The closing ceremony was held in the spirit of a pleasant atmosphere and important messages.

The 30th jubilee edition of the Art Film IFF is coming to an end and on Thursday evening the closing ceremony took place in the Kunsthalle, at which the Blue Angel, the Golden Camera and the Actor’s Mission honorary award were presented. The awarding ceremony was held in a pleasant spirit, but important social messages were also conveyed. The well-known moderator Bruno Ciberej led the festival audience through the festive evening. He opened the ceremony by presenting the JOJ Cinema Audience Award for a feature-length film. The highest number of audience votes and the award went to Katalina Moldovai’s Without Air. TV JOJ reporter Katarína Kleknerová announced the awarded film.

In the International Competition of Short Films category, the professional jury decided to give special recognition to three short films, namely An Orange from Jaffa, Cross My Heart and Hope to Die and finally Nun or Never!. But the final moment of the Short Film Competition was the Blue Angel, awarded to Bill Morrison’s Incident, a reconstruction of the 2018 Chicago police shooting. The American director spoke to the festival audience and expressed his gratitude through a video message. Czech filmmaker Martin Kuba, a jury member, said at the award ceremony: “Choosing the winner was not easy at all. It’s rare to see so many quality and strong short films in one competition. However, finally, we opted for the film Incident, which cleverly uses modern surveillance technology to reconstruct the tragedy from all human perspectives. The fragments of the incident of illegal shooting by the police put together a larger picture of society, fear and prejudice, which is the driving force behind the recurrence of such tragedies.

After the short film competition came the newly established competition category International Competition of Central and Eastern European Films. The jury awarded the Blue Angel for the best film from Central and Eastern Europe to the feature debut of Polish director Klaudiusz Chrostowski, Ultima Thule. The award was presented by the jury chair Sylvia Huszár from Hungary and the Audiovisual Fund director Vladimír Burianek. The director of the winning film, Klaudiusz Chrostowski, received the award in person. In his speech, he thanked the crew members and revealed his intention to shoot another film from the Polish-Slovak border area. The jury awarded special recognition to the animated film Pelikan Blue, directed by László Csáki.

Three special recognitions were also awarded in the acting category. The first was earned by actor Clément Faveau for his role in the comedy drama Holy Cow!. Recognition also went to the female acting duo of the winning film Goodbye Julia – Eiman Yousif and Siran Riak. The third recognition went to the Japanese film Rei by debut director Toshihiko Tanaka. Toshihika’s thank-you speech was delivered via a video call from distant Hokkaido, and he revealed to the festival audience that he was going to shoot his next film there.

In the Blue Angel category for Best Actress, the award went to Danish actress Trine Dyrholm for her performance in The Girl with the Needle. The award was presented by the chairman of the jury of the feature film competition, Kurdish-Swiss director and screenwriter Mano Khalil and Ing. Ľudovít Šipoš, a Member of the Board of Directors and the Financial Director of Východoslovenská energetika (Eastern Slovakia Energy Company), to the director of The Girl with the Needle, Magnus von Horn, as the award-winning actress was unable to attend the festival in person. The Blue Angel for Best Male Actor went to Danish actor Sebastian Bull for his role in Gustav Möller’s prison drama Sons. Sebastian Bull received the award in person. Martina Fatykova, Marketing Manager, TIPOS National Lottery Company and Mano Khalil, member of the jury, presented it to him. “This is my first award in my life and I will always remember it,” the award-winning actor said in his thank-you speech.

The jury awarded the Blue Angel for Best Director to director Magnus von Horn for his haunting drama The Girl with the Needle, inspired by the horrific events in Denmark in the period shortly after the end of WWI. This was Magnus’ second time on stage and the award was presented to him by Mano Khalil and Gergely Santha, on behalf of EUK Force. “Thank you very much to the festival and the jury for having a good taste. It’s a film about the unwanted and how to remain a good person even when the world around you is evil,” said Magnus von Horn in his thank-you speech.

The Golden Camera Award for outstanding contribution to the field of cinema was received at the ceremony by the famous Ukrainian director Serhiy Loznitsa from the hands of the festival’s art director Martin Palúch. In his speech, the art director Martin Palúch revealed interesting facts from the filmography of the famous director. In 1996, the Art Film IFF selected one of Loznitsa’s first films, the documentary Today We Are Going to Build a House (1995, co-directed by Marat Magambetov), for the Student Film Competition. “It is a great honour for me! We must have the opportunity to make films about important and difficult issues in our history. I say this because I feel that the ground is beginning to disappear from under our feet and it is important to draw attention to this and to make films like this. Peace to Ukraine and all of us,” said the winner of the Golden Camera award, Serhiy Loznitsa, in his speech.

