The Jena Fulldome Festival Has Ended… As We Know It [Updated with Video]

It’s the last day of the 10th Jena Fulldome Festival. Sausages and beers are being prepared for lunch in the lounge outside, both crucial for good networking. But there’s no sound from the audience to drown out the sizzling of the sausages, for Festival Directors Micky Remann, Volkmar Schorcht and Jürgen Hellwig have just shocked everybody by announcing the 10th Festival will be the last Festival. [caption id="attachment_37813" align="aligncenter" width="1500"]The 3 Giants - Jena Fulldome Festival Fulldome Festival Directors: Micky Remann, Volkmar Schorcht and Jürgen Hellwig
Photo Credit: Michael Schomann[/caption] Starting in 2007 as an inconspicuous students’ festival, the event had become a major international gathering of experts and enthusiasts. China, England, Japan, Germany, Russia, Sweden, India, USA, Finland, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Brazil, Chile… you name it, someone surely visited from there. At first, the Festival didn’t even have a logo, but from 2008 on, the Directors decided not only to create one, but also to include each year’s theme on it:
  • 2009: Bahuaus In Den Sternen
  • 2010: Honorable Mention
  • 2011: VisuaLiszt
  • 2012: Dissolving Space
  • 2013: Ornamental Dances
  • 2014: Ahead in the Curve!
  • 2015: Romantic Circles
  • 2016: Frameless Frenzy
[caption id="attachment_37777" align="aligncenter" width="567"]9 Years of Jena Fulldome Festival Logos 9 Years of Jena Fulldome Festival Logos
Credit: Bartosz Dabrowski[/caption] During these 10 years, 683 fulldome productions were screened at the Jena Festivals. And as a material reward for quality, creativity, and innovation, the Festival raised more than 36.000 Euros that were awarded to contributors. The 10th Jena FullDome Festival became a benchmark in the effort of supporting and promoting the ever evolving, medium. So what happened? “When we met to organize the 10th edition of our Festival, we really questioned ourselves: shall the Fulldome Festival really keep going?” says Festival Director Remann. “New events and festivals are showing up more and more around the world, all of them celebrating our own mission: spread the culture and appreciation of the fulldome medium. After considering this achievement, we decided to… stop. We retire.” Everybody froze. The audience was stunned into silence. No more Fulldome Festival in Jena. Finito. [caption id="attachment_37820" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Festival Director Volkmar Schorcht Festival Director Volkmar Schorcht
Photo Credit: Michael Schomann[/caption] “But… as we made our decision,” Festival Director Remann continued, “we were approached by the Ernst-Abbe Foundation: they had noticed the Fulldome Festival, have appreciated what was done so far and decided to support it.” The Foundation, which focuses on science projects, while promoting innovation and social activities, decided to fund what is going to be called the Fulldome Festival Foundation. The Fulldome Festival Foundation will arise from the ashes – well, the burning sparks, actually – of the Jena Fulldome Festival, signaling a new beginning where everything will be renewed: a new structure, a new vision, a budget to rely on, and even a new logo! [caption id="attachment_37778" align="aligncenter" width="648"]New Jena Fulldome Festival Logo New Fulldome Festival Logo[/caption] At its 10th iteration, the FullDome Festival came to an end the way we got to know it in the last years. Although little is known about how this new future is going to develop, fulldomers can be sure the 2017 edition will be even more worthwhile! The Directors invited the community to share ideas and suggestions on how to shape this new organization. The Directors defined themselves as “the risk takers of the Fulldome Festival,” and I can’t think of anything more promising than that for a great new beginning. Three men, not just colleagues, not just passionate professionals, but people who have been able to share the passion for the fulldome medium with people from all around the world. They helped the community not only in raising the bar of fulldome production, but also in building a network of friendships. Thanks, Micky, Volkmar and Jürgen, for creating such a great container where the flowers of the fulldome medium has been pushed to grow, year after year – and thank you for the hard work. You added even more value to a medium we all came so passionate about. Best wishes for this rebirth, and for an even brighter future for the Fulldome Foundation Festival! [UPDATE: We are happy to post the video of the speech as recorded by Kelley Francis on May 28th 2016 at the 10th Fulldome Festival in Jena, Germany.]


Video Credit: Kelley Francis

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