Cinemas are still opened for you!

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.

If you haven’t seen the cult fairy-tale musical, The Wizard of Oz (1939), you can fill out this gaping blank in your film education on the final day of this year’s festival. We have chosen this classic fairy-tale based on a story by L. Frank Baum for two reasons: one, it was one of the first “big” motion pictures to be shot in 4th generation Technicolor, i.e. the technology that brought colour into mainstream cinema; two, it uses colour as one of the principal vehicles of storytelling. The point is that it starts out in a single colour shade and only after a tornado sweeps Dorothy into a country that is “not Kansas anymore”, we can see the picture in a full colour spectrum. For these reasons, the film forms part of programme section Lexicon: Colour.

(15:45, Kino Lumiére, K2)



However, if you have seen The Wizard of Oz countless times, like many other film buffs, don’t despair and check out the alternative programme, 21 x New York (2016), a documentary film by Piotr Stasik that paints an intimate portrait of the city and its people. While Stasik’s latest picture betrays echoes of avant-gardist fascination with a pulsating urban organism, he is obviously more interested in what’s going on under the surface – both literally and figuratively. The author sketches fleeting portraits of people in frenetic sequences, only to develop their characters through open and honest testimonies featured on an asynchronous soundtrack. The outcome is an emotional tale of solitude that haunts us in 21st century western world.

(15:45, Kino Mladosť)




An Israeli film about disparate ways in which a married couple deals with the death of their only son, One Week and a Day (Shavua ve Yom, 2016) refers to the traditional Jewish week of mourning, known as Shiva, which follows immediately after the funeral of the deceased and takes place at the home of a close family member. The picture was part of the International Critics’ Week at this year’s Cannes IFF.

(18:00, Kino Lumiére, K2)




A remarkable fiction debut by Tunisian directress Leyla Bouzid, As I Open My Eyes (A peine j’ouvre les yeux, 2015), is definitely worth seeing, if not for anything else then for a great soundtrack that will be appreciated by every lover of contemporary world music. The story revolves around Farah, a young female rebel who refuses to be crammed into roles prescribed by society and instead tours night clubs with her music band. Her life choices inevitably meet with her parents’ lack of understanding as her art clashes with strictures imposed by the rigid political regime. The film paints a stunningly vivid picture of Tunisian society on the brink of a radical change.

(18:00, Kino Mladosť)



A fitting way to conclude the festival and kick off the final festival night is to see All These Sleepless Nights (Wszystkie nieprzespane noce, 2016), a film featuring two art school classmates, Krzystof and Michał, who lead a wild night life. They wander through the streets of Warsaw, striving to seize the night and enjoy their youth by bouncing from one party to another and falling in love head over heels every now and then. They constantly test the city limits and are eager to push them every chance they get; at the same time, they test the limits of their mutual friendship. Into about 100 minutes, the director managed to squeeze several months of wild partying intertwined with several hungover mornings.

(20:15, Kino Lumiére, K2)





Those of you who did not have a chance to attend the closing ceremony that was concluded with the screening of Lion (2016), a film that has been mentioned among the candidates for Academy Award nominations, will get a second chance tonight. In his feature-length big-screen debut, Australian director Garth Davis tells a gripping true tale of a small Indian boy, Saroo, who finds himself of a runaway train that takes him to chaotic Calcutta and eventually to the home of a nice Australian couple in Hobart, Tasmania. Now a grown-up student, Saroo meets a bunch of Indian students who reawaken his buried yearning for home. With a limited sum of childhood memories and the help of then-cutting-edge technology called Google Earth, Saroo embarks on one of the greatest needle-in-a-haystack quests of modern times.

(20.15, Kino Mladosť)












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.