Art Film Fest’s “Around the World” to feature Nicole Kidman, among others

Film devotees will have the chance to sample the cream of the world’s cinematic crop at the nineteenth annual Art Film Fest, held from June 17–25 in Trenčianske Teplice and Trenčín. Our Around the World section will feature exclusive Slovak premieres of extraordinary discoveries from outside Europe, bearing awards from prestigious festivals.

Art Film Fest’s cinemas will be the first to screen the critically acclaimed Oscar nominee "Rabbit Hole", starring Nicole Kidman, whose performance earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Directed by John Cameron Mitchell and premiered to high praise at the Toronto IFF, the film tells the story of parents Becca and Howie, whose lives are radically altered when their four-year-old son dies in a car accident. The couple struggles to come to terms with their loss, going so far as to contact Jason, the young student who killed their son. They begin to discuss Jason’s alternate-universe theory, which forms the basis of his comics and helps the couple deal with their grief.

Director Asghar Farhadi’s “A Separation" (Jodaeiye Nader az Simin) is the first Iranian film to win the Berlinale’s Golden Bear, as well as the Silver Bear for four of its performers, while at home in Tehran it received seven national awards, including those for best film, director, screenplay and cinematography. The film tells the story of Nader and Simin, a fourteen-year-strong couple who are raising their eleven-year-old daughter Temeh. Simin yearns to leave the country, as she doesn’t like the idea of Simin growing up there. But her husband Nader disagrees, unwilling to leave his Alzheimer’s-afflicted father. When Nader absolutely refuses to leave, Simin files for divorce. And from there on, their predicament only gets thornier… This realistic drama addresses serious themes and provides a relatively rare glimpse of Iranian society.

Which brings us to another very different emotional family drama, this time from Israel: "The Human Resources Manager" from esteemed Israeli director Eran Riklis. Recipient of Locarno’s Audience Award, several Israeli prizes and Israel’s national Oscar candidate, the tragicomedy stars Mark Ivanir, an Israeli actor active in Hollywood, as the titular “Manager”. His life leaves much to be desired: he is separated from his wife, estranged from his daughter, and most of all, he hates his job. After one of his company’s foreign employees is killed in a bombing, he is sent to the victim’s family in Romania to somehow patch things up. But as is the nature of such things, this journey to an unfamiliar country becomes a voyage of self-discovery.

And now for something completely different, from noted Japanese director Naomi Kawase: “Genpin”, a documentary that takes a gentle, level-headed look at natural childbirth and the bond between mother and child. The film focuses on the unorthodox Yoshimura Clinic, where the director spent a year observing.

Providing further insight into Japanese culture, the section will also feature "Norwegian Wood" (Noruwei no mori) from Franco-Vietnamese director Anh Hung Tran. The film is an adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s bestselling novel, telling a story of romantic nostalgia, loss, and awakening sexuality. Toru, a quiet and withdrawn university student in Tokyo, reunites with his former schoolmate, the fragile Naoko. Marked by past tragedy, their relationship gradually deepens. At the same time Toru frequents wild late-night parties, where he meets the impulsive Midori. The young man ends up having to choose between two women, between passion and principle, future and past.
The film won the Asian Film Award for Best Cinematographer and the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2011 Istanbul IFF.

The 19th Art Film Fest International Film Festival 2011 in Trenčianske Teplice and Trenčín is made possible by the financial support of the Audiovisual Fund.

Organizers: ART FILM, n.o., FORZA, a.s.   

Co-organizers: The town of Trenčianske Teplice, the Trenčianske Teplice Spas

Main Sponsors: Tatra banka, Slovnaft, VUJE

Official Transport Provider: Lancia

Logistics Sponsor: DHL

Free student Cinepasses provided by: Prvá stavebná sporiteľňa (First Housing-Construction Savings Bank)

Sponsors: TIPOS, Ernst & Young, AVI studio, Cinemax

Official Supplier: HUBERT J.E.

Main Media Sponsors: Slovenská televízia, Rádio FM, Pravda,

Media Sponsors: JOJ Television, Central Europe Television, Kino CS, Muzika CS, Doku CS, Rádio Europa 2, Rádio Hit FM, .týždeň, Eurotelevízia, Pardon, FilmMax, OK!, Kam do mesta, Focus, Boomerang Media, SITA,, BlueSky

Sponsors: The City of Trenčín, the Embassy of Israel in Slovakia, the European Commission Representation in Slovakia, the Slovak Film Institute