Otík from “My Sweet Little Village” accepts Actor’s Mission Award

His portrayal of Otík in Jiří Menzel’s cult classic "My Sweet Little Village" (Vesničko má středisková) made an indelible impression on Slovak and Czech audiences, but that was just one of his more than fifty films. This afternoon, he accepted the Actor’s Mission Award for his extraordinary contribution to the art of screen acting, fixing a brass plaque bearing his own name in the Festival Park.

"Thank you for your outpouring of love and goodwill," he said when receiving the prize. Afterwards, he joked that placing the plaque was harder than making the movies themselves.

Mr Bán also gave a warm welcome to Marián Labuda, his co-star from "My Sweet Little Village", fondly reminiscing about their experiences making the film together. And when he dedicated a few words to Mr Labuda in Czech, Labuda returned the favour in Hungarian.

During the press conference, Mr Bán cited Otík as one of the most valued roles in his successful film and theatre career, emphasizing that if he hadn’t made a single movie after it, he still wouldn’t regret a thing. 

Bán also paid tribute to actor Jozef Kroner, who he starred alongside in Slovak director Jaro Rihák’s 1995 film "Albert, Albert". "I was amazed by Mr Kroner’s artistry as an actor. He was a major figure," said the performer. Today at 7 pm in Trenčianske Teplice, he will personally introduce "Albert, Albert", the story of doctor Albert Škarvan, a friend of great Russian author Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy.

János Bán is among Hungary’s most respected film and stage actors, performing in classic works of comedy and drama. His has also recently begun teaching pantomime and comedy to young actors. "I’ve always longed to pass on what I’ve learned to the next generation of actors," he explained. Immediately upon his arrival on Friday, he presented Art Film Fest’s organizers with a lovely gift – a basket full of fresh-picked cherries from his garden.