Since 1995, the Actor’s Mission Honorary Award has been presented at the Art Film IFF to actors for their outstanding contribution to the art of acting. Two honorary awards were presented at the ceremony. The first Actor’s Mission Award went to the actress Antónia Líšková. The actress began her career in Rome and became known for her numerous roles in Italian films. She received the award from Adriana Kronerová, who worked closely with Lišková on the series Mistresses and the films Happy New Year and Happy New Year 2: Dobro došli.

The second honorary award, the Actor’s Mission Award, went to the Slovak actor Maroš Kramár. The award was presented to him by his son Timur Kramár, who in a moving speech described Maroš not only as an actor but also as a great father. “Thank you very much, Art Film, for this award. Film is a wonderful thing and my work is also wonderful. However, lately, I’ve been encountering this notion that ‘you’re an actor and don’t meddle in politics.’ However, I think this is not the right view. Film, theatre and culture in general are not here for entertainment only. Culture should also educate and teach us. I think it is very important in these times for culture to mirror this period,” said the laureate of the Actor’s Mission award in his thank-you speech.

The final point of the closing ceremony was the presentation of the Blue Angel Award for the Best Feature Film. The professional jury awarded this prestigious award to the Sudanese drama Goodbye, Julia, which tells the story of the friendship of two women with different religious beliefs. Director Mohamed Kordofani arrived in person in Košice and received the award from the jury member Man Khalil. “I shot this film a year and a half ago. When the post-production of the film started, we said that after finishing the film, we had to release it at home in Sudan, but three months after we finished it, the war began in Sudan. Since then I have been travelling the world showing this film. I’m a bit tired of it, but I’m lucky compared to the Sudanese who stayed in Sudan. I therefore call on the politicians to stop this war and I call on you to put pressure on the authorities that can help Sudan,” said Kordofani.

The 30th edition of the International Film Festival Art Film will take place thanks to the support of:

Organiser: ART FILM FEST s.r.o.;

Co-organizers: City of Košice, K13 – Košice cultural centers, ART FILM FEST, n.o., LGM, s.r.o., FORLIVE;

The festival was financially supported by: Audiovisual Fund

The festival is co-financed by the Košice self-governing region from the Terra Incognita program;

Senior advertising partner: Slovenská elektrizačná prenosová sústava, a.s.;

Main partners: Národná lotériová spoločnosť TIPOS, Východoslovenská energetika, EUK-Force, SPP, CODES Brand House;

Automotive partner: PORSCHE; Official hotel: Hotel Yasmin;

Main media partners: TV JOJ, Pravda, Eurotelevízia;

Advertising partners: construction company Adefex, Jadrová a vyraďovacia spoločnosť, a.s.,  Best Press, U. S. Steel Košice, Betpres, Transpetrol, SLOVAKIA TRAVEL, ANTIK Telecom, Cinema Úsmev, CORE LABS, Lucka spring water;

Technological partners: NOV, ZEBRA, DELTA OnLine, ARICOMA, BigON;

Official contractors: DKC Veritas, Eastern Slovak Museum in Košice, Krušovice BOHÉM, BARZZUZ, DOMOS SLOVAKIA, Restaurant Contessa, Café Slávia; Official wine: Kubbo Select and Ostrožovič;

Media partners: JOJ PLAY, JOJ 24, Film Europe, Rádio KOŠICE,, Forbes, Korzár, Slovenka, SITA, TASR, See & Go, BigMedia, Košice City Guide,, Visit Košice,,, MOJAkultúra;

Partners: Východoslovenská vodárenská spoločnosť, Nadácia CEF, Slovnaft, AUPARK Košice, Carmeuse Slovakia, JOJ Cinema, Hydrotour travel agency, Taper, YumEarth, KAIFER advokátska kancelária s.r.o., Deva, WITKOWITZ SLOVAKIA, Košice Airport, ECO Technologies, CPK Slovakia, Casa Trade – Casablanca cafe, DC MEDICAL, KPK Reklama, Kvitok, HAIR Factory Košice, Kvety Garomi, Air Taxi, Tesco Stores SR, a.s.; Local Nomad Tours, Red Fox Golf Club, TATRATEA, Slovenský filmový ústav (Slovak Film Institute);

Financial awards partners: CANON, Filmarina;

Catering partners: Ohnisko – Fire Dining & Brew Bar, Pub u kohúta, El Nacional, Maiko Sushi, Café de Paris, Tabačka Kulturfabrik; BISTRO Blanc, Andiamo GROUP, BENZE; Red Velvet Cake Bar; Tahiti, Café Veritas