This year’s Art Film Fest will present two competition sections. The International Competition of Feature Films will introduce the works of talented filmmakers to festival cinemas. “Young filmmakers and up-and-coming auteurs may be every film festival’s most sought-after and prized asset, and Art Film Fest doesn’t want to miss out either. On the contrary, in the upcoming 17th annual we have decided to broaden the festival program’s main section, highlighting the diversity of contemporary film talent even more than before,” said Peter Nágel, Program Director and coordinator of the Competition of Feature Films.
The Blue Angel – the festival’s coveted grand prize – will be vied for by filmmakers on their first, second, or third films. The nominated films will include prize-winning pictures from the most prestigious film festivals in Venice, Berlin, and Locarno. “I am convinced that the future of the film world will make its presence felt at our festival,” said Nágel. Feature-length films will be once again judged by an international jury, whose makeup is currently being discussed.
The second competition section is the International Competition of Short Films, always a crowd-pleaser. As in previous years, the section’s films will be restricted to one essential parameter – a length of up to thirty minutes. The section’s appeal lies in the sheer variety provided by more than forty brand-new flicks from Iceland, New Zealand, Chile, Philippines and many places in between.
The festival program will also include non-competitive sections, and it is those which have had a makeover this year; they have doubled in number, and their names alone will draw crowds to the cinemas. Leave your worries behind and have some fun with the section Dancing 80’s, courtesy of the USA. “For over twenty years, each successive generation has rediscovered these films’ unforgettable dance numbers, quotable lines and hit songs,” said section coordinator Magdaléna Macejková.
Audiences can look forward to brilliant dancers on the silver screen, featuring disco, step, Latin dance and even ballet. Screened films will include Fame from director Alan Parker and Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz. Each dance film will be personally introduced by the renowned Slovak dancer and choreographer Ján Ďurovčík.
The festival president, actor and comedian Milan Lasica, has prepared some entertainment as well, in the form of the section Best of Comedy. “I thought back to newer and older films, some of which I saw as a boy, a film-lover, and a huge fan,” said Mr. Lasica, who has selected films such as Beauties of the Night with the legendary Gina Lollobrigida. Mr. Lasica will personally present each film.
Appearing for the first time in the Art Film Fest program, the section All Around the World will include true gems of world cinema. We have already confirmed the winning film from Venice 2008 festival, director Darren Aronofsky’s Oscar-nominated The Wrestler, featuring the celebrated comeback of veteran actor Mickey Rourke. From Asian cinema, we will welcome the latest film from the impossible-to-overlook Kim Ki-duk, Dream. “And there will certainly be more such attractions,” promised Nágel.
European Corner will present old-world films which have been receiving increasing attention around the world. “We have chosen a sampling of films that we are convinced have been resonating throughout Europe, which is confirmed by filmmakers’ names such as Annette K. Olesen, François Ozon, Lukas Moodysson, Alexey Balabanov and Götz Spielmann,” said Peter Nágel, adding that festival cinemas may also screen the latest legend of the bloodthirsty countess Alžbeta Báthory, The Countess, created by and starring the distinguished French actress and director Julie Delpy. The film recently had its world premiere at the prestigious Berlin festival.
The section Cult! will again feature films which have made cinema history. The selections span the genres of war film, musical, horror, as well as science fiction. “Yet they share common traits: each generation identifies with these timeless films, whose presence can be felt in their influence on style and when other films quote them,” explained the section’s coordinator Martin Ciel. The section with the compelling title Love & Anarchy surveys the latest trends in European, American and Asian cinema. The special section Late Night Show will again present a selection of unique and shocking works. “Late Night Show will be wild, bloody, brutal, dangerous, extreme, action-packed, loud, but above all fun,” promised its coordinator Ivana Petríková. Art Film Fest will also pay homage to Czech director, librettist and dramaturge Petr Weigl. “He is distinguished by his daring pursuit of an unconventional, distinctive approach to a variety of film adaptations, above all of operas,” explained the section’s coordinator Magda Vášáryová. Only with Weigl at the helm were films such as Rusalka, A Village Romeo and Juliet, Eugene Onegin and Werther made possible. His films feature the debuts of several Slovak performers as well, such as Milan Kňažko, Božidara Turzonovová, Juraj Kukura and opera singer Peter Dvorský.
As in previous years, the festival will bestow the individual festival award Actor’s Mission, already held by stars such as Omar Sharif, Geraldine Chaplin, Jean-Paul Belmondo and Ornella Muti, whose bronze tablets gleam on the of Fame in Trenčianske Teplice. Art Film Fest will also present the Golden Camera award for extraordinary contribution to the art of cinema. Festival screenings will take place at five locations: in Trenčín, the Cultural and Methodological Centre of the Slovak Military (Kultúrne a metodické centrum Ozbrojených síl Slovenskej republiky, 550-seat capacity), ArtKino Metro (148 seats) and the open-air Bažant Cinematograph on Štúr Square (Štúrovo námestie); and in Trenčianske Teplice, Prameň Cinema (200 seats) and the Tatra Banka Cinema Tent (200 seats) in Spa Park.
This year, students up to 26 years of age may again attend Art Film Fest free of charge. They can receive a fully valid, all-festival Cinepass by filling out the registration form at artfilmfest.sk, which will be available from 1 May until 18 June, 2009. All registered students will be given a Cinepass at the festival’s registration area, where they will have to show some evidence of their studies (transcript, report card, confirmation of attendance, or ISIC student card, for example). From 19 June, student Cinepasses will be sold at festival box offices for 5 euros. Discount Cinepasses will be available to holders of Teplice cards, 2009 ASFK Film Club membership cards, EURO 26 cards, ITIC cards and ZŤP cards for 10 euros through Ticketportal from 1 April to 19 June and at the festival for 15 euros. Standard 8-day permanent passes will be for sale on Ticketportal at the reduced price of 16 euros until the end of May, from 1 June until 16 June for 23 euros and at the festival for 30 euros. Guests above 62 years of age will pay 5 euros for a Cinepass onsite, except those with permanent residence in Trenčianské Teplice or Trenčín, who will pay only 2 euros. A three-day Cinepass will cost 20 euros, a one-day pass 5 euros, and a single-admission ticket to a festival cinema will cost 2 euros. One can apply for press accreditation free of charge by filling out the registration form which will be on artfilmfest.sk from 10 May until 10 June, 2009. After 10 June, press accreditation will include a fee of 10 euros. More information will be available at the festival’s website, artfilmfest.sk, from the start of May.
Organizers: ART FILM, n.o., FORZA Production House
Co-Organizers: The Town of Trenčianske Teplice, The Town of Trenčín, Health Spa Trenčianske Teplice
Main Media Sponsors: Slovenská televízia, Slovenský rozhlas, Pravda, Zoznam.sk
Media Sponsors: televízia Markíza, FilmBox, Televízia Central, Rádio Okey, Rádio FM, Rádio Regina, Rádio GO Dee Jay, Rádio Hit FM, týždenník Markíza, Žurnál, Pardon, Trenčianske Echo, Kam do mesta, port.sk, superobed.sk, SITA, ISPA, Q-EX