Awarded Films Arrive at 17th Bratislava Film Festival

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 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 or our official Facebook account at


November 12 – 17, 2015
Kino Lumière, Kino Mladosť, Kino Nostalgia, Urban Space
Main organisers

Ars Nova civic association
Partners Production
The Festival is held with the generous financial support of Slovak Audiovisual Fund and the Bratislava regional self-government.
Come and experience it!

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.