First stop Cannes, next stop Košice for Palme d’Or winner

Art Film Fest and the distribution company Film Europe have incredible news: thanks to their combined efforts, the winning film from the world’s most prestigious film festival will be screened at Slovakia’s most prominent and popular film festival, held from 17 to 25 June in Košice.

In a victory that was as unexpected as it was sensational, Ken Loach triumphed at the recent 69th Cannes IFF 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 the upcoming Art Film Fest’s programme.

“This is outstanding news for our festival. As I see it, predicting the winner at Cannes is worse than Russian roulette,” noted Peter Nágel, the festival’s artistic director. “Ivan Hronec is a brilliant strategist, and he had several irons in the fire in the main competition, but Loach’s film was somehow lost in the mix. The exceptional outcome deserves respect all the more, and I am delighted that Be2Can Starter, thanks to our cooperation with Film Europe, can feature this icing on our festival cake.

The latest Art Film Fest kicks off 17 June, precisely on the renowned winning director’s 80th birthday. This year marked Ken Loach’s 13th inclusion in the Cannes programme, and with his second Palme d’Or, he now ranks among the immortal pantheon of other two-time winners of the world’s most coveted film festival award, including Francis Ford Coppola, Shohei Imamura, Bille August, Emir Kusturica, the Dardenne brothers and Michael Haneke.

“Art Film Fest’s Be2Can Starter will start with a bang – the Cannes grand-prize winner. I’m glad that the cooperation between Film Europe and Art Film Fest is off to such a fine start,” said Film Europe president Ivan Hronec, making no secret of his enthusiasm.

While I, Daniel Blake is a variation on Loach’s genre of choice – the social drama – this time around he 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 found 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 title role.


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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, Slovnaft

Official festival automobile: Hyundai

Official carrier: ČSA

Logistics partner: DHL

Official festival hotel: Hotel Yasmin

Sponsors: Herberia, Barzzuz, Ida Sandor, HC Košice

Official suppliers: NOV s.r.o. Zebra, Budiš

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, TV JOJ, Rádio Košice, Film Europe Channel, Forbes, Kam do mesta,, TV NAŠA

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