Mini interview: Ivana Hucíková

“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

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.

The curators of the section Lexicon: Female gaze, festival programmer Tomáš Hudák and the director of this year’s festival spot Ivana Hucíková, have focused on the status of women in cinema, their portrayal in film, and the uniqueness of a woman’s experience.