From 2003 to 2005, Artfilm’s programme contained a section focused on domestic film production, entitled Slovak Season. This was followed by a three-year hiatus. “Currently however, the Slovak film industry is experiencing a great surge in not only quality, but also in quantity. And even more importantly, audiences are showing increasing interest in domestic productions, evidenced by the over 426 000 viewers of last year’s Bathory and the already over 115 000 viewers of Soul at Peace,” explained the section’s coordinator Miro Ulman, pointing out that in the flood of international premieres, of which there are 180 to 200 each year, unfortunately not every Slovak film makes it to every cinema. That is why Art Film Fest will present a selection of Slovak films from the first half of 2009. Visitors will even see hot new releases which have yet to be premiered. “We also invite the filmmakers, so that festival visitors can have the one-of-a-kind opportunity to discuss film with them,” added Ulman. On the festival screen, audiences will see the premiere of director Ivan Vojnár’s long-awaited feature film originally titled “Flowers of Sakura”, which will arrive with the title My Husband’s Women.
The film depicts the fate of a married celebrity couple. The director follows their life both in front of the cameras and behind them, leaving nothing out. Their fate is bound up with successes and disappointments, new hope and the aftermath of past deeds.
The lives of Daniel and Vera Hodálová – a married couple whose relationship has been in shambles for several years already – are touched by a Macedonian girl who is searching for happiness in Slovakia, and starts a new life with Vera and Daniel. In Liana, Vera finds a part of herself which faded away long before, leaving a bitter emptiness. Appearing in the main roles are Zdena Studenková, Martin Stropnický, Táňa Pauhofová, Éva Bandor, Vladimír Dlouhý, Anna Polívková, Marija Dimishkova and Ľubomír Paulovič. Among the hot new releases at Art Film Fest, young director Jakub Kroner’s Bratislavafilm awaits its first public screening. It depicts a single day in the city from the perspectives of four people: a taxi driver who has a personal crisis, a drug dealer who lives in a poor hip-hop district, a mafia boss and a person who comes to Bratislava to find work. Their fates intertwine and lead to drama.
Featuring Robert Roth, Zuzana Fialová, Ľuboš Kostelný, Anna Šišková and Čistychov. A premiere also awaits the short feature film from director Juraj Krasnohorský, X=X+1.
An unfamiliar man and woman open the door and enter your flat. They make themselves at home. They don’t see you, don’t react to your threats, and the door opens yet again to more and more new couples. It starts to get crowded in the flat. Each couple is surprised at the arrival of each new couple and react in their own way, but always with the same conviction – the others are the intruders. But it’s your flat, you were here first. Or not? In addition to new releases, festival cinemas will also screen Slovak films that have come to our cinemas since January 2009. Audiences can look forward to director Vlado Balko’s Soul at Peace, which ranks as the third most-watched film in the history of the Republic, with more than 115 thousand viewers. The picture is a contemporary story of three childhood friends. All three find themselves at crossroads in their lives and try to help each other. The main character is Tóno, who returns from prison to his native village and tries to reintegrate into normal life. But in this small village near Čierny Balog, that is far from simple.
The film stars Attila Mokos, Roman Luknár, Jan Vondráček, Robert Wieckiewicz, Helena Krajčiová and Jaromír Hanzlík, who will accept the Actor’s Mission Award at this year’s Art Film Fest. Success in Slovak cinemas has also been enjoyed by Miloslav Luther’s tragicomedy Mosquitoes’ Tango. It is the story of two pre-revolution emigrants, who return years later from Spain to Slovakia. The businessman Karol needs to get divorced, but fears his abandoned wife Eva, whereas his well-off fiancé Lucia is afraid he won’t go through with it. So she sets unsuccessful actor Rudo to the task of seeing to it. Their mission, however, becomes progressively more complex.
