Awards of the 20th Bratislava IFF 2018

Awards of the 20th Bratislava IFF 2018




Marián Mitaš, Slovakia

Markéta Pášmová, Czech Republic

Gena Teodosievska, Macedonia



Prize for the Best Fiction Film

Blind Spot / Blindsone

(directed by Tuva Novotny, Norway, 2018)


An exceptional, yet upsetting story, precisely set from an acting point of view, that begins naively, filmed in a single cinematographer’s shot, leaves us breathless with each upcoming sequence and ends with a disturbing atmosphere and uncertainty. There is no room for lack of emotion, however the authors of the film take away our right to explanation. Teenagers and their secret world, so distant from us, is that all we take notice of? This contemporary expression of film aesthetic tackles the most essential in the audience, which binds the camera’s observation and the leading protagonist into one and the feeling lingers on.    



Prize for the Best Director

Meryem Benm´Barek for Sofia

(France, Qatar, 2018)


The director constructs well defined characters that follow situations similar to those in Greek tragedies, through which she portrays an entire social and political milieu: everyone is content except the one concerned with justice and thus is left out of the game.  So is the story in this Moroccan film, where everyone calculates with their own faith as well as with the faith of others for a greater good, for the better bigger picture. Sophia is seemingly lost and lonely; she accurately calculates her steps and gains the trust of those she needs to count on. Funny at times, sad on occasion, this human drama where the meaning of the female and the male principle opens numerous issues, and also closes certain dilemmas



 Prize for the Best Actress

Christine Sønderris for Cutterhead

(directed by Rasmus Kloster Bro, Denmark, 2017)


Life in Denmark goes on with incredible easiness. Even when there is a problem, it is expected to be dealt with. This is how the character of the leading actress in the film Catterhead was constructed. She fearlessly goes under ground to witness the digging of the new tunnel in the Danish underground. The fire brings together two migrants, one from Croatia and another from Eritrea, who shake the ground from underneath her feet, both literally and symbolically. From an acting point of view, it is an amazingly built character of patience and dignity in the most difficult moments, yet with a will and determination of a winner. A wonderful character and an exquisite actress who is expected to continue to surprise.




Prize for the Best Actor

Aset Imangaliev for Suleiman Mountain / Suleiman gora 

(directed by Elizaveta Stishova, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, 2017)


A character placed not as a leading and rather as a negative character from early on in the film, quickly becomes a main character with its unimposing cunningness and disarming “освојувачки мангупски малверзаци“. He changes his mood towards his two partners, his son and towards others, for that matter, with incredible ease. He is a liar and a thief, a sly adventurer used to getting his own way with tricks, which, however, change in the last scene. A character that every great actor would love to portray.



 Special Mention


(directed by Li Cheng, Guatemala, 2018)


The minimalist approach towards another still unaccepted state of being in love with the same sex, a bold quest for a kindred spirit, a journey in search for a normal day-to-day life of a gay couple in a small town of the underprivileged and strongly Catholic Guatemala, makes this film unusual and brave.  




Bettina Hirsch, Germany

Viera Langerová, Slovakia

Michele Sancisi, Italy




Crystal Swan / Khrustal

(directed by Darya Zhuk, Belarus, Germany, USA, Russia, 2018)


Using vibrant cinematography and the energetic rhythms of 90s house music to directly oppose its bleak setting of a grey post – Soviet era, the jury has selected the Belarussian  film “Crystal Swan”. 

This feature debut of young female director Darya Zhuk is made with talent and promising professional skills. Crystal Swan is a fascinating study of the post-communist youth.





Jakub Kňažko, Gabriela Tuchyňová, Dominika Jarečná from Slovakia



Student Jury Award

Blossom Valley / Virágvölgy

(directed by László Csuja, Hungary, 2018)


At the 20th Bratislava IFF, the Student Jury decided to award the film Blossom Valley. The film caught our attention with the natural treatment of the topic of parenthood by the protagonists, who at first glance seem unable to create ties suitable for an upbringing of a child. It has thus created a contrast to the current state of the family and posed a question whether a change isn’t due. We appreciate the casting of actors, the visual rendition and the use of loving humour.


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.