“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.
As part of her work, Ivana focuses primarily on female stories as she believes that film can move and change the way humans think. This year, besides producing films, she also took on the roles of a co-compiler of one of the six festival sections – Lexicon: Female Gaze and the director of the festival spot.
Could you define the main idea of the festival spot?
The festival spot reflects the topic of this year’s Lexicon section, which is dedicated to the female gaze and talks about the status of women in cinema and their portrayal in film. For me personally, this is a very topical issue that has been resonating globally as well. The spot works with film previews that will appear in this year’s festival programme and show diverse women.
What was your initial idea when creating the spot?
I was inspired by the films in the spot themselves as well as its musical theme from the song “Dolls are Killing Each Other” by Katarzia. The films have a very strong visual aspect, a unique atmosphere and distinctive aesthetics. Although they are different, they work together as a colourful whole. Katarzia’s music connects the images and helps create a mosaic of women that may seem different at first glance, but they all have the power to change things.
The spot is a depiction of a number of different women. It’s a compilation of shots cut out from this year’s festival films accompanied by Katarzia’s voice singing and asking “Do you think we cannot change anything because we’re just women?”. Why did you decide to approach Katarzia?
Katarína (Katarzia) and I know each other from the Academy of Performing Arts, where she studied screenwriting, and I studied documentary directing. We would meet during common subjects’ classes or at film events in and outside of school. I know her work from the time she was still a screenwriter and was just starting doing music.
A few weeks ago, Katarzia released her new album Antigona, for which she and Jonatan Pastirčák won the Dosky Award. It also serves as the soundtrack for an eponymous play in the Slovak National Theatre. The song Dolls are Killing Each Other, which we decided to use for the festival spot, is the first song on the album. It wowed me the very first time I heard it, just as the rest of the album. She speaks openly not only on personal experiences but also on socio-economic issues. I think Katarzia is an unusual woman in the Slovak and Czech music environment, and she’s always put a strong and feminine thumbprint on her music production, not afraid to experiment and talk about topics that many prefer to avoid in their work.
At which film screenings is the audience likely to meet you? Could you share your tips on what to see?
This year there is, again, a lot to choose from.
Saturday, 1 December 2018 – Beau Travail
One of the most popular and acclaimed films by the award-winning French director Claire Denis and her long-time director of photography collaborator Agnès Godard, which doesn’t even need introducing. This special 35mm screening is bound to be a great experience!
Saturday, 1 December 2018 – The Other Side of Everything
Mila Turajlić is an outstanding young Serbian director and producer, who has successfully debuted with her documentary film Cinema Komunisto. With her next film, The Other Side of Everything, she won the main prize at last year’s prestigious International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. This time Mila points the camera at her own family and brings a multi-generational portrait of the history and the present of not only her family, but also the whole country.
Sunday, 2 December 2018 – Rafiki
The story of two queer women from Kenya stirred waters at the festival in Cannes as well as everywhere else it was screened. Its director Wanuri Kahiu brings a story about forbidden love in colours and images we don’t often see in the media representation of African countries. This bold and beautiful film is definitely worth seeing, even though it was banned in Kenya.
Thank you for the interview.
See you in the cinema!
Anna Kačincová Predmerská