This tragicomedy features Roman Luknár, Ady Hajdu, Zuzana Fialová, Tereza Brodská, Diana Mórová and Tereza Nvotová. Art Film Fest will also present director Laura Siváková’s Heaven, Hell… Earth starring Zuzana Kanócz, which tells the story of a young ballerina whose relationships and career collapse. Her boyfriend cheats on her, she injures her leg and on top of that, her family is falling apart. Klára falls in love with a middle-aged man with a daughter who she starts to take care of. A game of love and responsibility begins, where she plays mother and lover. Everything seems perfect. Will Klára find happiness?
From Art Film Fest’s documentaries, viewers will for the first time get to see the Slovak-French-Spanish co-production from director Diana Fabiánová Moon Inside You. The subject of the documentary, which had its premiere on International Women’s Day on the television station Arte, and has already been purchased by multiple European television networks, is menstruation. This tabooed subject is treated unconventionally, sometimes humorously, but still educationally and originally, through the story of a young girl.
The festival will also include the noteworthy documentary from Peter Kerekes, Cooking History, which traces historic military conflicts through the testimonies of military cooks, and asks if war would exist at all without them.
One of the medium-length documentaries to be introduced at Art Film Fest is Tomáš Hučko’s Before This Film Is Over. It is a portrait of Slovak screenwriter and dramaturge Tibor Vichta, who from the 1950s on strongly influenced the form of many Slovak films, becoming an auteur in his own right thanks to the exceptional works of significant Slovak directors such as Peter Solan, Martin Hollý and Dušan Trančík.
A portrait of another prominent Slovak artist will be presented by the documentary Between 4-5,6 from director Vlado Balco. The film portrays Vincent Rosinec, who demonstrated his cinematographic abilities in films such as Martin Hollý’s Havrania cesta (Raven’s Flight), Stanislav Barabáš’s Zvony pre bosých (Knell for the Barefooted), and in the pictures Before This Night is Over from Peter Solan, Every Week Seven Days and The Return of the Dragon from Eduard Grečner and Dušan Trančík’s Concert for Mourners.
Director Zuzana Piussi will introduce the documentary detective story Koliba, about the fate of Slovak cinema. Along the way to a hill above Bratislava which was once home to a Slovak film production studio called Koliba, it reveals fragments of inconsistent truths, absurd half-truths and veiled lies concerning the dissolution and theft of the “family jewels” – Slovak film. It is the first attempt to analytically chart this problem.
Art Film Fest will also present the short documentary Mystery of the Underground from adventurer and filmmaker Pavol Barabáš, who uncovers a dripstone paradise. He focuses on Slovak caves, of which there are nearly 6000. “Slovakia is unique in the world in having six of its twelve publicly accessible caves recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. No where else in the world do they match this record. We can truly be proud of our underground treasures,” said Barabáš. ———————————————————————————————————– Organizers: ART FILM, n.o., FORZA Production House Co-Organizers: the Town of Trenčianske Teplice, the Town of Trenčín, Health Spa Trenčianske Teplice
The Festival is made possible through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic.
General Sponsors: AquaCity Poprad, zdravotná poisťovňa Dôvera
Main Sponsors: Omnia Holding, Tatra banka, Tauris, the Central European Foundation, Slovnaft Official Transport Provider: Lancia Logistics Sponsor: DHL Sponsors: Provimi Pet Food, Dr. Max, Enagro, Hotel Baske, AVI Studio Official Suppliers: Hubert, Parkhotel na Baračke, GS design, Segafredo Zanetti SR, Philips, Via France Slovak cinema is brought to you by Zlatý Bažant Main Media Sponsors: Slovenská televízia, Pravda, Zoznam.sk, Boomerang, Žurnál Media Sponsors: televízia Markíza, FilmBox, Televízia Central, Rádio Okey, Rádio Hit FM, Markíza, Pardon, Cinemax, Kam do mesta, port.sk, kedykam.sk, superobed.sk, ISPA, SITA, Q-EX, Trenčianske Echo Partners: Hotel Praha, Hotel Flóra, Hotel Tatra, Slovak Film Institute, Italian Cultural Institute Bratislava, CzechTourism, Intersonic, Tatrafilm, Slovak Film and Television Academy, Esterle & Esterle, lampART, Celtima