The year 2003 is a special year from several points of view.
Graz, the capital of Styria, has proudly been the Cultural Capital of Europe throughout the course of this year. Fifty years ago, the first ascents of the Himalayan giants Mount Everest and Nanga Parbat were achieved. The pioneer of alpine solo climbing, Paul Preuß, fell to his death 90 years ago. And the Festival marks a small milestone as it celebrates its 15th anniversary. In addition, the U.N. has declared the year 2003 to be the
“International Year of Freshwater” and the “European Year of Handicapped People”. With this year’s festival program I have tried to focus on these events with many outstanding film contributions and some premieres and I am looking forward to welcoming many important supporters of these themes in Graz.
A very positive aspect for 2003 is the fact that film submissions to the festival have strongly increased from last year. More films have been submitted to the Festival to compete for the “Grand Prix Graz” or the “Alpine Camera in Gold” in five categories. This is proof enough that Graz has been accepted as an important international centre of mountain, adventure, nature and environmental films, and further for films about alpine and foreign cultures. This fact, as well as the fact that the Festival contains even more potential, is also a future challenge for me to continue, together with my team, to work for the Festival. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my team, above all to the festival manager Mrs. Barbara Koren-Tauscher, for supporting and motivating me with all their energy.
Finally, I would like to thank all the sponsors and patrons of the Festival, who believe in the “product” Festival even in economically difficult times and who have enabled us to show you, our appreciated audience, the special films from 12 to 15 November in Graz.
With the recommendation to gain as much as possible from these worthy submissions, I am looking forward to your coming and hope you enjoy the Festival
Your Robert Schauer