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FESTIVALS Slovakia

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Art Film Fest to kick off soon

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- The 22nd edition of Slovakia’s biggest film festival will begin on 21 June

Art Film Fest to kick off soon

Slovakia’s biggest film festival, Art Film Fest (21-27 June), will begin in a week’s time. The event is hosted in the spa town of Trenčianske Teplice, with several screenings taking place in the nearby city of Trenčín. In 2011, the artistic director, Peter Nágel, remarked that Art Film Fest is not only the biggest film festival in Slovakia: “We try to fulfil our mission in both senses – in terms of the number of admissions and the number of aficionados visiting Art Film Fest each year,” Nágel commented, referring to the decision to adhere strictly to the concept of the festival.

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The competition section features first and second features battling it out for the Blue Angel award. Films that have been garnering a great deal of praise at prestigious festivals are taking part in the 22nd edition of the Art Film Fest competition, including such titles as Fishing Without Nets, To Kill a Man [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and 52 Tuesdays, which were awarded at Sundance; Still Life [+see also:
trailer
film focus
interview: Uberto Pasolini
festival scope
film profile
]
and White Shadow [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Noaz Deshe
festival scope
film profile
]
, which won big at Venice; and the recent film The Tribe, which won the Grand Prize at the Critics’ Week this year at Cannes. “Even though we don’t have any Slovak films in this year’s competition, I am looking forward to the Czech title The Way Out [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Petr Václav
film profile
]
by Petr Václav,” the artistic director revealed.  

One of the festival’s sidebars, European Corner, caters for recent European cinema. The Un Certain Regard winner White God [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Kornél Mundruczó
film profile
]
by Hungarian filmmaker Kornél Mundruczó, Irish dramedy Calvary [+see also:
film review
trailer
making of
interview: John Michael McDonagh
film profile
]
, the alleged last film by Ken Loach, Jimmy’s Hall [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Ken Loach
film profile
]
, and the documentary on the enigmatic French filmmaker, Mr Leos CaraX [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, are just a few of the titles set to be showcased in Trenčianske Teplice. “The European continent is experiencing one of its better, more creative periods. Maybe that’s why they succeed in effectively reflecting the mundane reality of Europe’s everyman through original, artistic stories full of authenticity and emotion,” said Nágel in support of European cinema, despite its somewhat bleak themes.

The Slovak Season section will present the latest offerings from domestic cinema, such as the new film by the Luther brothers, Step into Darkness, the animated documentary Felvidék – Caught in Between and the mockumentary First Slovak Horror, following the struggle involved in making a horror movie in Slovakia. The retrospective will be dedicated to British filmmaker Alan Clarke, and the organisers have also added a special sidebar, War and Film, to mark the occasion of the 100th anniversary of World War I, the 75th anniversary of World War II and the 70th anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising. Italian actress Claudia Cardinale, Czech actor Ivan Trojan, Hungarian filmmaker István Szabo and Ondrej Šulaj, a co-worker of Martin Šulík’s, will be honoured during the festival, which will boast 132 films from all over the globe.

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