tefan Kvietik, Slovak icon of the screen and stage, has been chosen to receive the Art Film Fest IFF Festival President’s Award from Milan Lasica.

An actor who needs no introduction.The obstinate Pirin from The Copper Tower, Samo Pichanda from Millennial Bee, the industrious Urban Habdža of Red Wine, the conflicted prisoner Komínek…Štefan Kvietik rightfully belongs among Slovakia’s acting legends.“Every character enriched me, not just professionally, but as a person,” he says.


25 years ago, you decided to hang up your acting hat and leave the Slovak National Theatre. Despite that, you continue to be seen on television in numerous iconic films.If one happens to be on, do you still watch it?

Of course I do.Not out of vanity, but to relive the experience of all the people I met and worked with on a particular project.That is and will always be the greatest treasure in my repository of acting memories.


You first major role was the prisoner Komínek in Peter Solan’s drama The Boxer and Death.How do you rate that experience in hindsight?What was it like to work with director Peter Solan?

It isn’t the first time that I think back on Peter Solan with esteem and gratitude.For me at the time, his invitation to play Komínek was an extraordinary acting opportunity.And what’s more, portraying this dramatic character placed me in several interesting circumstances.Those who have seen the film know that a significant portion of his story plays out in the ring.That demanded, above all, a certain physical preparedness.And so, under the guidance of my coach, Velický, I trained for several hours daily.That was just one of the circumstances, albeit a significant one.No less important to me was the fact that some of my acting colleagues were from abroad. And the circumstances under which I had to gain weight during the shoot, my dietary regimen? That I won’t reveal.But I can tell you that no chemicals were involved.


Characters like Pirin from The Copper Tower, Samo Pichanda from Millennial Bee and Urban Habdža of Red Wineare as legendary as the films themselves.Which of your films holds a special place in your memories, and why?

Selecting from among them in any way is very difficult for me, since each has its own unique qualities, whether it be the original idea, the story, the setting, the director or the cast.I can only say that it was thanks to this rich variety of films that I was offered such a diversity of film roles.


You describe collaborations with great performers as one of the “steps of happiness” in your lovely, fortunate life.What was the greatest part about acting for you?

The chance to live so many lives.After all, each role is a different character, destiny, life story.This has enriched me, not just professionally, but as a person.


This year you’re set to become a laureate of Milan Lasica’s AFF Festival President’s Award.How do you feel about the award?

If you receive and accept an act of kindness from someone, let’s say a friendly smile, an affectionate caress, a warm hug, a trusting handshake or a verbal expression of praise and gratitude, you should appreciate the gesture and be thankful for it.Provided that it’s sincere, of course.


The festival regularly awards and spotlights illustrious actors.What in your opinion distinguishes an average actor from a true luminary?

The depth of their talent and their ability to empathize with every situation and circumstance that their roles may present them with during the creative process.


Mária Galajdová


The film The Boxer and Death from the Art Film Fest IFF Festival President’s Award section is playing on:

22 June | 4:15 pm

Kulturpark 2 JOJ Cinema