Mini interview: Tomáš Hudák

“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.


Tomáš, you’re the program manager and coordinator of this year’s MFF Bratislava film festival. What are your competencies, what are people complaining about and what responsibilities do you have?


As a member of the program team, I’m involved in the process of the film selection, so I do get complaints from some discontent viewers. As a program coordinator, I’m in charge of pretty much everything concerning the film program: the communication with other members of the team and management, the licenses for the movies, the logistics and communication with the projectionists to make sure all the films are screened as they’re supposed to.



You created (and co-created) several film sections. It certainly requires some kind of know-how and a dose of courage. What is the key when selecting the movies?


The final film selection is always an intersection of several factors. They are movies that I got chance to watch, movies, that I find interesting in a way, and I think they could be interesting for the viewers in Bratislava as well. The pragmatic factor is that they must be available. And finally, there needs to be a kind of diversity, we don’t want the films to be all the same. We want different audiences to find their films. That’s why we have movies about young people (and for young people), a creative documentary film, socio-political themes, archival films, Czech-Slovak production and something more experimental too.

It’s illustrated mainly with our Lexicon section, where we always want to show various shades of the particular topic, to reveal different point of views, and at the same time, to depict the



How is the process of the selection? Do you think about the festival the whole year? For example, when you’re watching a movie at home, do you make notes about what film you want to screen at festivals that you work for?


I guess it’s always somewhere in the back of my head and when watching movies, I think about how to “make use” of it, if it would fit in the festival, and if it does, in what context. 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. I make notes only when I know, or I suspect to be writing about the film. But I do write down the films that I watch to not to rely on my memory when searching the movies later.



The film festivals such as MFF Bratislava are not intended for general public. They screen movies that the viewers need to be ready for, not the “standard” multiplex stuff. What expectations do you have from the visitors of this festival – what kind of an audience do you wish for?


The question of the audience is very complex one and every festival deals with it. Typically, the festival has a slightly different audience than multiplexes, although they also screen “art” films and host festivals. Bratislava film festival is certainly based on the film clubs, but it is also trying to reach different audiences. It doesn’t want to be a festival for a specific group of viewers but for everyone – that’s what we try to adapt the program to. My job is not to dictate people what to watch and what to like but to create a dialogue: the audience tells me what sort of films they would like to see, and I’ll do my best to pick the film. However, I also expect the audience to accept the challenge and give a chance to the movies that can go beyond their expectations.



You won’t be disappointed, I’ll ask you the typical cliché question that could inspire the indecisive visitors to watch films, that they shouldn’t miss this year.


Again, it depends on the preferences on what they expect from the film. If you’re open to watch less known stuff, I recommend the Kenyan romance Rafiki. If you’re interested in cinematography and/or gender issues, we got Barefoot in the Kitchen. If you’re interested in contemporary art, we’re screening The End of Fear, there are movies of the specific genre like Cutterhead or Domestik and if you want to see some big production and awarded films, go and see The Old Man & the Gun or At Eternity’s Gate.



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.