New festival opens minority issue

SLOVAKIA's first festival of films about minorities, the Minority Film Festival, will take place in Bratislava from September 12 to 14. The Mladosť Cinema and the Czech Centre, both located in Hviezdoslav Square, will showcase documentary, feature, and short films that deal with the subject of minorities and the issue of tolerance.
"The festival will be held, more than symbolically, right during the Pope's visit to Slovakia," said Miloslav Ščepka from the Barok Film organisation, the festival's organiser.


THE CZECH film Smradi (Brats) will be one of the films shown at the Minority Film Festival.
photo: SPI International

SLOVAKIA's first festival of films about minorities, the Minority Film Festival, will take place in Bratislava from September 12 to 14. The Mladosť Cinema and the Czech Centre, both located in Hviezdoslav Square, will showcase documentary, feature, and short films that deal with the subject of minorities and the issue of tolerance.

"The festival will be held, more than symbolically, right during the Pope's visit to Slovakia," said Miloslav Ščepka from the Barok Film organisation, the festival's organiser. "It will bring various aspects showing how cinematography deals with questions concerning minorities, their cohabitation and tolerance - with the aim of opening the issue, calling up a discussion."


SYLVIA Ivalu in Atanarjuat.
photo: Courtesy of Lot 47 Filmsl

The movies that will be shown come mainly from Czech and Slovak productions. Among them will be the Czech series by Martin Šmok and Peter Bok: Among Bedazzled Madmen, which portrays the Jewish revolt in Slovakia during the second world war, and its continuation Between Star and Half-moon, which captures the Jewish situation during post-war times and later in communist Czechoslovakia.

The festival opens Friday, September 12 with Zdeňek Tyc's film Smradi (Brats) and closes two days later with the comedy Jalla! Jalla! by Lebanese director Josef Fares, who is currently working in Sweden. Saturday's programme contains the first feature film ever written, produced, and directed by Inuits, the native peoples of northern Canada - Atanarjuat (Fast Runner).

During the festival's three evenings, bands playing music of minority genres will hold concerts starting at 18:00 in Hviezdoslav Square. Friday will feature Jewish music played by the Pressburger Klezmer Band, Sunday will host the Gypsy Band of Štefan Banyák, and Sunday will present Hungarian folk music performed by Bendő.

All of the musical performances as well as film presentations are free. For more information about the festival visit www.minority.host.sk.

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