Thanks to its autumn schedule, International Film Festival Bratislava traditionally offers an opportunity to take a look back at the cinema season that is just about to end. Bratislava festival-goers are able not only to review the biggest hits from the world’s most prestigious festivals held in the first half of the year but also to enjoy the latest premieres released in Venice, Toronto, Locarno, Sarajevo, etc. that are lined up in late-summer and early-fall part of the festival itinerary.
Besides household names of the film industry whose latest projects are always impatiently awaited by cinema audiences around the world, the Bratislava Film Festival will also present films that have harvested awards at the most prestigious film festivals, unexpected festival smash hits as well as the works by fledgling filmmakers at early stages of their career. Urgency, invention, pressing issues, untraditional takes on subject-matters – all this awaits avid cinemagoers from November 12 through 17, 2015, in Bratislava municipal and club cinemas.
Following his feature-length debut, Volcano (Eldfjall), Icelandic director Rúnar Rúnarsson comes to Bratislava to present his latest film, Sparrows. Ari, a 16-year-old boy is about to set sail through the heavy seas of adolescence as he is forced to leave his orderly and happy urban life in Reykjavík where he lives with his mother and return to his native soil, a remote rural community and a father who does not seem to have any interest in him and acts like a teenager himself. This lyrical coming-of-age story that discusses unwanted life changes as well as boredom, stereotype and frustration claimed the Golden Seashell award at the 63rd edition of San Sebastian Film Festival. Bratislava festival-goers can also look forward to meeting the director in the flesh as he already confirmed his arrival to our festival.
Most cinema aficionados instantly connect the name of Charlie Kaufman to unusual motion pictures. A renowned screenwriter from New York who received Academy Award nominations for Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and queened the latter one to the coveted statuette, Kaufman comes with another remarkable motion picture, a stop-motion tragicomedy Anomalisa. More than three years of preparation have paid off as the directorial tandem of Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson snatched Grand Special Jury Prize from the latest Venice Film Festival. The film tells the story of a motivation speaker Michael Stone who remains unhappy despite all the accomplishment, adulation and accolade. He cannot seem to overcome the feeling that everybody and everything around him is run-of-the-mill, monotonous and mundane. The big break from the stereotype comes during his business trip to Cincinnati where he meets Lisa who brings the desperately yearned-for anomaly. Although this is an animated film, the viewer has no problem fully identifying with the characters, laughing at most diverse yet common nuisances related to business life but also savouring the strong moments and pondering their own identity, sexuality and loneliness.
Other than that, Bratislava festival-goers can look forward to three motion pictures by debuting filmmakers that scored big at this year’s film festivals. One is The Wolfpack, a documentary portrait of six Angulo brothers who grew up in total social isolation in the middle of Manhattan, of all places. The film brought Grand Jury Prize from Sundance Film Festival to debutante Crystal Moselle. One of the most successful documentaries of 2014 and the winner of two awards at Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, I Am the People (Je suis le peuple) by Anna Roussillon discusses the Egyptian revolution of 2011; however, instead of offering the footage of violence at the Tahrír Square, the director ventures off to a remote village to spend the Arab Spring in the company of a simple rural family and their TV set, exploring how a revolution is perceived “from a distance” and what is its impact on faraway places. Last but not least, there is a debut by Colombian filmmaker César Augusto Acevedo, Land and Shade (La tierra y la sombra), which clinched Golden Camera at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. It is a story of an ageing farmer, Alfonso, who returns to his land after many years to find a family that lost every hope of seeing him ever again and ekes out a living from the unfruitful soil. Nothing is the way it used to be as Alfonso’s son became seriously ill and the hard man’s labour has passed into the hands of women. The rather gloomy subject is relieved by captivating camera and breath-taking imagery that often says more than the characters. 17th edition of Bratislava Film Festival will take place in three cinemas of Kino Lumière as well as in Kino Mladosť and Kino Nostalgia. This year, the official festival lounge will be Gorila.sk Urban Space. Besides pleasant atmosphere, the lounge will offer special projections and host the festival’s side events.
For latest updates about the programme of the International Film Festival Bratislava, please visit our official website at www.iffbratislava.sk or our official Facebook account at www.facebook.com/bratislavaiff.
17th INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL BRATISLAVA
November 12 – 17, 2015
Kino Lumière, Kino Mladosť, Kino Nostalgia, Gorila.sk Urban Space
Ars Nova civic association
The Festival is held with the generous financial support of Slovak Audiovisual Fund and the Bratislava regional self-government.
Come and experience it!