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Art Film Festival achieves record attendance

The only really “big” film festival in Slovakia takes place every year in Trenčianske Teplice at the end of June and this year’s festival, the 19th, brought 194 movies from 53 countries as well as 229 screenings, the SITA newswire wrote.

The only really “big” film festival in Slovakia takes place every year in Trenčianske Teplice at the end of June and this year’s festival, the 19th, brought 194 movies from 53 countries as well as 229 screenings, the SITA newswire wrote.

Nine of the films shown at Art Film Festival 2011 were among those drawing rave reviews in Cannes and other festivals such as Berlin, Venice and Locarno. The festival’s guests included: world-renowned Serbian director Emir Kusturica, who received a Golden Camera award; French script-writer Jean-Claude Carriere who has collaborated with directors like L. Bunuel, M. Forman and P. Brooke; János Bán, the actor from the cult Czechoslovak movie Vesničko má středisková (My Sweet Little Village); and Czech actor and director Zdeněk Svěrák. The latter two received the Actor’s Mission award.

Bán renewed his ties with Slovak Marián Labuda, his acting colleague from that movie, after 26 years and they were nearly inseparable with so much to share with each other. Carriere gave lectures on scriptwriting. He likened a film script to a caterpillar which has all the future colours of a butterfly but without the ability to fly yet. A finished script is not the end of a literary adventure but rather the beginning of a cinematographic one, Carriere told the Sme daily.

Slovak costume designer Milan Čorba was awarded a Golden Camera for lifelong contribution to Slovak cinematography. Slovak actress Zuzana Krónerová was honoured with a brass board with her name mounted in the festival park. Fifteen years ago, her father – popular Slovak (and Czechoslovak) actor Jozef Króner – received such a board as well.

Fifteen films competed for the festival’s top prizes, the Blue Angel, judged in five categories. Alexei Fedorchenko from Russia received a Blue Angel for the Best Film for Ovsianki (Silent Souls); Jan Komasa from Poland received a Blue Angel for directing Sala samobójcow (Suicide Room); Judit Bárdos received the award for Best Actress for her performance in The House, joined by Miroslav Krobot as Best Actor in the same film. The Best Short Film award went to Tussilado, directed by Jonas Odell from Sweden. Special mentions went to Markus Schleinzer from Austria for his film Michael and to Li Hongqia from China for Winter Vacation.

The Art Film Festival recorded its highest number of visitors ever, 43,890. “The rate of visitors at screenings and some of the accompanying events increased again to record numbers, even though we had to give up the biggest theatre and two open-air cinematographs,” Peter Nágel, the head of the festival, told SITA.

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