… and without the UK?
the British people have voted, and $#!t is starting to get real. a little known spin-off of the UK leaving the EU, wholly inconsequential to anyone but the geekiest of film geeks — and even then, perhaps only in passing — is that the UK will likely never again co-present the European Union Film Festival. but hey, unlike the morning-after regret, bubbling racism, social and political uncertainty, and potentially seismic global economic repercussions caused by Brexit, this will be okay.
the EUFF was (still is?) one of The Cinematheque’s signature events, a showcase of contemporary Euro cinema, with entries from each member state in the EU. the Presidency of the Council of the European Union organizes the opening gala, secures corporate sponsors, and sometimes cooks up cool promotions like plane tickets to Europe. in 2005, the Presidency of the EU was held by the UK.
the concept behind the hero art that year was vintage glamour air travel adverts from the 1950s, remixed with the idea of fiim-as-travel, reinforced by “Europe Without the Jetlag!”, a cheeky smart tagline from former Communications Manager Karl Uhrich. the photo shoot took place in model Danielle Marleau’s apartment, lensed by Ann Gonçalves. the stewardess outfit was assembled with pieces that Ann and i picked out from the wardrobe department of the UBC Theatre Department.
the vintage colour/treatment was a result of pretty aggressive midtone adjustments (i used Seventeen magazines from the 50s as a rough guide), but i can’t remember how that green-to-blue fading background came about. i’m pretty sure we shot against a white wall. the final image and a couple alternates were used on posters, gala invitations, rack cards, a festival pass that mimicked a UK passport, a standalone fest website, the printed Program Guide, and advertising (see some samples below, with some deadline-driven band-aid design choices).
of the ten years i worked on the EUFF, the 8th Annual is my fave. the British Consulate were good partners, holding the Opening Reception at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and arranging plane tickets for a contest. we had an evocative Amelie-esque radio jingle in rotation, with posters slathered all over the city. and although the budget was puny, the creative and marketing was fun to put together and execute. also: Bauer Bodoni FTW! can’t remember what i used for the big “No 8 Euff” type.
not everything was jolly good about the 2005 festival, though: it opened with Out on a Limb, a UK film about a dinner party/home invasion that The Guardian called “clumsy, vulgar and staggeringly unfunny.” the BBC was perhaps somewhat more generous, giving it 2 stars out of 5, declaring it “the filmic equivalent of lentils: bland, hard to dislike, but hard to get excited about either.”
and unfortunately, 2005 would be the last photo shoot for the EUFF, and i wasn’t able to extend the air hostess/cinematic travelogue motif beyond stock imagery the following year. too bad. would have been groovy for the 70s, and totally new wave for the 80s.