Slovak and Czech cinema stroll down the Croisette hand in hand
by Martin Kudláč
- CANNES 2014: A look at the latest crop of films from Slovakia and the Czech Republic in Cannes' market screenings
Slovak and Czech cinema are again sharing the same space at Cannes. Pavilion 133 in the Village International is offering an insight into the two countries for the 11th time. The market screenings of domestic offerings will comprise Slovak and Czech films, as well as co-productions involving both countries. One of the most recent and interesting co-produced films to be included in the market screenings is Fair Play [+see also:
film profile]. Andrea Sedláčková's third feature follows in the wake of critically acclaimed and awarded films such as In the Shadow [+see also:
film profile] and Burning Bush [+see also:
film profile], and is a rather unconventional sports drama tackling the issue of doping and personal integrity during the normalisation.
The co-produced projects Children and Places, currently in post-production, will be presented as works in progress. Children, directed by Slovak documentary filmmaker Jaro Vojtek, tells four stories focusing on the relationships between parents and children, while simultaneously probing the social situation in Slovakia. The coming-of-age title Places by Czech director Radim Špaček mixes love and loss into a cocktail of guilt, fear and revenge when carefree Anna disrupts the aimless lives of teenagers Adam and Marek. Slovakia will also be showcasing Normalization, by Róbert Kirchhoff, in the Doc Corner, a film that won the national The Sun in a Net Award for Best Documentary and was the most-seen documentary in cinemas in 2013. The Czech Republic has contributed a considerable number of documentaries, such as one concerning the life and death of radical architect David Kopecký, DK; a project reviving the controversial topic of eugenics, Eugenic Minds; and The Return of Agnieszka H, examining the youth of Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland during her studies at Prague's FAMU, amongst other documentary productions.
The Czech Republic is also presenting US2 and Nowhere in Moravia as works in progress. US2, directed by Slobodanka Radun, is described as “a story of a lost girl, a gay hairdresser and their attempts to escape the constraints of their own desires of belonging to somebody. This is a love story for the 21st century.” Nowhere in Moravia follows Maruna, a local barkeeper, whose life becomes disrupted when she unexpectedly becomes pregnant. Further to this, the tranquil atmosphere in her village is disturbed by the murder of a local woman by two forestry workers, while the three of them were living in the same cottage. The film is a feature debut directed and co-penned by respected actor and theatre director Miroslav Krobot, who also starred in Béla Tarr's The Man from London [+see also:
Both countries are also represented in the Producers on the Move initiative. Mátyás Prikler (see interview) is a Slovak director and producer with his own company, MPhilms Ltd, who made his directorial debut with Fine, Thanks [+see also:
film profile]; among other projects, he produced the omnibus movie Slovakia 2.0, made up of ten-minute segments by different Slovak directors. Meanwhile, Tomáš Hrubý (see interview) from nutprodukce is representing the Czech Republic; the producer was behind the most successful film of 2013, Burning Bush, the much-lauded animated short Pandas, and documentaries Fortress [+see also:
film profile] and The Great Night. The latter, a study of urban night life and insomnia, will also be presented in the Doc Corner.
Slovak magazine Kinečko will be supporting the Slovak Film Institute in promoting Slovak cinema at Cannes, with a special issue offering an overview of the Slovak films on the international festival circuit as well as in domestic festivals, while also introducing other Slovak film periodicals.