AROUND SLOVAKIA

Slovak documentary to compete for an Oscar

SLOVAKIA will send the documentary film Hranica (The Border) about a village divided between two countries to compete for a prestigious US Academy Award. The Slovak Film and TV Academy (SFTA) made the decision after a vote, the ČTK newswire was told by Zuzana Mistríková, its vice-chair.

SLOVAKIA will send the documentary film Hranica (The Border) about a village divided between two countries to compete for a prestigious US Academy Award. The Slovak Film and TV Academy (SFTA) made the decision after a vote, the ČTK newswire was told by Zuzana Mistríková, its vice-chair.

Although several films, including feature films, were put forward for consideration by SFTA last year, just three movies made it to the shortlist this year. Legenda o lietajúcom Cypriánovi (The Flying Cyprian), the only feature film, did not get the nod. Nor did the third film, Mongolsko: V tieni Džingischána (Mongolia – In the Shadow of Genghis Khan) a documentary by Pavol Barabáš.

The selected film, The Border by Jaro Vojtek, tells the life stories of inhabitants of the village of Slemence, which was divided into Ukrainian and Czechoslovak parts after World War II. “The barbed wire recklessly put among the houses divided not only the local cemetery and lands, but also families for whole decades – sometimes forever. In some cases, parents were left on one side of the wire and their children were on the other side,” the film’s makers write on its website. The documentary has already won a prize at the International Festival of Documentaries in Jihlava and was screened at a festival in Rotterdam.

Mistríková told the TASR newswire that fewer than half of the Slovak Academy's 119 regular and 18 honorary members voted and The Border got 60 percent of their votes, Flying Cyprian 23 percent and Mongolia 7 percent.

To compete for this Oscar category, a movie must be a feature film that premiered between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2010 and was regularly distributed in movie theatres; other conditions concern the moviemakers and the language. A majority of the filmmakers must come from the country that nominates the film and the language must not be English. In recent years, Slovakia sent the movies Báthory and Jánošík to compete for the Oscar, but the US Academy rejected them, claiming their makers were not prevailingly Slovak.

Last year, a movie about a Jewish family during World War II, Nedodržaný sľub (Broken Promise) was nominated by SFTA but failed to win the US Academy’s approval.

The US Academy Awards will be held at the end of February next year.


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