Festival guide for 11.11. (Friday)

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.

Official opening of the festival

Don’t forget to make reservations for tonight’s gala ceremony at Kino Nostalgia that is also open to the general public. The event will be attended by Rade Šerbedžija, a famous Yugoslav actor of Croatian origin who has made it as far as collaborating with the legendary Stanley Kubrick. As part of the grand opening, Mr. Šerbedžija will first be decorated with BIFF’s very own Award for Artistic Excellence in World Cinema and then he will present his directorial debut, The Liberation of Skopje (Osloboduvanje na Skopje, 2016), which he co-directed with his son, Danilo.

You can reserve the tickets to the festival’s official opening and to any film on its programme you wish to see through our online reservation system, at any participating cinema theatre’s box office and the film festival’s Accreditation Centre at Hotel Tatra. Please keep in mind that your reservation shall be cancelled five minutes before the show as the seating is free, so don’t forget to take your seats in time.


Our film tips for Friday

On the first day of the festival, we highly recommend to you Aquarius, a true cinematic gem by Brazilian director Kleber Mendonça Filho that has had a wonderful festival run. Having the scope and multi-faceted approach of a classic novel, this beautiful film about the memory of a place tells the story of a woman who defies an insensitive developer that is about to destroy the neighbourhood she grew up in and fell in love with (20:15, Kino Lumière, K1).




The lovers of the short film format are likely to appreciate a block of short films from the programme section of Topic: City, which is the central theme of this year’s edition. Living in a city seems to defy the human nature, yet at the same time it abounds in peculiar devouring attractiveness. Our choice of this year’s leitmotif has been strongly affected by the identity of our festival, which is basically an urban festival that constantly seeks its place in the ever-changing landscape of European film festivals (18:30, Kino Lumière, K4).


(MLV Video without INFO blocks)


If you love the French new wave but have not yet seen Contempt (Le mépris, 1963) by the ever-rediscovering Jean-Luc Godard, today is your time. Godard’s colourful classic is a multi-layered story of love and relationships, a tribute to cinema and an inconspicuous ironic incitement of France, featuring beautiful Brigitte Bardot and Fritz Lang in one of key supporting roles.



Viewers Choice Competition

All festival-goers are encouraged to vote for their favourite film after each screening. Your votes will determine the winner of the Viewer’s Choice Award.

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.