Our Preview: Family Film

A graduate from Prague’s FAMU originally from Slovenia, Olmo Omerzu released his Family Film at San Sebastián IFF.


Already in his graduation film, A Night Too Young (Příliš mladá noc, 2012), Omerzu explored the issues of growing up and confronting the immature children’s world with the reality of adulthood. It was a story about two boys who on a New Year’s Day find themselves in the same flat with a girl and two adult men; here, they are abruptly introduced to sexuality and a new world that is completely different from the one they used to know.


In his second feature-length fiction, Omerzu continues to dwell on the theme of premature adolescence; this time around, though, he combines it with several secondary storylines that are interweaved together in a way that makes it hard to identify the main leitmotif. We follow 15-year-old Erik and his older sister Anna whose parents have embarked on an extensive exotic voyage together with Otto the family dog. In the meantime, their children are supposed to take care of themselves and their spacious flat. Each of them uses the opportunity to bring along their respective best friends to stay with them for a while; this fact essentially affects Erik’s behaviour, to the point at which their uncle Martin is forced to take over the situation. What do their parents have to say? Will they have anything to say at all? We don’t know as their means of communication is severed all of a sudden.


Since the structure of the story is supported by several storylines and a stream of substantial situations, the audience has no time to become bored for a single moment. Whenever we seem to dwell too long in one location, Omerzu simply switches the setting and provides the necessary boost. Although the camera follows various contrasting scenes, it brings them together in a single visual style dominated by cold colours that lend the picture a standoffish, sometimes even sterile atmosphere.


Painting the portrait of a modern bourgeois family that conceals too many cracks and ruptures under the seemingly perfect façade, the film is highly recommended to all connoisseurs of good, intelligent drama as well as the fans of actor Karel Roden who convincingly renders one of the lead characters while being supported by an equally experienced cast of colleagues.


By Monika Mahútová

Translated by Daniel Borský

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.