Zrinko Ogresta: The selection of movies of IFF Bratislava was excellent

Croatian screenwriter and director Zrinko Ogresta (1958) is one of the members of the Fiction Competition Jury. His films are characterized by strong visuals, well-articulated mise-en-scène and inventive storytelling.


The film Washed Out (Isprani, 1995)  won him the Prix Italia and film Here (Tu, 2003) was awarded at Karlovy Vary IFF a Special Jury Prize. Currently he teaches directing at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb and he is a member of the European Film Academy. Just a few months ago he completed the movie On The Other Side, a film about the family of a Yugoslav army officer of Serbian origin, who lived in Croatia until the Homeland has begun, and then he went to “the other side.” His wife and children remained in Croatia. After the war, he was sentenced for war crimes and he served his longtie sentence in the Hague. After 20 years he contacted his wife trying to revive their relationship…


You are one of three judges of the Fiction Competition Jury. Together with Judit Bárdos and Christopher Goodwin you will decide about the winner. Do you already have „your“ (own, personal) winner?


Yes, of course I have my personal tips. But I haven´t asked my collegues yet so I don´t know what the decision will be.


How does the jury work? Do you discuss together with your collegues or do you just vote?


During the festival we meet each other and talk about each of the films. I know the favourites of my collegues, and I think that our opinions are pretty close so I think that we will not vote for a long time.


Have you seen any other movies apart from the competitive ones?


No, because we had no time. In 3 days we saw 9 movies. And it is pretty much. But I would like to say that I was on numerous festivals and the selection of movies of IFF Bratislava was excellent. 7 of those 9 films are really good. And it is not a common situation at other festivals. I think that you can see the taste of the programmer. Mr. Dukić (Nenad Dukić – one of festival programmers) did really a very good job.


You are the professor of film directing at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb. How does the work with young filmmakers influence your films? You teach, but does the teaching influence you as well?


This is an interesting question. Absolutely. That is the main reason for why I teach. It can sound absurdly but I think that it is something that… In a way of thinking, not physically, I feel still young. And it is because of the contact with young students, young generation. I think that it is very helpful for both sides.


You have visited various film festivals all around the world. What would you say about the festival audience in Slovakia?


For me it is not a big difference. In such kind of festivals you always have specific kind of audience. We watch non-commercial movies and those people are cinefils. During the screenings I felt that they were really enjoying the film and they understood it. I think it is a very common situation in  film festivals.


Do you know any Slovak movies?


Well, I am not very familiar with your films. I haven´t seen many of them. But I know the movies of the director Martin… I can´t remember his last name. There is something similar between us. I think that with one of his films he was awarded the same price as I got several years ago in Italy – Prix Italia. It is really a big price for TV films. That´s why I noticed him.


(Martin Šulík, film The Garden/Záhrada, 1996).


So you saw some Slovak films, could you tell me if you feel the historical connection between Slovak and Croatian culture, our historical background?


No, I can´t. I really haven´t seen enough to compare it.


What are you working on right now?


I have just finished my new movie a few months ago. I hope that it will be on a programe at one of the most important festivals in next few months. The title is On the other side. You can check in on imbd. The premiere will be very soon.


By Anna 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.