FEBIOFEST 2012, the 19th version of this international film festival, will again offer a host of movies first in Bratislava and then in other Slovak towns and cities. The festival was first organised in 1993 by FEBIO, an independent movie and television production company, to show Czech and Slovak films and has grown into an international event. The festival’s remains focused on domestically-produced films but many foreign movies are screened as well. The festival currently is split into two nearly independent sections with a Czech version being held in Prague and touring that country and a Slovak version.
The Slovak version present films in 11 cinemas in seven cities with 15 programme sections. After showing films in the Slovak capital between March 29 and April 3, it will move on to Prešov, Martin, Banská Bystrica, Trnava, Trenčín and Košice. The festival is prepared by the Association of Slovak Film Clubs (ASFK) and the Slovak Film Institute (SFÚ). There will be six sections of Slovak movies this year, including a profile of the late Dežo Ursíny, a legendary Slovak musician and composer.
“The festival will present one of Slovakia’s most original musicians as an equally interesting filmmaker,” Eva Rebollo of the ASFK told the media, noting that six of Ursíny’s films will be screened. Another Slovak personality to be featured is director Martin Šulík who will celebrate his 50th birthday with the screening of his feature film Neha (Tenderness) released in 1991. Rebollo added that “Šulík will celebrate together with the cult movie Slnko v sieti (Sun in a Net) directed by Štefan Uher in a section called 2x50”.
There will be a strong presence of documentary films, including a selection of works by Zuzana Piussi. The section called Febiofest for Children will screen three classic Slovak fairytale films: Perinbaba directed by Juraj Jakubisko; Kráľ drozdia brada (King Thrushbeard) directed by Martin Luther; and Soľ nad zlato (Salt over Gold) directed by Martin Hollý.
Special tributes will be paid to Slovak cameraman Igor Luther, who worked with domestic filmmakers as well as with Volker Schlondorf of Germany and Andrzej Wajda of Poland, and Anton Marenčin, a well-known Slovak scriptwriter, reviewer, and translator.
Festival audiences will be able to see Slovak premieres of films such as Pavol Barabáš’s Pygmejovia, deti džungle (Pygmies, Children of the Jungle) and an animated film called Posledný autobus (The Last Bus) by Martin Snopek and Ivana Laučíková. Other featured films have already run in cinemas such as the Slovak-produced Dom (The House), and the Czech-produced Odcházení (Leaving) and Alois Nebel.
Foreign films that will be part of Febiofest include recent hits like Vénus Noire (Black Venus) from France, We Need to Talk about Kevin from the UK and the Golden Berlin Bear and Oscar laureate Nader and Simin, A Separation from Iranian director Asghar Farhadi. Profiles of foreign filmmakers will focus on Aki Kaurismäki of Finland and Michelangelo Antonioni of Italy.
Agnieszka Holland, a director of Polish origin, will personally attend the opening evening on March 29 and present her film called In the Darkness that was recently nominated for an Academy Award. She will also receive an award from the ASFK for her contribution to world cinematography and Martin Šulík will receive an award for his contribution to Slovak cinematography. More information is available at www.febiofest.sk.