Jean-Marc Barr To Receive Bratislava IFF’s Award for Artistic Excellence in World Cinema


One of the most distinctive European actors and a unique director Jean-Marc Barr will receive the festival’s own Award for Artistic Excellence in World Cinema on the 19th edition of the Bratislava International Film Festival. 


Jean-Marc Barr launched his abundant acting career with smaller roles in British historical films such as King David (1985) or Hope and Glory (1987). His rise to international fame came with the lead role in Luc Besson’s cult picture, The Big Blue (Le grand bleu, 1988), for which he received a César nomination. He stars as Jacques Mayol, a romantic free-diver obsessively devoted to his only love – the sea.


Another milestone in Barr’s filmography was his first cooperation with Lars von Trier on a stylised allegory Europe (Europa, 1991), where his idealistic character Leo fatefully clashes with manipulative power and destruction in “post-war Germany’s year 0”. The role enabled Barr to develop his acting register and made him a true star of European cinema. It also brought them together as friends and Barr accepted roles in most of Trier’s future projects. He played supporting but relevant roles in film such as Breaking the Waves (1996), Dancer in the Dark (2000), Dogville (2004), Manderlay (2005), The Boss of It All (Direktøren for det hele, 2006), and Nymphomaniac (2013).


The visitors of the Bratislava International Film Festival will be the first audience in Slovakia to witness another one of Barr’s notable acting creations. In his most recent film Grain (2017), Barr plays the role of Professor Erol Erin, an expert in seed genetics, who ventures into the forbidden area known as the “Dead soil.” Directed by Semih Kaplanoğlu, holder of the Golden Bear for Honey (Bal, 2010), the picture was inspired by Al-Kahf, a surah from the Quran that later became the basis for Islam’s mystical offshoot. Several film critics have likened this black-and-white meditative picture to Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker.


Last summer, Jean-Marc Barr’s acting genius and charisma could also be witnessed in Slovakia where he starred in a predominantly Slovak co-production, The Cellar (Pivnica), under the baton of an award-winning Russian filmmaker Igor Voloshin. In the film, Jean-Marc rendered the main character of a father and former rocker who decides to take justice into his own hands in the aftermath of a family tragedy.


Under Trier’s influence, Barr’s directing career began to flourish as well. Together with Pascal Arnold, screenwriter and co-director of most of his films, he created a trilogy on the theme of freedom influenced by the radical filmmaking style defined by the Dogme 95 movement. The trilogy consists of Lovers (1999), Too Much Flesh (2000) and Being Light (2001). All the three films are characteristic by their para-documentary style of shooting, informality, recording on a digital camera and avoiding artificial lighting as well as special effects while working in exteriors. At the same time, they are all thought-provoking and do not shy away from brutal and sexually explicit scenes. Barr applied these filmmaking methods even to his next films, for instance One to Another (Chacun sa nuit, 2006), American Translation (2011) or Sexual Chronicles of a French Family (Chroniques sexuelles d’une famille d’aujourd’hui, 2012).
Jean-Marc Barr attended the Bratislava film festival in 2012, where he presented the films Sexual Chronicles of a French Family and Practical Guide to Belgrade with Singing and Crying (Praktični vodič kroz Beograd sa pevanjem i plakanjem, 2011). He will receive the Bratislava IFF Award for Artistic Excellence in World Cinema at the festival’s gala opening. The festival-goers will have a chance to learn more about his acting and directing career at a special masterclass held during the festival. Jean-Marc Barr will also attend the festival as a member of its Fiction Competition Jury.

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.