Massive Financial Problems in Troia

in 19th Festroia International Film Festival

by Hans Jürg Zinsli

Troia – that’s not only the name of a legendary town that was taken by the greeks. It’s also the name of a sunny peninsula in front of the portuguese town of Setúbal. Here, about sixty kilometres south of Lisbon, “FesTroia” was founded nineteen years ago. It’s one of these medium-sized filmfestivals, that make up for big names with lots of enthusiasm and even more warmth. With less overloaded program sections than the big festivals such places are not only important for immediate cultural exchanges but also for cinema discoveries.

Ten years ago, “FesTroia” moved from the peninsula of Troia to Setúbal, a rather sleepy industrial town with slightly over 100 000 inhabitants. It’s for this reason that less festivalgoers got stuck on the beautiful beaches of Troia. Nevertheless festival director Fernanda Silva thinks about postponing the festival to a later date in autumn.

But the director is even more worried because of the dramatical financial situation of the festival. Due to political and economical reasons public fonds have been shortened drastically, and the festival’s budget has been reduced by thirty percent. The more admirable is indeed that the festival direction did not cancel the event in the first place, but tried even harder to maintain its once set standards. And that’s why there is, despite of financial despair, still hope that the festival’s next birthday – its twentieth edition – will be celebrated next year.