Mini interview: Bibiana Ondrejková

“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

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.