Bratislava IFF Will Honour Yugoslav Actor Rade Šerbedžija with Artistic Excellence in World Cinematography Award

The 2016 edition of the Bratislava International Film Festival (BIFF) is proud to welcome Rade Šerbedžija, one of the most accomplished Yugoslav actors of all time. A “renaissance man” from Croatia who has made it all the way to Hollywood, Šerbedžija will arrive in Bratislava to receive the Award for Artistic Excellence in World Cinematography and to present his directorial debut, The Liberation of Skopje (Osloboduvanje na Skopje, 2016).


Rade Serbedzija

Actor, poet, musician and now debuting director, Rade Šerbedžija has established himself as one of the most distinguished Yugoslav actors of his generation. Shortly upon his graduation from the Academy of Dramatic Arts at the University of Zagreb in 1969, he began to collaborate with leading Balkan theatre and film directors, appearing in over 70 motion pictures, TV series and stage plays. He attained international fame for his performance in Before the Rain (Pred doždot, 1994), a drama about the Bosnian War by Macedonian filmmaker Milcho Manchevski.


Šerbedžija’s exquisite acting and enigmatic appearance later opened the door to his cooperation with acclaimed international directors such as Francesco Rosi, Philip Noyce or John Woo. One of the pinnacles of his international career came in 1999, when he was cast in a hauntingly hysterical supporting role alongside Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman in Stanley Kubrick’s final film, Eyes Wide Shut. Mr. Šerbedžija will personally present a special screening of this motion picture at this year’s edition of BIFF.


A swan song by legendary Stanley Kubrick, Eyes Wide Shut takes place in New York before Christmas. After wealthy MD William Harford’s (Cruise) attractive wife Alice (Kidman) confesses in the state of slight inebriation that she might be able to abandon her comfortable life for a wild erotic adventure with another man, jealousy sends William on a cathartic night-long journey of sexual discovery and moral repentance. Although he didn’t live to see its premiere, Kubrick described this film as the best he had ever made.


Šerbedžija went on to confirm his acting qualities in a critically-acclaimed drama, Li and the Poet (Io sono Li, 2011), and his international status in a number of lavish Hollywood productions such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010), X-Men: First Class (2011), Mission: Impossible II (2000) or Batman Begins (2005).


Recently, Rade Šerbedžija added another facet to his already multi-artistic personality by making his directorial debut, The Liberation of Skopje (Osloboduvanje na Skopje, 2016), which he co-directed with his son, Danilo. Set in 1942 in Skopje (now the capital of Macedonia) at the time of occupation by German and Bulgarian troops, the story exploring the cruelty, poverty and suffering of war is told through the eyes of Zoran, an eight-year-old boy whose father has joined the partisans while mother has become involved with a German officer.


The Bratislava International Film Festival decided to honour Mr. Šerbedžija’s versatile artistic accomplishments by bestowing upon him the Award for Artistic Excellence in World Cinematography. Mr. Šerbedžija will accept the award at the festival’s opening ceremony before the screening of his debut film, The Liberation of Skopje. In latter stages of the festival, Mr. Šerbedžija’s presence will add a special flair to the Focus section, which is dedicated to contemporary Croatian cinema this year.


Trailer: The Liberation of Skopje / Osloboduvanje na Skopje / Oslobodenie Skopje

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.