Made In CZ/SK is one of Bratislava IFF loadbearing sections. In connection with the recent one-hundredth anniversary of the formation of the First Czechoslovak Republic, the section reflects a continuous and successful filmmaking cooperation of the two neighbouring countries. This year’s selection will present several recent films, some of which also originated in Czech-Slovak co-production.
Winter Flies (Všechno bude, 2018) is the work of one of the most talented Slovenian-Czech directors on the scene, Olmo Omerzu. The film is a road movie about the teenage friendship of Mára and Heduš. Despite their young age (14 and 12), the boys steal a car and set out on an adventurous ride. When caught by the police, their way to freedom is vanishing. This, however, gives the viewer an opportunity to try and discern which stories from the police station are real and which ones are just a clever product of the boys’ imaginations. The film is a Czech nominee for Academy Award in the category of Best Foreign Language Film. Three years ago, Bratislava IFF’s Fiction Competition presented the author’s debut Family Film, for which Omerzu received the Czech Film Critics’ Award as co-writer of the screenplay. This year, the Slovak première of Winter Flies will be presented by Omerzu himself.
King Skate (2018) is the first feature-length documentary about the emergence of skateboarding in the socialist Czechoslovakia. Its director Šimon Šafránek is a journalist with a liking for music documentary and video production, which is apparent in the film as well. The authors follow the70s and 80s expanding subculture embodied by young people striving to achieve freedom and not lose zest for life in spite of the prevailing lack of freedom brought about by the totalitarian regime. The film’s authenticity is strengthened by alternating black and white clips from the amateur filmmakers’ archives with current testimonies of actors, and cleverly chosen, striking soundtrack. The film premiered in Karlovy Vary, one of the main centres of pre-revolutionary skateboarding. The director will visit Bratislava and introduce his film in person.
Another special guest to attend the festival is the Czech filmmaker Tomáš Bojar with his Breaking News (Mimořádná zpráva, 2018). The documentary depicts one hectic day in two separate newsrooms expecting Milos Zeman, the sitting Czech president, to announce if he intends to run for re-election. The film offers a glimpse into the backstage newsroom work of Czech Television and Hospodářské noviny daily while pondering the objectiveness of news reporting, as renderings of the same event may be far from similar. In 2012 Bojar visited the Bratislava IFF and presented the film Two Nil as its co-writer.
Next in the section of Czech and Slovak films is the chamber piece Talks with TGM (Hovory s TGM, Jakub Červenka, 2018). The historical feature film is based on an eponymous publication by Karel Čapek, which wrote about the life of the first Czechoslovak president as well as about his political, religious and philosophical opinions. It depicts an encounter of two giants of the Czechoslovak history as they walk in a park in Topoľčianky. The politician is halfway decided to stop the publishing of a book that depicts him in an all too intimate light. The writer argues by saying that even the president is only flesh and blood and people have the right to get to know him better. The character of Masaryk is played by the renowned Slovak actor Martin Huba, laureate of the Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award and holder of the memorial tile on the Film Walk of Fame in front of the P. O. Hviezdoslav Theatre in Bratislava, who accepted the award at the closing ceremony of the 18th Bratislava IFF. The role of Karel Čapek was performed by the Czech actor, director, screenwriter and musician Jan Budař, holder of four Czech Lion awards, best known for the film Boredom in Brno.