Slovak 80's films a hit on DVD

A Fountain for Susan is the most popular film in the SFÚ's 80's series.
photo: SFÚ archive

MORE than 100,000 DVDs from the Slovak Film Institute's (SFÚ) collection of Slovak films from the 1980s have been sold since hitting the market between October 2 and December 4 last year. The collection was released in cooperation with the Petit Press publishing house, and with financial support from the Culture Ministry.

Fontána pre Zuzanu (A Fountain for Susan) by Dušan Rapoš has sold the most copies at 16,106. Pásla kone na betóne (She Kept Crying For The Moon) by Štefan Uher was second, with 14,131 copies sold. The ten-film series also included Sladké starosti (Sweet Troubles) by Juraj Herz, Ja milujem, ty miluješ (I Love, You Love) by Dušan Hanák, Noční jazdci (Night Riders) by Martin Hollý, Chodník cez Dunaj (A Path Across The Danube) by Miloslav Luther, Pomocník (The Assistant) by Zoro Záhon, Iba deň (Only A Day) by Michal Ruttkay, Vladimír Štric and Kvetoslav Hečko, Južná pošta (The Southern Mail) by Stanislav Párnický) and Iná láska (A Different Love) by Dušan Trančík.

The sold 100,000 DVDs are equivalent to the number of tickets bought to attend Slovak movies over the last seven years.

The institute and Petit Press plan to continue the successful project this autumn with the release of Slovak films from the 1970s. This ten-film series will include Keby som mal pušku (If I Had A Gun) by Štefan Uher, Ľalie poľné (Wild Lilies) by Elo Haveta, Medená veža and Orlie pierko (The Copper Tower and Eagle Feather) by Martin Hollý, Pacho, hybský zbojník (Pacho The Bandit Of Hybe) by Martin Ťapák, Postav dom, zasaď strom (Build A House, Plant A Tree) by Juraj Jakubisko and Ružové sny (Pink Dreams) by Dušan Hanák.

"The 1970s was one of the most difficult decades for Slovak film because the industry was under enormous ideological and political pressure," SFÚ director Peter Dubecký said. "I strongly believe interest in this series will be at least as high as in the films from the 1980s."

Plans to release Slovak films from the 1960s are in the pipeline as well.

The Slovak Film Institute started remastering films from its archives in 2003. But to be put into digital format, the films had to be sent to the Ateliéry Bonton laboratories in Zlín, Czech Republic, because Slovak studios do not have access to the necessary equipment.

Barabáš's Amazonia gathers more awards

AMAZONIA VERTICAL, a documentary by Slovak filmmaker Pavol Barabáš, won the Viewers' Choice Award at the first International Mountain Film Festival held in the Slovenian towns of Ljubljana and Domžale between February 7 and 10. The international jury awarded Best Film to L'Abisso, a portrait of the subterranean world of caves in all their intricacies, by Italian director Alessandro Anderloni. The festival included 40 films by international directors.

Amazonia Vertical was filmed in 2004 in extreme natural conditions, and captures the nerve-racking adventures of four Slovak climbers on the flat-topped Venezuelan mountain of Auyan Tepui, the highest table mountain in the Amazon, where local Indians believe demons live. Peter "Becko" Ondrejovič managed the first successful climb to the peak, and was so fascinated by the mountain's vertical lines that he decided to return with friends. Amazonia Vertical, which was produced by K2 Studio, is a film that shows the power of nature and an adventure story about discovering a lost world.

The film has already received around 30 awards from international festivals.

Animated film sent to France

FILMMAKER Ivan Popovič has sent a short animated film, Kanál X (Canal X), he made with his son Dávid to a commission selecting movies for the International Animated Film Festival in Annecy, France.

"In terms of how things usually work in Slovakia, we made this film in record time - only ten days," Popovič, a well-known cartoonist, said to the TASR news wire. "The production of a three-and-a-half minute animated movie usually lasts nine to twelve months in Slovakia. I'm incredibly proud of how we managed this. Now it is important the jury picks the film and enters it into the main competition, which I believe will happen. An award would be nice. The film is very relevant, as it touches upon life on the blue planet."

Popovič has to wait two months for the jury's decision.

Annecy has been the venue for the Animated Film Festival since 1960. This year, it will be held from June 11 to 16.

By Jana Liptáková

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