The Bratislava International Film Festival will not be held in 2019

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.

Coming to this decision was not easy, not to mention how much it pains us to pass this information on to you. After all, the Bratislava IFF is a part of our lives. We are fully aware of the significant standing among domestic film festivals that the festival quickly attained after its founding in 1999. We are proud that our ambition to provide high-quality programming and thus cultivate film audiences and enrich Slovakia’s film culture with an international perspective has resulted in a stable fanbase numbering in the thousands. For this we would like to express our thanks.

However, we have come to a point where our dedication and respect for the Bratislava IFF’s successful, 20-year-long tradition has run up against the increasingly demanding process of finding adequate funding, which has had a negative effect on the festival’s further growth and development.

We want to avoid a situation where the friction between the festival’s ambitions and its actual possibilities under the given conditions becomes so exhausting that we ourselves obstruct, rather than promote, the festival’s subsequent growth. We don’t want to continue just out of habit. We feel, just as you may know from your own lives, that when it comes to the Bratislava IFF, we are standing at a crossroads.

At the same time, our passion for the art of cinema and for shared experiences in dimly lit cinemas lives on. Our deep devotion for film is no less than that of the cinemagoers, those who attend the festivals our colleagues organize with the very same passion. We will maintain contact with our associates in order to share our passion and excitement for the first-rate cinematic art that Slovakia’s other festivals continue to provide audiences.

We trust that it will not be long until we are once again able to welcome you to a great celebration of the art of film, one which will not only proudly follow in the Bratislava IFF’s two-decade tradition, but which will develop it even further in the form of a momentous and contemporary international event in Slovakia’s capital. But before we take this next step, we must pause for a moment to catch our breath…

We trust that our decision will be met with understanding. And we hope that your good wishes will help us bring the 21st edition of the event we all know and love back to Bratislava’s cinemas. As the trailers say, “coming soon to a cinema near you…”

See you at the cinema, friends!

IFF Bratislava Team

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.