“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).
She launched the light morning broadcast of the Morning News on TV JOJ and had previously worked as a presenter of the TV programme Família on screens of STV (currently RTVS), but you can also see her on the stages of several theatres. Last but not least, she has been an integral part of the Bratislava IFF ever since its beginning.
Bibiana, let’s start with a two-level question. You are an actress who has (among other things) played in several films, but you are also a viewer. What does film mean to you?
I still see film as something magical. It’s fascinating how in course of only a few minutes we get sucked in different worlds and stories. We laugh, we cry, we relax, we find our options, we are determined to overcome our limits, we identify with the protagonists.
Films make us better, braver, more romantic and free… We know, feel and understand more. At least for a while.
How do you perceive film festivals such as the Bratislava IFF? What do you think is their importance for the society?
I love film festivals. Seeing one film after another. Getting a coffee and talking to the creators and film buffs before sitting down to watch yet another one. Choosing. Meeting people. Admiring filmmakers. I truly enjoy it. And have been for 20 years now with the Bratislava IFF. Film festivals give us the chance to see what we wouldn’t see in cinemas just like that. We have a chance to get to know and experience even distant cultures, countries and views.
You have been cooperating with the Bratislava IFF since its inception – you are celebrating a joint 20th anniversary. What are your memories of this collaboration? Has it brought something to your life?
I consider the Bratislava IFF to be my festival. So many beautiful films and people I’ve seen and met here. I’ve learned, understood and sensed so much…
What I don’t understand is why I keep seeing the same faces of Slovak artists and creators every year. I don’t know why everyone isn’t here. I do not know why, for example, all drama students aren’t here. Fortunately, many other interesting people come, even though they are studying something else.
The Bratislava festival has its place here. There is no need proving it anymore. I hope that people who should be supporting it will realise this as well.
If you’ve already seen the programme, could you share your tips with other festival visitors? Which films should not be missed?
I’ve seen a few already. For example, Winter Flies, which will be competing for an Academy Awards nomination. I look forward to seeing At Eternity’s Gate about van Gogh. I’m very excited about the sections Lexicon: Female Gaze and Fiction Competition. I’d like to see as many films from these as possible. I don’t want to miss Girl, Pause and Sofia … I hope I enjoy it this year too.
Thank you for the interview.
See you in the cinema!
Anna Kačincová Predmerská