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DVD boom continues

THE MARKET for DVDs worldwide is ever increasing, and Slovakia is no exception. The sale of DVDs in Slovakia, in the first half of this year, reached 150,000 - more than double compared with the same period last year.
And while last year only four percent of the country's households possessed DVD players, compared with 75 percent of American households, this number is expected to rise to 9.2 percent this year, according to Pavel Borowiec of DVD Group.cz.


THE PICTURES of the Old World by Dušan Hanák.
photo: Courtesy of the Slovak Film Institute

THE MARKET for DVDs worldwide is ever increasing, and Slovakia is no exception. The sale of DVDs in Slovakia, in the first half of this year, reached 150,000 - more than double compared with the same period last year.

And while last year only four percent of the country's households possessed DVD players, compared with 75 percent of American households, this number is expected to rise to 9.2 percent this year, according to Pavel Borowiec of DVD Group.cz.

Slovak film houses are adapting to this trend. By 2003 there were 26 Slovak titles. That number was expected to at least double this year. However, due to technical difficulties concerning the poor conditions in which the films were stored, this will take longer. Nevertheless, more than 100 DVDs are currently under preparation in Slovakia.

"I think that Slovakia can expect better times," said Jozef Krajčovič of Dikrama.

Several new Slovak DVDs will be released onto the market in the next couple of months. They include the successful TV musical Neberte nám princeznú, a modern version of Snow White, starring pop legends Marika Gombitová, Miro Žbirka, and Marie Rottrová; Na skle maľované, a renowned piece of musical theatre; Dušan Rapoš's documentary on well-known Czech singer and philosopher Karel Kryl, and cult TV satires Kubo and Rysavá jalovica, starring the inimitable Jozef Kroner. The Radošinské naivné divadlo theatre company has recorded one of its plays, Človečina, and as a bonus offers a talk show by comedian Milan Lasica. Last but not least, cartoon shepherds Kubko and Maťko provide bedtime entertainment with their animated stories for children.

The Slovak Film Institute, in cooperation with Dikrama, is currently working on nine DVDs. The re-issue of Dušan Hanák's film The Pictures of the Old World, the first Slovak DVD put out by a Slovak company, is the latest addition to the market, along with the Zbojnícka trilógia, a three-set compilation of Slovak feature and animated films about the national folk hero Juraj Jánošík.

In the near future, the Film Institute will bring three Slovak fairytales to the DVD market: Soľ nad zlato (Salt Is Better Than Gold) by Martin Hollý; Mahuliena, zlatá panna (Mahuliena, The Golden Maiden) by Miloslav Luther, and Viktor Kubal's animated feature film Krvavá pani, about the cruel countess of Čachtice Castle. Preparations are also underway to release two films each by Elo Havetta and Vladimír Bahna, as well as Ružové sny (Rose Dreams) by Dušan Hanák

DVDs vary in the range of films, languages, factual information and bonuses they offer. Miro Ulman of the Slovak Film Institute said: "We aim to include the maximum of bonuses on the disks, which means that we shoot additional interviews with directors and actors."

At the end of the month, Dikrama plans to start a project entitled Visualisation of Slovakia, aimed at bringing and preserving Slovakia's cultural life on disk.

And readers of PC Space magazine will find a DVD version of Rapoš's Fontána pre Zuzanu (A Fountain For Susan) included in its December issue.

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