LUX Prize 2015 Finalists Will Screen at Bratislava IFF

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


Main organisers

Ars Nova civic association

Partners Production


The Festival is held with the generous financial support of Slovak Audiovisual Fund.


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.