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I am joining the AA-NIFFF committee April 30, 2009

Posted by Sacha in Regional, sponsoring.

NIFFFAfter much lobbying from Catherine Montalto, our friend and ex-landlord, I’ve proposed my candidature to the committee of the AA-NIFFF. Yesterday evening, the general assembly accepted my candidature.

First of all, no worries, the AA-NIFFF is not some kind of new technical board or specification. Not at all. The NIFFF (pronounce /nIf/) is the “Neuchâtel Internation Fantastic Film Festival”, quoting Wikipedia:

The “Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival” (or NIFFF) is a swiss film festival dedicated to fantastic movies. It was created in 2000 by a group of friends and is now renowned nationaly and internationaly as an unavoidable reference in genre cinema. The NIFFF defines itself through a rich and diversified programming, constructed around three central axes : Fantastic cinema, Asian cinema and Digital images. The films shown at the Festival are very diversified, going from worldwide expected movies by renowned directors to unknown and underground films d’auteurs. Famous fantastic film directors have already honored the NIFFF with their presences, including George A. Romero, Joe Dante, John Landis, Terry Gilliam, Hideo Nakata.

I’ve been closely tracking the NIFFF in the past years and they’ve made tremendous progress with very little resources and very little help from the local authorities. Fitting pretty closely with my short list of events I’d like to help, I proposed my candidature to the AA-NIFFF i.e. the “Association des Amis” of the NIFFF i.e. the Friends Association of the NIFFF.

This is truely exciting and I hope my contribution will be helpful to the (AA-)NIFF.




Busta Rhymes April 30, 2009

Posted by Sacha in Regional, sponsoring.
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Party was a great success, people traveled from all over Switzerland to see the show. I arrived pretty late to the party (explained in another post) but I kept the good bye part for your pleasure:

I loved the DJ part at the end, it was so 1990 😉

(oh, and no worries, I don’t spend my evenings at parties)

Terrible Style featuring Busta Rhymes April 26, 2009

Posted by Sacha in Regional, sponsoring.

bustarhymes_v2A few weeks back, thanks to Pierre Dubois, I’ve met with Avny Krasniqi from Terrible Style which aims at organizing events promoting a non-violent and multicultural society, mostly through the hip hop culture.

In the past years, Terrible Style organized many great parties such as the European breakdance championship in 2005 and the “Open Mind” festival with artists like Kool Shen, NTM and Kery James.

In 2009, Avni is back with a new concept. Terrible Style will organize 10 events across Switerland featuring the best European rappers (or American if possible). Again, the key concepts of those events will be “non-violence”, “multi-culturalism”, “fight against racism and xenophobia”, etc.

The first event of this 2009 series will feature a American rap super-star: Busta Rhymes. I hope I’ll see you this coming Wednesday at la Case à Chocs in Neuchâtel for this great night.



Sponsoring – when, why, whom? April 26, 2009

Posted by Sacha in Regional, sponsoring.

I’ve regularly “helped” (sponsored mostly) various cultural events/organizations in the past and as I keep doing so (and more than I did last year), I started wondering whether I had been doing this in a totally random fashion or whether I had intuitively followed some implicit rules.

While it is still a work in progress, I have observed the following:

  • There is always a random (or arbitrary) aspect to the help I’ve provided: sometimes you just happen to meet somebody with a nice story, the chemistry works, etc. And that’s fine, randomness is good, just ask Sir Darwin.
  • All of them are local to Neuchâtel. It is not unusual for people to promote what’s local to them, the same applies here. And given that I really like Neuchâtel, here we are.
  • People must be passionate, authentic and have a vision. I only help organization or events backed by key individuals who give their spirit to what they build – I am not after industrialized events. Furthermore, those “entrepreneurs” must be truly passionate about what they’re doing, and authentic in their relationship (read: I hate buying insurances). Also, they must have a vision, they must target a (possibly difficult) goal to reach. I understand that not all events want to grow or become more “sophisticated” – and that’s fine – but I usually pass then, not for me.
  • My help must be a “leverage”: I don’t want to financially fully back an event, nor do I want to help a big machine. Instead, I sponsor an event/organization whenever I feel that a small help can induce much bigger (non-linear) changes. This means that I usually help not-yet stable organizations, or having reached a fragile plateau and in need of increased viability.

Also, until now I’ve been providing anonymous help because I felt there would be no added benefit for those events (nor for me) to make it public/visible. I am now going to change this: since I start applying some “selection criteria” for events I sponsor, I think it makes sense to somehow “link them together” i.e. to publicly state that I think those events fall in a same “category”, are backed by interesting entrepreneurs, etc. People can trust my judgment or not, but those who do might find it beneficial. I’ll probably find a place on this blog where I can list those events/organization. What I lack at this point is a common brand/label that I can use as a “sponsor” to identify those events – if you have any idea, feel free to share them with me.



Ping… April 26, 2009

Posted by Sacha in /dev/null.
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I’ve been away from the office for 4 weeks now and I am still alive – probably my European genes.

I started jogging, organizing my apartment, hunting down the contractors so that they finish their job, etc. Bottom line: I am busy.

In the meantime, on the IT market, things haven’t been quiet either. To that end, I’d like to thank Larry for two things: i) changing the IT landscape in RHT’s favor (and probably, as  a side effect, initiating a M&A domino effect – but that’s another story) and ii) having waited my departure from RHT to do so, that was very kind.

Also, I’ve initiated a few things in the past weeks and will provide updates through this blog in the comming weeks.