks to Héctor Ayuso for his patience and feedback. Good Luck!

Date: May 12th – 14th, 2005
Place: CCCB
Address: 5 Montalegre, 08001 Barcelona
Tel: +34 93 306 4100

Text: Eduard Prats Molner, Anna Mentzel
Photos: Eduard Prats Molner, Anna Mentzel

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