It is about time to say something about Fujifilm FIF Viseu – after all I have the responsibility to manage the Festival, trying to provide some guidance to a very small team of extremely talented persons: Ana, Guida, Luís you’re one of kind and this Festival will happen because you are gifted – it is my honour to be on your side, competence is not in short supply amongst you.
But how did this start? An idea ? Well, certainly an idea but a challenging although “natural” idea – to put together in the same title the Fujifilm brand and Viseu, a brand and a city, the best city to live in Portugal, the biggest city of the so called “interior” of Portugal. Fujifilm? Quite probably the most active and prolific brand of the moment within the medium – I’ve been using X Series gear since 2011, I have a strong connection with the brand, supported by the extremely professional relationship I have with João from Fujifilm Portugal, another stronghold for competence. João is passionate about people, about driving them to succeed, cherishing everyone around him. What I realised was simple after all, by putting together two references in the same sentence I was creating a new brand and excellence became paramount. The hardest part – I thought – was to get Viseu Municipality involved and persuade Fujifilm to be the naming sponsor.
I was wrong. Through Viseu Terceiro Chappa presented a solid, trustworthy and compelling project to the Municipality and Fujifilm FIF Viseu was given 90 points out of 100. By then, Chappa and Fujifilm had already agreed in the form factor for the Festival and there was a clear idea on how to make it work for everyone: Chappa, Fujifilm, Viseu, Portugal, the artists, local, nationwide and international audience. Viseu Municipality has to be praised here: they have a plan, a vision for the city. The Mayor and everybody else one can come across from Viseu’s city management have the same attitude, engaged with their city, supportive of people that engage as well and have the will, the strength and the talent to add value to Viseu’s brand.
From Amílcar and Luís at Publico/P3 we received the same support, the same enthusiasm one must have from major partners – well before Fujifilm FIF Viseu was a reality Amílcar already had given a great thumbs up to the project.
We are still a couple of months away, but the program is closed, the venues are almost decided, everything within budget. Hopefully we will deliver a great Festival to the city, to the country.
There is one final challenge though – photographers from around the country must come to Viseu enjoying the opportunity to be part of this celebration, the celebration of magnificent photographic work on show, at proper venues, printed in large format, high-quality media. Workshops, masterclasses, one Instameet and a photographic marathon – amongst many other events – will give everyone a good reason to come to Viseu.
Our meetings have been highly enjoyable, we look at the challenges we face, smile and think how can we overcome them, how can we deliver as we know we must.
Feet to the ground though: nothing happen yet, everything is still ahead of us. Hard work, humbleness and dedication will help, no doubt.
See you around.