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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Slovakia

Poland pays a visit to Slovakia for the upcoming Cinematik Film Festival

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- The International Film Festival Piešťany is prepping its 15th edition, complete with extra health-and-safety measures and a glut of European cinema

Poland pays a visit to Slovakia for the upcoming Cinematik Film Festival
Kill It and Leave This Town by Mariusz Wilczynski

Thankfully, Cinematik, also known as International Film Festival Piešťany, which is one of the largest film gatherings in Slovakia, did not have to face the tough decision of whether to cancel or postpone this year’s 15th edition. The gathering is taking place as usual in the middle of this month (10-15 September), although it will be unspooling under the “new normal” regime imposed by preventive hygiene measures.

The organisers have capped the number of theatregoers to 500 inside venues, screenings after 11 pm have been cancelled (the Cult and Beyond midnight section has been moved to next year), only theatregoers with accreditations (bought online) will be eligible to attend screenings, ticket sales have been abandoned, and face masks will be mandatory in and around the festival’s venues. The 15th edition will open with Ivan Ostrochovský’s Berlinale drama Servants [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ivan Ostrochovský
film profile
]
, ahead of its domestic theatrical release, scheduled for 11 November.

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This year’s country in focus will be Poland, with the festival introducing local audiences to the semi-autobiographical, melancholic, surreal feature debut by animator Mariusz Wilczynski, Kill It and Leave This Town [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mariusz Wilczyński
film profile
]
; Jan Jakub Kolski’s post-war drama Pardon [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, co-produced by Slovakia; and Michał Bielawski’s The Wind. A Documentary Thriller [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Michał Bielawski
film profile
]
, which bowed at this year’s Slamdance and was co-produced by Slovak filmmaker-producer Peter Kerekes. In addition to the “Poland Magnified” section, Respect, a retrospective dedicated to a single personality, will focus on the filmography of Wojciech Smarzowski, including his latest and most controversial oeuvre, Clergy [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Wojciech Smarzowski
film profile
]
.

The main competition section, Meeting Point Europe, will showcase a batch of European titles that have successfully travelled the festival circuit, such as Oliver Laxe’s Fire Will Come [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Óliver Laxe
film profile
]
; Mark Jenkin’s feature debut, Bait [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mark Jenkin
film profile
]
; the sci-fi comedy Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Miguel Llansó
film profile
]
; and Václav Marhoul’s World War II drama The Painted Bird [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Václav Marhoul
film profile
]
. Cinematik will also be introducing a handful of festival titles having their local premiere, with the “Cannes-labelled” Slalom [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Charlène Favier
film profile
]
by debuting writer-director Charlène Favier, the Rodrigo Sorogoyen-directed drama Madre [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Rodrigo Sorogoyen
film profile
]
, the Danish family drama A Perfectly Normal Family [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Malou Reymann and Jessica Hausner’s sci-fi drama Little Joe [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jessica Hausner
film profile
]
.

Domestic documentary films will be vying for an award in the Cinematik.doc competition section, where Viera Čakányová’s experimental essay FREM [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Viera Čakányová
film profile
]
will be screened along with Jaro Vojtek’s Paradise on Earth [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and Pavol Barabáš’ latest film, Everest – The Hard Way, reliving the tragic story of a foursome of Slovak climbers and the ultimate mountaineering challenge that they take on – conquering the steepest and highest mountain face in the world.

The full line-up of the 15th edition of Cinematik, International Film Festival Piešťany is available here.

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