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Slovak film wins awards at Palm Springs festival

AFTER several barren years, Slovak cinematography has seen an optimistic upturn recently, with some domestic films even garnering prizes abroad. Dom/The House, the feature-film debut of Slovak scriptwriter and director Zuzana Liová has now won a prestigious set of awards at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. The jury judged it the best foreign movie without distribution in the US. It also got the New Voices/New Visions Award, according to the festival website.

AFTER several barren years, Slovak cinematography has seen an optimistic upturn recently, with some domestic films even garnering prizes abroad. Dom/The House, the feature-film debut of Slovak scriptwriter and director Zuzana Liová has now won a prestigious set of awards at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. The jury judged it the best foreign movie without distribution in the US. It also got the New Voices/New Visions Award, according to the festival website.

The film’s script received the Krzystof Kieslowski Award in 2007 at the international scriptwriters’ workshop and contest ScripTeast. In June 2011 its stars Miroslav Krobot and Judit Bárdos won the Best Performance Blue Angel prize for the best actor/actress in a main role at the Art Film Fest in the Slovak town of Trenčianske Teplice, the SITA newswire wrote. At the Anonimul International Film Festival in Romania The House won the Audience Award, and at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in the Czech Republic it was picked for the Variety – 10 European Directors to Watch section.

Now, the list of prizes has grown with the first ever New Voices/New Vision award for a Czech or Slovak movie at the Palm Springs festival. This section of the competition includes ten new international talents making their feature-film debuts at the festival, with the additional criterion that the films selected are currently without a US distributor. The winner receives a sculpture designed by famed glass artist Dale Chihuly, the www.psfilmfest.org website wrote.

The jury stated, as quoted on the website: “Although the story told in The House is not a new one, we felt that the direction and performances took the film to the next level, and made us understand why a father may not be able to let go of his children, and also why they would want to leave. The motivations behind the characters felt real and made for a compelling film about a girl’s journey to adulthood.”

The film is about contemporary eastern Europe’s divisions – between generations, genders, economic strata, city and country – that are given incisive treatment in this family drama about an ambitious teen, her disowned elder sister and their dour, controlling father.

The House premiered in Slovak cinemas on September 29 last year (it was screened with English subtitles in the Lumiere cinema in Bratislava) and is still showing at some art cinemas and film clubs, SITA wrote. It is now screening at a film festival in Trieste, Italy, which began on January 19.

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