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Slovak films prove so successful that film awards become annual

The most condensed overview of Slovak cinematography is the Week of Slovak Film that takes place in April.

Rudolf Urc recevies the Sun in the Net 2017 for special contribution to cinematography went to Rudolf Urc.(Source: TASR)

Slovak films shot in the past year were not just successful at international festivals – in Rotterdam and Berlin, member of the Board of the Slovak Film and TV Academy, Marek Leščák, said shortly before the opening of the Slovak film week on April 3, but also managed to attract mass audiences to local cinemas. More national movies attractive to local audiences are expected.

The previously biennial Sun in the Net awards have now been made annual, Mirka Brezovská of the LITA civic association (which represents the rights of artists) noted. The week is becoming more and more condensed and it gets harder to fit all the films made into the time available, head of the Slovak Film and TV Academy (SFTA), Martin Šulík, said for The Slovak Spectator.

The seventh Sun in the Net awards bestowed for Slovak films by the Slovak Film and TV Academy (SFTA) on April 7, was marked mostly by two movies, Masaryk and Učiteľka / The Teacher. Masaryk received eight prizes and The Teacher four, the TASR newswire wrote.

Masaryk from director Julius Ševčík got the award for the best actor in a main role (Karol Roden), best actor in a supporting role (Oldřich Kaiser), the best cinematography (Martin Štrba), the best editing (Marek Opatrný), the best film sound (Viktor Ekrt and Pavel Rejholec), the best architect/stage designer (Milan Býček), the best costumes (Katarína Štrbová-Bieliková) and best masks (Lukáš Král).

The Teacher got the prizes for best directing (Jan Hřebejk), best actress in a main role (Zuzana Mauréry), the best script (Petr Jarchovský) and the best film music (Michal Novinsky).

Other categories were: the best documentary (Steam on the River, directors Robert Kirchhoff and Filip Remunda) the best film directing (Tomáš Weinreb and Petr Kazda for I, Olga Hepnarová) the best actress in a supporting role (Zuzana Kronerová for Marika in the Red Captain) film sound in a documentary (Lukáš Kasprzyk for Richard Müller: This Is Not Me).

The Sun in the Net award for special contribution to Slovak cinematography went to dramaturgist, script-writer, director, publicist and teacher Rudolf Urc who, being a dissident and forbidden to work in documentaries, developed animated films to an unprecedented level, including the first Slovak animated cartoon, Jánošík (by cartoonist Viktor Kubal).

A novelty this time round was the online voting of the wider public for the best national movie which was won by The Teacher.

SFTA head comments on Slovak movies

Slovak films shot in the past year were not just successful at international festivals – in Rotterdam and Berlin, member of the Board of the Slovak Film and TV Academy, Marek Leščák, said shortly before the opening of the Slovak film week on April 3 but also managed to attract mass audiences to local cinemas. More national movies attractive to local audiences are expected.

The previously biennial Sun in the Net awards have now been made annual, Mirka Brezovská of the LITA civic association (which represents the rights of artists) noted. The week is becoming more and more condensed and it gets harder to fit all the films made into the time available, head of the Slovak Film and TV Academy (SFTA), Martin Šulík, said for The Slovak Spectator.

The seventh Sun in the Net awards bestowed for Slovak films by the Slovak Film and TV Academy (SFTA) on April 7, was marked mostly by two movies, Masaryk and Učiteľka / The Teacher. Masaryk received eight prizes and The Teacher four, the TASR newswire wrote.

Two films dominate

Masaryk from director Julius Ševčík got the award for the best actor in a main role (Karol Roden), best actor in a supporting role (Oldřich Kaiser), the best cinematography (Martin Štrba), the best editing (Marek Opatrný), the best film sound (Viktor Ekrt and Pavel Rejholec), the best architect/stage designer (Milan Býček), the best costumes (Katarína Štrbová-Bieliková) and best masks (Lukáš Král).

The Teacher got the prizes for best directing (Jan Hřebejk), best actress in a main role

“There was no selection for the Sun in the Net and the Week of Slovak Film,” Martin Šulík of SFTA said, “and we included all films that fulfilled the criteria stated in the statutes – like last year the film for young children, or sometimes short or animated films – as they also form our national cinematography.”

The number of feature films and documentaries has not changed, Šulík added, specifying that what was different now was the smaller number of animated movies – three – which was not sufficient to form a special category to evaluate them and award a prize (as five is the minimum number for competition).

“A film takes a year, two or even more to make and it is a gamble, in the sense that it is hard to say what films will be released for distribution in a certain year,” SFTA chairman explained.

A trend he stressed as more general and not typical just for Slovakia or the Czech Republic but more widely for central and the whole of Europe, is co-productions. “This is good, as Slovak film-makers are confronted with their Czech and Polish colleagues and get to see their works in a wider context,” he noted.

As for the laureate of the special award, Rudolf Urc, Šulík stressed that this film-maker impacted national cinematography both on a practical, authorial and theoretical level, mostly in the genres of documentaries and animated movies. Also his studies on film-making and monographs on animated films and on Viktor Kubal, as well as journalism and his lecturing at Bratislava Academy of performing Arts, made history in national film-making and art. His post-1989 documents – after he was again allowed to work – helped capture the political twists and turns of communist-Czechoslovakia’s political and social life.

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