FUSION Festival

International Urban Games Festival FUSION | 31.10-2.11.2019 Matera (IT) // 8.11-10.11.2019 Plovdiv (BG)

07/26/2009, 12:50

Grelevsky: Joanna, what’s up? May I call you with an idea.

Joanna: Go ahead, sure!

And yes – just 96 days later, we launched the Matera Festival.

The concept of the festival involved crossing borders, community, interpenetration of cultures. And all this was based on entertainment, competition, beauty and friendship. Because these are the basic ideas that normally guide most city games festivals. The European cultural capital gives the best background for such events because the games are based on theatre, music and art. They use dancing, acting, film and photography. And above all, they convey it in a pleasant, cool and unobtrusive way.

Game creators:

  • Vestigo team // Bulgaria // Secrets of Plo-Tera
  • Chelik // Bulgaria // The Old Bulgarian Games
  • Meeple People // Bulgaria // Gry planszowe
  • Matias Brunacci // Germany // Virtualshamanism
  • Lena Hendlmeier &Guy Königstein // Germany, Netherlands // PLAY-WORK-SHOP
  • Departament Gier // Poland // Dreamlike
  • Departament Gier // Poland // BetweENers
  • Departament Gier // Poland // Stardust
  • GeoGames // Poland // Legendary Hunt
  • Super:Serious // Romania // Narrative Puzzle Matera
  • Run City // Russia // Stones and waters quest
  • Mejdu Ecolo // Russia // Red Lady’s case
  • Clean Games // Russia // Clean Game
  • Bibasan // Slovenia // PLAY:CES
  • Anna Horton Cremin // UK // Games Generator
  • Will Drew & Tassos Stevens // UK // Crowdplay
  • U’Game // Italy //  The Ma_tower experiment
  • U’Game // Italy //  Matera Poema Urbano
  • Heritage Games // Italy //  Penombra
  • ASP Gialo Sassi // Italy //  Detective tra i Sassi : 1514 – Scacco al Conte
  • Minime Differenze // Italy // Racoon
  • Lorena Barbalinardo & Danilo Chiaradia // Italy // Reshape the city

How was it organized technically?

Fusion was a festival whose two separate entities, implemented in Matera and Plovdiv, were united not only by our team, but also by the creators of the individual games. As curators and coordinators of the Festival, we have prepared several of our proposals, but this time we had to make the main emphasis on the organization of the whole event (actually two). We went through the Open Call stage, that is, the announcement of the festival, collecting proposals from designers and choosing them to take care of the implementation of the ideas on the spot. The production of all promotional materials (we are most grateful to Sampla and Polkadot – it wouldn’t have been so great without you!) also took place in Poland. What could not fly to the South via the Internet – was sent (and arrived on time!) by couriers.

The last step was moving us as a team (7 people) to Italy, later – moving to Bulgaria. Two of us, figuratively speaking, fell in battle, so we worked in Plovdiv in five people, not counting the soft toy fluffy monkey called Raban 🙂

The first part of the festival // Matera // took 11 teams, the second // Plovdiv // 7. There were teams and individual designers from all over Europe, including Italy, Poland, Bulgaria, Germany, Great Britain and Russia. Players tried virtual reality games, role-playing games, crime and outdoor games.

Both cities have an interesting history and unique architecture, which was carefully used by the creators of the games. Dark, stone streets, atmospheric passages and squares, a wealth of remarkable details – these are all amazing landscapes. For 3 days in each of these cities, the streets were filled with colour, music and joy.

What we always observe at festivals has been confirmed this time too – their strength lies in their diversity, many points of view and various game philosophies! This time there were also differences in the types of spectators – Italians and Bulgarians had completely different attitudes  and perception:)

Funding from the European Capital of Culture 2019

Project coordination: Michał Grelewski, Francesco Caldarola, Gina Kafedjian, Joanna Ufnalska

Game coordinators: Zofia Lach, Natalia Ufnalska, Iza Walczak, Darek Lisowski, Janek Grelewski, Ivan Losacco

Graphic design: Polkadot

Movie: Plovdiv – Aleksandr Gusakov

Photos: Plovdiv: Rosina Pencheva / studio PUNKT, Lina Krivoshieva

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