Our Tips for Tuesday

Unfortunately, the Bratislava film festival is slowly heading toward the inevitable. All international juries picked the winning films in each category yesterday, so you still can hope that maybe one of them is among the listed. It is a public holiday today, which plays into the hands of movie buffs that would otherwise have to stay at work. Today, the screenings are scheduled only in Kino Lumière (K2) and Kino Mladosť.

 

At 16.00, Kino Mladosť will present a competitive fiction feature, Wednesday, May 9 (Chaharshanbeh, 19 Ordibehesht), a feature-length debut by Iranian director Vahid Jalilvand. The main character, Jalal, publishes an unusual advertisement in one of Tehran’s morning papers, offering to donate ten thousand U.S. dollars to a needy person. By the end of the day, he intends to choose one randomly. The news creates a furore and attracts a large crowd of people in front of Jalal’s house. The police are forced to take charge of the situation and call on the applicants to calm down or else they will be dispersed; however, two women refuse to give up the attractive jackpot: Setareh, a 19-year-old pregnant woman, and Leila, Jalal’s ex-fiancé…

 

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In the same time slot starting at 16.15, Kino Lumière will screen a competitive documentary film, Chuck Norris vs Communism, which demonstrates the power of film to influence individual and entire society. Young Romanian director Ilinca Calugareanu will take you 30 years back in time behind the Iron Curtain in Romania when thousands of Hollywood B-films were smuggled into the country. The fearless stories of action heroes like Chuck Norris, Sylvester Stallone or Jean-Claude van Damme captured the children’s imagination, but it was the lavish settings and backdrops that mesmerised their parents. For the first time, people saw what had been denied to them: supermarkets stacked full of goods, the trappings of wealth, the latest fashions, fancy cars and – most of all – freedom…

 

A surprisingly mature feature-length directorial debut of Visar Morina and Kosovo’s official nomination for Academy Award in the category of best foreign language film, Babai deals with the topical issue of migration. It tells the story of a 10-year-old Nori and his father, Gezim, who earn a living by selling cigarettes in pre-war Kosovo of the 1990s. Gezim is an expert at escaping the past and now he wants to flee Kosovo without Nori. When they have an accident and Nori ends up in a hospital, Gezim gets his chance. When Nori is relieved, he sets out on a perilous journey and eventually finds his father in Germany to confront him with questions of why he left him behind. You can catch the film at 18.15 in Kino Mladosť.

 

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At 20.30, you can choose one of the final two films that are on the programme of this year’s Bratislava film festival. Kino Lumière will show The Endless River by South-African director Oliver Hermanus, which revolves around the fledgling relationship between a young native woman and a French émigré who both recently suffered harsh blows of fate and now they seek solace in each other’s embrace.

 

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At the same time, Kino Mladosť will present Sleeping with Other People, the latest film by young American playwright, screenwriter and director Leslye Headland. Her romantic yet raunchy comedy basically seeks an answer to the cardinal question: Can men and women just be friends? She does so through Jake and Lainey who lost their virginity to each other many years ago and have since become miserable failures in their respective romantic relationships. Guilty of serial infidelity, sex addiction, and self-sabotage, both of them end up at the same counselling group. Reunited, they swear to keep their relationship strictly platonic. Whether they will manage is for them to know and for you to find out.

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.