In line with its fledgling tradition, the 17th edition of the Bratislava International Film Festival is proud to present three LUX Prize finalists. Vying for the coveted film prize awarded by the European Parliament later this year are silver screen debuts by three young European filmmakers whose subject-matters strongly resonate in modern Europe.
Quality cinema from all around Europe has over the years gained a solid foothold in the programme of the Bratislava International Film Festival. Important part of this tradition is motion pictures competing for the LUX Prize. Introduced in 2007 by the European Parliament in effort to support European film industry and further diversity of European culture, the principal mission of the LUX Prize is to make quality cinema accessible across Europe and stimulate the public debate on topics tackled by candidate films. This year, the final selection includes three motion pictures that reflect pressing problems and issues of contemporary Europe such as migration, economic crisis or tensions between tradition and modernity.
Obviously, one of the most pressing and serious problems of our time is migration. This issue is authentically depicted in Mediterranea whose realistic atmosphere and documentary style pulls the viewer inexorably into the story of two friends, Ayiva and Abas, who endure a sorrowful voyage across the Mediterranean to Italy with a bunch of African migrants in pursuit of a happier life. The film is the feature debut by Jonas Carpignano, a director who knows a thing or two about the culture clash as he comes from a mixed marriage of an Italian father and an Afro-American mother.
The second finalist of this year’s LUX Prize is another strong feature debut, this time by young Turkish director Deniz Gamze Ergüven. Inspired by her childhood memories, Mustang follows the growing up of five sisters in rural Turkey who must submit to authoritative and traditionalistic upbringing that predetermines the role of a woman in the Muslim society. It premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival as part of the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs independent section, taking home two awards.
The triplet of finalists is completed by Urok (The Lesson), a drama by the Bulgarian directorial tandem of Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov. It tells the story of a young elementary school teacher who has found herself in a desperate financial situation and is willing to pull all the stops in order to extricate from the snares of loan-sharks and save her family. The film is very open at discussing moral dilemmas and depicting how financial problems threaten to undermine human dignity and destroy one’s existence.
All three nominated films will be screened as part of Made in Europe, a programme section that promises all festival-goers a pleasant rendezvous with European cinema.
Interestingly enough, one of the finalists of the 2014 LUX Prize, Razredni sovražnik (Class Enemy) by young Slovenian director Rok Biček, which in 2013 clinched Grand Prix for the Best Film, the Best Actor Award (Igor Samobor), the Viewer’s Choice Award and the FIPRESCI Award at the Bratislava Film Festival, was voted the best motion picture of the LUX Prize last year’s edition by European cinemagoers.
17th INTERNATIONAL film festival Bratislava
November 12 – 17, 2015
Ars Nova civic association
The Festival is held with the generous financial support of Slovak Audiovisual Fund.
Come and experience it!