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FESTIVALS Slovakia

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A first for Art Film Fest

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- For the first time in the history of the festival, an animated film is to compete alongside live-action features

A first for Art Film Fest
Little from the Fish Shop by Jan Balej

The 23rd edition of Slovakia’s biggest film festival, Art Film Fest (19-26 June), will feature an all-time first, as an animated film has been selected for the main competition, which is mainly specialised in live-action feature debuts, sophomore and third features. Among the 11 international titles duking it out for the main award, the Blue Angel, is the Czech, Slovakian and German co-production Little from the Fish Shop [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, a stop-motion and CGI animated retelling of The Little Mermaid by Czech director and art designer Jan Balej. “It is a terrifyingly realistic story about unfulfilled love and the values of today’s society, marked by an enthralling atmosphere, unique characters and visual originality,” explained Peter Nágel, the gathering’s art director, to justify the film’s selection. He added that Balej’s interpretation “pushes the story in a decidedly more adult-orientated direction”.

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Film curator Laura Aimone, director Emir Baigazin, Czech filmmaker Václav Kadrnka, Austrian film and theatre director Tina Leisch and Hungarian director Gyula Nemes will be on jury duty at Art Film Fest and will pick the victor from an array of already-awarded oeuvres, such as the winner of Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize, Slow West [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: John Maclean
film profile
]
, a thriller by John Maclean starring Michael Fassbender in the lead; the winner of the Alfred Bauer Prize, the Guatemalan-French drama Ixcanul Volcano [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Jayro Bustamante
film profile
]
by Jayro Bustamante; the Mexican film 600 Miles, which was honoured with the Best First Feature Award at the Berlinale; and Kutxa Award winner Juris Kursietis’ coming-of-age drama Modris [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, among others.

Some of the titles dotting the landscape of contemporary European cinema, in a panorama of 13 films, are the Taviani brothers’ Wondrous Boccaccio [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
film profile
]
, a take on a classic of Western literature and an Italian masterpiece, The Decameron, which depicts five out of the total 100 tales; a psychological thriller by French provocateur François Ozon, The New Girlfriend [+see also:
trailer
film focus
interview: François Ozon
film profile
]
; and the winner of the Silver Bear for Best Director, the drama Body [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Malgorzata Szumowska
interview: Malgorzata Szumowska
film profile
]
by Małgorzata Szumowska.

An integral part of the festival is Slovak Season, a showcase of domestic offerings presenting the latest in Slovakian cinema, including the first animated feature film since 1980, Lokalfilmis [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, by young director Jakub Króner. The film is based on the animated comedy series LokalTV, a satire in the style of South Park, which, after a conflict between the show’s creators and the television station, moved onto the internet. Documentarian Jaro Vojtek has two entries: the triple Tiantan Award winner at this year’s Beijing Film Festival, Children, his first fiction feature, which is a touching omnibus reflecting on family ties; and his latest documentary, So Far, So Near, examining the lives of families with autistic children, made over the course of seven years. Hostage [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Juraj Nvota and the latest documentary by Pavol Barabáš – as well as the Czech-Slovakian co-produced fairy tale by Alice Nellis, Seven Ravens [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, and the Hungarian-Slovakian co-production Mirage [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
– are also on the line-up.

The 23rd edition of Art Film Fest runs from 19-26 June in the spa town of Trenčianske Teplice and the city of Trenčín.

The full line-up can be accessed via the festival’s website.

Warsaw
EPI Distribution
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