The 20th edition of the Bratislava International Film Festival will open its doors in less than one month. The days between 29 November and 2 December 2018 will offer a generous selection of quality titles made by the best of young contemporary cinema. The Bratislava city cinemas Lumière and Mladosť will welcome the audience with a pleasant atmosphere and bring innovative perspectives on the world and being in it.
The backbone of the festival is again the Fiction Competition designated for first and second feature films. For example, the audience can look forward to José (2018), the second film by the American director Li Cheng and winner of the Queer Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival. José follows the story of a young homosexual man looking for love and emotional fulfilment in the environment of one of the poorest and most dangerous countries in the world, Guatemala, where the director lived for two years. Li Cheng’s name will resound the festival’s screening rooms for the second time already, as in 2014 he personally visited with his film Joshua Tree.
This year’s East of the West and FEDEORA awards of the International Film Festival Karlovy Vary went to the Russian director Elizaveta Stishova and her distinctive debut Suleiman Mountain (Suleimangora, 2017). Set in Kyrgyzstan, the film follows a bizarre story of a man (a gambler, habitual drinker, brute and cheater, but also a father and a husband of two women) living on the fringe of the society. His semi-nomadic way of life in a van with two wives, one rediscovered son and another – yet unborn one, as well as constant frustration, restlessness, uncertainty, mystique and shamanism create a captivating and engaging drama with elements of comedy and encourage the viewer to think about the numerous unanswered questions it poses.
Next in the Fiction Competition is Blind Spot (Blindsone, 2018), a directorial debut of Tuva Novotny, a Swedish actress and daughter of the Czech director Dávid Ján Novotný. The film was screened and awarded at the 66th San Sebastian International Film Festival. The category will also present Cutterhead (2018) by the Danish filmmaker Rasmus Kloster Bro, combining elements of drama and action thriller, as well as Sofia (2018) by the Moroccan director Meryem Benm’ Barek.