Art Film Fest 2016 to feature hot new releases from Cannes

The makers of Slovakia’s leading film event have really done it this time! They’ve added three brand-new titles to the 24th Art Film Fest programme: Graduation (Bacalaureat), Toni Erdmann and Sieranevada. Festival visitors will also get the chance to enjoy I, Daniel Blake, which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes IFF just days ago. What’s more, the film will be personally introduced by its star, actor Dave Johns.


Graduation (Bacalaureat)

 “[There is] something that would give meaning to all the misfortunes you experienced: save your children, teach them well, help them make better choices than you did.”  This, among other things, is what Graduation is about – the fifth film from Romanian director Cristian Mungiu, winner of the 2007 Palme d’Or from Cannes for the picture 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.

His latest work was one of the most distinctive films in the main competition at this year’s Cannes IFF, recognized by the jury with the Best Director award. In Mungiu’s own words, Graduation is a story about compromise and principles, about decisions and choices, and also about education and family and about aging,” but also about how “in life, you have to be flexible, to navigate murky situations, to decide in each case what is right and what isn’t […] and where the boundaries lie. And once you make the first big compromise, there’s no turning back.”

Romeo Aldea, a physician living in a small mountain town in Transylvania, has raised his daughter Eliza with the idea that once she turns 18, she will leave to study abroad. His plan is close to succeeding – Eliza has won a scholarship to study psychology in the UK. She just has to pass her final exams – a formality for such a good student. But on the day prior to her first written exam, an unexpected incident jeopardizes Eliza’s departure. Now Romeo has to make a decision. There are ways of solving the problem, but none that follow the principles he has taught his daughter.

Graduation will be screened at Art Film Fest 2016 as part of the section European Corner in cooperation with the Association of Slovak Film Clubs.

The film trailer is available at


Toni Erdmann

Hailed by critics as “a little three-hour miracle”, this German film was initially considered an underdog in Cannes’s main competition. The enormously funny and intelligent mix of drama and comedy is the sixth picture from German director Maren Ade, winner of two Silver Bears from the 2009 Berlinale and a Special Jury Prize from Sundance 2005.

Aging music teacher Winfried and his perpetually busy daughter Ines practically never see each other. And so he decides make a surprise visit to see her in Bucharest, where Ines is building her career and working hard as the manager of an international project. But even the unexpected reunion fails to improve their relationship. After supposedly returning to Germany, Winfried reappears as his alter-ego Toni Erdmann, who becomes an unsolicited part of her daughter’s professional life. Now Ines has to face a new challenge, and after a series of Toni’s madcap scenes, she slowly but surely begins to realize that her eccentric father is, at the end of the day, one of the most important people in her life.

Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes, Toni Erdmann will be screened in the section Be2Can Starter in cooperation with the distribution company Film Europe.

The film trailer is available at



Sieranevada is the next of the appealing additions to Art Film Fest’s programme, all of which share one thing in common: the main competition at this year’s Cannes IFF. It is the latest picture from the “godfather of the Romanian New Wave”, director Cristi Puiu. This 49-year-old Bucharest native is considered the initiator of Romanian cinema’s unexpected international rise, thanks to his film Stuff and Dough (2001) and especially his international-award-winning drama The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005). He similarly attracted attention with the picture Aurora (2010), which he also starred in.

It is 10 January 2015. Three days have gone by since the terrorist attacks on the offices of French weekly Charlie Hebdo, and 40 days since the death of the father of successful neurologist Lary, who is attending a family gathering to honour his father’s memory. But instead of the reverence he expects on the part of his relatives, Lary is confronted with something else entirely – his own fears and past – forcing him to reassess his attitude toward his family and find his own version of the truth.

Art Film Fest 2016 will screen Sieranevada in the section Be2Can Starter in cooperation with the distribution company Film Europe.

Teasers from the film are available at


I, Daniel Blake

In an unexpected surprise at the recent 69th Cannes IFF, Ken Loach became the festival’s winning director with the film I, Daniel Blake. Literally two hours after the verdict was announced, it was promptly confirmed that the Palme d’Or-winning British picture would be included in Be2Can Starter, the prominent new addition to this year’s Art Film Fest programme. The new section is the result of the festival’s cooperation with the distribution company Film Europe.

While I, Daniel Blake is a variation on Loach’s genre of choice – the social drama – this time around the British cinema veteran doesn’t limit himself to problems of British society alone, instead treating an issue of universal urgency. The acerbically funny story of a carpenter recovering from a heart attack, condemned to dependence on welfare, trains its critical lens on bureaucracy and ossified government systems that could be anywhere on the planet.

This just in: the 24th Art Film Fest’s screening of the grand-prize film from Cannes will be graced by an in-person appearance by actor Dave Johns, who stars in the titular role. For the English actor, previously known mainly as a television stand-up comedian, the role of Daniel Blake has been a major breakthrough into the international film and festival scene.



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Art Film Fest – a new city, a new programme and new ways to have a great time!

Organizers: ART FILM FEST, s.r.o., Forza, a.s.

Co-organizers: The City of Košice, K13

The festival is held under the auspices of Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic Robert Fico.

Financial support: The Audiovisual Fund

Main Sponsors: InVestito, Transpetrol, Slovenská pošta, Slovnaft, Kosit

Official festival automobile: Hyundai

Official carrier: ČSA

Logistics partner: DHL

Official festival hotel: Hotel Yasmin

Sponsors: Herberia, Ida Sandor, HC Košice, Imperator, Stella Artois

Exclusive festival cinema: Kino Úsmev

Official suppliers: NOV s.r.o. Zebra, Budiš, Tikoki, Barzzuz, Livina, Jean Charles-Cafe de Paris

Main carrier: Železničná spoločnosť Slovensko

Official festival daily: Košice Dnes

Main media partners: Radio and Television of Slovakia, Nový Čas

Media partners: Rádio FM, Rádio Regina, Korzár, SME, JOJ Cinema, Rádio Košice, Film Europe Channel, Forbes, Kam do mesta,,


Partners: Kino Úsmev, Autocont, Congress Hotel Centrum, Carpano, Casablanca cafe, Hotel Maraton, DigitalOcean, Tabačka Kulturfabrik, The Cuba Libre, SSUŠ Filmová, Hotel ROCA, Czech Tourism Slovensko, Bratislava Region Tourism, Pan-European University, Translata,