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FESTIVALS Slovakia

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The Bratislava International Film Festival has a makeover

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- A different approach to curation and new sections are among the biggest changes for the 17th edition of the festival

The Bratislava International Film Festival has a makeover
Flotel Europa by Vladimir Tomić

The Bratislava International Film Festival, held annually in the Slovakian capital, has undergone some changes at several of its latest editions. The 17th iteration, which kicked off yesterday (12 November), finalised this facelift through its new website. In contrast with previous editions, the gathering no longer takes place in a multiplex inside a shopping mall, with screenings relocated to three of the city’s cinemas and a bookshop/café, where special events also take place. Another innovation is the online application process to reserve tickets for holders of festival passes and accreditations. Pavel Smejkal, the programmer of the documentary section and a consultant for the Made in Slovakia sidebar at previous editions, has been appointed as the programme director, with Tomáš Hudák replacing Radovan Holub on the programming team. 

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There are also programming changes for the 17th edition. While the competition sections for debuts and sophomore features, as well as for documentaries and shorts, have been kept along with the Made in Slovakia and LUX Prize sidebars, the Panorama, Cutting Edge and Stories sections have been removed to make way for new sections. Europa, a European panorama of sorts, dedicated to “hand-picking the sweetest berries of the latest European cinema harvest”, features Serbian documentary Flotel Europa [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Vladimir Tomić, Radu Muntean’s One Floor Below [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Radu Muntean
film profile
]
, the Cineuropa Prize winner Superworld [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Karl Markovics
film profile
]
by Karl Markovics and Dalibor Matanić’s Un Certain Regard Jury Prize winner, The High Sun [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Dalibor Matanic
interview: Tihana Lazovic
film profile
]
. The Cinema Now section seems to be a spiritual successor to The Cutting Edge, aiming to present “the most remarkable and the most progressive pictures from the past 12 months”, among which are the French-Chinese production Underground Fragrance [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pengfei
film profile
]
, directed by Pengfei, and the French-Egyptian co-production I Am the People by Anna Roussillon.

Two brand-new sections will be featured this year. Lexicon aims to bring an educational dimension to the festival experience in order to familiarise audiences with the possibilities of film narration. “It will examine the constantly evolving film language and comprehensibly explain filmological notions with reference to selected titles,” says section programmer Tomáš Hudák, adding that the first aspect to be examined is the format of the film image, which will be illustrated through Gust Van den Berghe’s Lucifer [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and Pedro Costa’s Horse Money [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, among others. The other brand-new section is called Nostalgia, which at this edition will present an homage to the VHS medium. The section focusing on national cinema will introduce recent productions from the Hellenic peninsula and has been organised in collaboration with the Greek Film Institute.

One of the main changes is a new curatorial approach, resulting in “many sections that are carefully composed by their curators, which allows us to keep abreast of the hottest trends, respond to issues that have taken the world around us by storm or introduce concrete subjects to the public discourse”, as the festival’s programme director noted. Smejkal also programmed the Topic section, centring on the theme of family. Olmo Omerzu’s Family Film [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Olmo Omerzu
film profile
]
, Patrick Vollrath’s Everything Will Be Okay and Scottish documentarian Lou McLoughlan’s feature debut, 16 Years till Summer, all featuring in this section, round off the festival’s line-up.

The Bratislava International Film Festival runs from 12-17 November, and the complete line-up is available on the festival’s website.

Emilia Romagna_site ENG
Film Business Course
 

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