Festivals – Slovakia
Country Focus: Czech and Slovakian titles faring well in domestic box-office
Slovak Film Week to be inaugurated
by Martin Kudláč
- The new showcase aims to promote the increasing production of domestic films
The Slovak Film and Television Academy (SFTA) is launching a new showcase for domestic production, the Slovak Film Week (13-19 April), with the aim being to establish a new annual gathering, following in the footsteps of the Austrian Diagonale or the Czech Finále Plzeň. “The Slovak Film Week was born with the intention to fill a blank space among the other events and to organise a showcase that will map film production in Slovakia on an annual basis,” explains SFTA president Marek Leščák, a writer and co-writer behind many award-winning movies. He adds, “This kind of event has a strong tradition in the surrounding countries, and they help to promote national cinema not only within the country, but also beyond its borders.”
The film week is a direct reaction to the recent progress made in domestic production in terms of both quantity and quality, as confirmed by the international recognition garnered by films travelling the festival circuit. Last year in October, Czech distributor Artcam organised a second edition of the Contemporary Slovak Films travelling showcase in order to present a selection of features, documentaries and animated movies, and the Slovakian film festival Febiofest wrapped its 22nd edition recently, showcasing 27 features and documentaries in the Slovak Film Country section, thus providing a broad overview of domestic productions and co-productions from 2014. “The situation in Slovakian cinema has changed significantly in recent years. The emergence of a younger generation of filmmakers has brought new impulses to the audiovisual sphere,” Slovakian director and recent member of the SFTA committee Martin Šulík says of the current situation.
Moreover, the film week is preceded by a warm-up event entitled Audience and Festival Hits 2008-2013 (1-12 April), which is presenting a crop of domestic productions spanning five years, some of which exceeded 50,000 admissions (box-office hits such as Bathory [+see also:
film profile], The Candidate [+see also:
film profile], Janosik: A True Story [+see also:
film profile] and Lóve, among others), as well as movies honoured at foreign festivals (including My Dog Killer [+see also:
film profile], Made in Ash [+see also:
interview: Iveta Grófóva
interview: Jiří Konečný
film profile] and Blind Loves [+see also:
film profile]) – in total, the event boasts 23 titles.
The first edition of the Slovak Film Week consists of a batch of 22 films made in 2014, featuring the omnibus title Slovakia 2.0, Jaro Vojtek’s anthology Children, Juraj Nvota’s Hostage [+see also:
film profile], the Oscars submission A Step into the Dark [+see also:
film profile] and the Czech-Slovak co-produced docudrama In Silence, among others. From next year onwards, the organisers plan to merge the Slovak Film Week with The Sun in a Net, the annual ceremony to hand out the national film award.
The inaugural editions of the Slovak Film Week and the Audience and Festival Hits warm-up event are being held at the Kino Lumière, Bratislava, with the majority of films being screened with English subtitles.
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