Art Film Fest Introduces Jury Members

The jury is chaired by Ann Hui, a filmmaker who ranks among East Asia’s most eminent directors. She was born in Manchuria, but moved to Hong Kong as a child, later studying at London Film School. Upon her return from England, she worked in television for several years before making her film debut in 1979 with The Secret, considered a leading work of the Hong Kong New Wave. She has shot a great number of films, winning awards both at home and abroad. In 2008 Art Film Fest screened her film The Postmodern Life of My Aunt, and this year’s Eastern Promises section will feature one of her latest films: Night and Fog, nominated at the Hong Kong Film Awards in three categories. She has participated in film festival juries at Locarno, Berlin and Venice.

The French-Iranian film journalist and critic Shahle Nahid works at Radio France International, as well as taking part in numerous national and international film festivals as a film critic, expert of Iranian cinema and a jury member at festivals such as the 1999 Moscow IFF and the FIPRESCI jury at Cannes 2006. She also runs a weekly radio magazine on culture entitled “Silk Road”.

Arben Zharku is an actor and producer from Kosovo. He graduated in Acting from the University of Prishtina’s Faculty of Arts, as well as attending EAVE (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs), a European training programme for producers. He is the founder and current director of the Skena Up International Students Film and Theatre Festival in Prishtina. Mr. Zharku is also manager of Prishtina’s Multimedia Centre, which aims to cultivate contemporary and children’s theatre. As an actor he has performed in a variety of theatre performances and films. He has produced the feature film Tonight Is Cancelled and two shorts – Three Minutes of Solitude and Pink River, and is currently producing three documentaries and one short film.

Johanna Tomek was born in Austria. Her multifaceted interests are evidenced by her study of architecture, theatre, German, art history and drama education. She is best known, however, as an actress and a director of films and theatre, with roughly fifty stage and cinematic productions under her belt. In 1983 with Werner Schönolt she founded Theater m.b.H. – Theatre Ltd., which she led until 2005. Her most recent performance was in the brilliant Austrian comedy Der Überfall (The Hold-Up, 2000), which received the Bronze Leopard award at the Locarno IFF.

The Czech scriptwriter Marek Epstein studied screenwriting and dramaturgy at the Film Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He finished his studies with his graduate screenplay Rebarbora (Rhubarb), which was awarded the Sazka prize for an unrealized screenplay at the Czech Lion Awards in 2003, first place at the national round of the Hartley-Merill Prize international screenwriters’ competition and an award at the Swiss Literary Fund’s screenplay competition. The screenplay was filmed in 2005 as a Romanian-Swiss co-production. In fact, Mr. Epstein received the Sazka award for best unrealised screenplay three more times – in 2005 for Roming, filmed two years later by Jiří Vejdělek, in 2007 for the second best screenplay Signál (Signal) and in 2008 for the third best screenplay Krávy (Cows). His screenplays have also been used for the Swiss-Romanian co-production Ryna (d. R. Zenide, 2005) and Václav (d. J. Vejdělek, 2007), as well as the television series Poste restante (d. K. Smyczek, 2009).

Forty-three films from Estonia, Argentina, Russia, Slovakia, Brazil and Japan will meet in the crowd-pulling International Competition of Short Films, which will be judged by a three-member international jury. The director of the victorious film will receive the official On the Road award in conjunction with a five-thousand euro prize.

Switzerland’s Delphine Lyner studied Socio-cultural Animation at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Lucerne in addition to obtaining an Executive Master in Arts Administration degree from the University of Zurich. She is the executive director and since 2007 the chairwoman of the Swiss Youth Film Festival. In 2008 she became a co-director of the International Short Film Festival in Winterthur, and she has compiled programmes and advised on film selection for other festivals and cultural events. She is a board member of Switzerland’s Conférence des festivals.

The films of Canadian director Denis Chouinard have been screened at over sixty international festivals. His first feature Clandestins (Stowaways, 1997) won several prizes at the Locarno IFF. His latest feature, Délivrez-moi (Free Me, 2006), won the Audience Prize at the Ourense IFF in Spain, as well as the Best Screenplay award at the Brussels International Independent Film Festival. From 2002 to 2006 he was the Vice-President of Cinémathèque québécoise, and he is currently a visiting professor at the Media School of UQÀM (Université du Québec à Montréal), where he teaches directing.

Hiroyuki Tanimoto was born in Guatemala and grew up in Colombia, Japan, and the United States. After earning a BFA in Art and Mass Media at USA’s Tufts University, Hiroyuki began working for a Japanese television and production company in New York, gradually steering his career toward the motion picture industry. He now organizes the CON-CAN Movie Festival, an online Japanese independent short film festival. Hiroyuki has also produced an experimental documentary short film entitled Six, which won the Grand Prix at the 2009 Macau IFF and was screened at numerous other festivals including Rotterdam and Tampere. He currently works as an artistic video editor, and his latest project Ki-do-ai-raku has been included in the permanent collection at the National Gallery in Prague.

The Art Film Fest International Film Festival Trenčianske Teplice/Trenčín is made possible through the financial support of the Audiovisual Fund and the European Union Programme MEDIA.   

Organizers: ART FILM, n. o., Forza, a. s. Co-organizers: the Town of Trenčianske Teplice, the City of Trenčín, the Trenčianske Teplice Health Spa General Sponsors: Dôvera Medical Insurance, AquaCity Poprad Main Sponsors: Tatra banka, Slovnaft, Veolia Voda – Central Slovakian Waterworks, OHL ŽS, Alison Slovakia; Official Transport Provider: Lancia Logistics Sponsor: DHL; Free student cinepasses provided by: Prvá stavebná sporiteľňa (First Housing-Construction Savings Bank) Sponsor of the Slovak Season section: Zlatý Bažant; Sponsors: AVI Studio, Baske Guest House, Park Hotel na Baračke Official Suppliers: HUBERT J.E., Kláštorná, GS design, Philips Media Sponsors: Slovak Television, Markíza Television, FilmBox, CSTV, Central Europe Television, Rádio Europa 2, Rádio Hit FM, Pravda, .týždeň, Markíza, Pardon, Cinemax, Kam do mesta,, Boomerang Media, SITA, euroAWK,