Behind the scenes: Nenad Dukić

The programmer of the Fiction Competition, Nenad Dukić has been with the International Film Festival Bratislava (IFF BA) for six years now. In the following flash interview, he explains what makes a cinema masterpiece and how he works when selecting motion pictures for his own programme section.




AG: Is there any “recipe”of how to make it to your final selection of competing films? What are your criteria and what are the makings of a good competitive festival film in your opinion?

ND: Just as there is no “recipe” to making films, there is no “recipe” to judging them, no matter whether it is for the purpose of reviewing a film or selecting it for the festival. Therefore, there are no dominant criteria for marking a film as a “good film”. Sometimes it is the form that makes the film a good piece of work; another film may deal with a very strongsubject;yet other times it is the visual aspect that makes the film unique. The combination of all these aspects makes the film a masterpiece. But these days, there are no too many such films.


AG:Do you see any trend –perhaps in terms of themes or topics –that connects recently debuting filmmakers in any way?

ND: Young filmmakers around the world are dealing with so many different topics and filming them in so many different manners.  If there is anything young filmmakershave in common, it is the concern for the future of a young generation in their country or their part of the world.


AG: Can you describe the process of how you work on your competitive selection? 

ND: It is a long process, a process of watching so many films. Basically, my job is to watch and select films from three different sources: leading world film festivals (i.e. Cannes, Venice, Berlin), official and direct submissions to the Bratislava festival and then films from the cataloguesof world sales and distribution
companies. But my selection of films is limited by two things: first, I can’t choose films that have already been shown at any other Slovak film festival; second, we can’t get some films because their producer or distributor have other plans with them or the sales company sometimes asks for such a high festival fee we can’t afford to pay. There’s always a “wish list” and “possible list” of films.


AG: You have been working with BIFF for quite some time. How do you view the changes and innovations that have been made to its structure since you first arrived? Are you happy with them or do you see some space for improvementin the future?

ND: There is always room for future improvements but they always have to do with money, i.e. the festival’s budget. Right now we are doing our best to provide solid program with minimum financial backing, seeking the optimumquality-to-cost ratio. But making a good or a very good festival costs a lot of money.


AG: Is there any film in this years competition that you are particularly proud to have?

ND: It wouldn’t be fair to point out one film among the others. Besides, all films in competition have different qualities and it would be very difficult to pick one.



Alexandra Gabrižová


Dear film fans and supporters of the art of cinema, dear festival visitors, colleagues and friends, With great regret, we must report that the Bratislava International Film Festival will not be held in 2019. Believe us, we were the last ones to want to make this decision, but at the same time, we wanted to
be the first to announce it.

Based on votes cast by the visitors, the Bratislava IFF Viewers’ Choice Award went to Wanuri Kahiu’s second feature film Rafiki (2018) about forbidden love in Kenya.

Awards of the 20th Bratislava IFF 2018

“If you’re lucky enough to make living of something you really love, there is a downside – you don’t do it for fun, it’s a job.”


Tomáš Hudák. He studied Film studies (criticism) at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (VŠMU). He’s a fan of film, music, literature and the art as such. He’s a freelancer, writing film reviews and co-organizing several Slovakian film festivals.

“It’s nice to step out from the bubble of social networks – the binary world of likes/unlikes to be part of the group of totally different people, who are connected only by the skateboards.”


Šimon Šafránek. – director, journalist, DJ – multi-genre artist with the sensation of music and word. He’s a freelancer, writing for the Denník N, Hospodářské noviny, Reflex, Magnus etc.

“Films make us better, braver, more romantic and free”


Bibiana Ondrejková. A popular theatre and voice actress and presenter. The general public knows her as the Slovak voice of Phoebe Buffay from the TV show Friends. Upon seeing her, viewers will associate her with the Slovak TV series The Defenders (2014), Red Widow (2014), Homicide Old Town (2010) or Block of Flats (2008).

“Actors infuse film with emotion and give it a soul”

Daniel Rihák. A fresh graduate of film directing at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava under the leadership of prof. Martin Šulík. A director of (so far) student films and a number of commercials. His graduation film The Trip recently won the Best Director and Best Sound awards at the Áčko Student Film Festival.

“All women have the power to change things”


Ivana Hucíková belongs to the generation of young Slovak filmmakers. She studied at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, from which she graduated in 2015 with her film Mothers and Daughters. A Bratislava citizen from Orava, living and creating in Slovakia and the USA. So far, she has made several short documentary films: Into My Life (2018), Connie & Corey (2017) and is currently working on the development of several film projects as their director, producer or editor.

“Cinema is a great medium for sharing common European values”


Dominika Jarečná was born in 1999 in Bratislava. She currently studies Theory and History of Arts at the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University in Brno (Czech Republic). She was a member of the Giornate degli Autori jury at this year’s Venice IFF and is a LUX Prize ambassador for the years 2018 and 2019.

Film festival: “It’s a bit like a vacation full of stories”

Alena Sabuchová is a young Slovak author and screenwriter. For her debut collection of short stories Back rooms, Alena was awarded the Ivan Krasko Prize for the best Slovak-language debut as well as the Tatra banka Foundation Young Artist Award in the category of literature. She writes scripts for television and radio, and is currently working on her second book, which will be published next year.

“These films were among the most awarded debut films at this year’s leading festivals”


Nenad Dukić. Serbian film critic, who has been collaborating with the team of people preparing The Bratislava International Film Festival for 8 years now. This year (the 20th anniversary of the festival’s existence), he is again the compiler of the Fiction Competition and co-compiler of the section Cinema Now.

The popular section Cinema Now brings an overview of the most remarkable films of the season. Its curators, Nenad Dukid and Tomáš Hudák, have assembled the most interesting movies that have stirred the waters of world’s major festivals. For 20 years, the Bratislava IFF has been supplying the Slovak film public with names, which often become stars of the screen.