Even though the festival was festively and officially concluded last night, there are still some celluloid gems to be discovered in the darkness of cinema theatres. Besides, the only competition that has not yet been decided is Viewers’ Choice Competition, so you can still use your chance to vote for your favourite films.
Of all the films vying for the Grand Prix in the Competition of Fiction Films, perhaps the most vivid response from the Bratislava audience received Worldly Girl (La Ragazza del mondo) that tells a story of Giulia, a young member of Jehova’s Witnesses community whose strict life and ascetic set of values is suddenly turned upside down after her meeting with a young drug dealer of a symptomatic name, Libero. Director Marco Danieli who attended the festival screening yesterday shared with us some behind-the-scenes information from the making of his first feature-length motion picture.
While Hungarian director Szabolcs Hajdu is not unknown to Slovak cinemagoers, his latest picture, It’s Not the Time of My Life (Ernelláék Farkaséknál), has been a surprise in many ways, particularly in the context of his past. It was made on a €5,000 budget and the director made it in his own apartment with members of his own family. The film premiered last summer at the Karlovy Vary IFF where it claimed the main prize, the Crystal Globe, and Hajdu underlined its success by snatching the Best Actor award. Two weeks ago, Hajdu won a special prize for directing at the Cottbus IFF.
One of the fastest growing Slovak music bands, Max Bazowski debuted in early 2015 but already earned their spurs. At the Fuga music club, it will be accompanied by three bands from Brno, the capital of Czech alternative music, namely Ghost of You, Acute Dose, and 1flfsoap. Festival-goers may look forward to a mixture of atmospheric rock, guitar psychedelics and dark electronic music featuring live drums.
Tonight, a number of European cinema theatres will join hands to take part in a simultaneous projection of As I Open My Eyes (À peine j’ouvre les yeux, 2016) and the subsequent interactive discussion with directress Leyla Bouzid that will be streamed live from Brussels. The picture is one of the three finalists vying for 2016 LUX Film Prize, an award introduced by the European Parliament in 2007 in order to popularize original European film production.
(19:15, Kino Mladosť)
For those of you who can’t find their feet in our ample festival programme, we have several tips for films you shouldn’t miss on Tuesday.
15:00, Kino Lumiére, (K2)
One of the brightest shooting stars in the sky of American independent cinema, Alex Ross Perry is a 32-year-old director/writer/occasional actor who has become known for making small and seemingly inconspicuous films on a shoestring budget that tend to attract cinemagoers who appreciate tight writing. In his motion pictures, critics have detected inspirations with Woody Allen, Noah Baumbach, Roman Polanski, or Philip Roth.
A documentary road-movie from East Ukraine shot by young photographer and cameraman Juraj Mravec, Peace to All of You (Mir vam, 2016) is an important report on the state of a country that has changed into a war zone. While the director is currently out to another walk on the wild side, shooting his newest film around the Mosul area, you can appreciate his skills of a war reporter in the serenity of a festival cinema.
(15:30, Kino Lumière, K2)
If you are interested in what is going on in the Middle East right now, don’t miss out on the opportunity to get an insight from Mano Khalil, a Swiss director of Kurdish origin who learned the craft in Bratislava and now returns here to present his fiction debut, The Swallow (Die Schwalbe, 2016). It tells a story of 27-year-old Mira who travels from Switzerland to Iraqi Kurdistan to look for her father she has never met. All that she has is an old letter and a faded picture. She is all excited and full of hope; little does she know that she is embarking on a journey that will change her life forever, a journey to the breath-taking landscapes of Kurdistan but also to the political reality teeming with conflicts, which the film portrays from a completely new perspective.
(13:15, Kino Lumière, K1)
Besides being packed with films and side events, Saturday also offers meetings with filmmakers who have arrived in Bratislava to present their films in person. As usually, our guide will help you find your footing in the ample festival programme and choose what is best for you.
The Bratislava International Film Festival (BIFF) is opening its gates today for the 18th year. Right from day one, the programme is varied enough for all film buffs to take their picks. For those of you who take longer to decide, we have prepared a little “festival guide” that should help you find your taste in main cinema courses as well as the ample garnish of side events.