Special festival: Meet Slovak films

Last year’s festival was a hit

J. Lehotský: NinaJ. Lehotský: Nina (Source: Source: Courtesy of Ninafilm)

Last year’s festival was a hit, organisers of the Week of Slovak Films 2018 said, adding that almost 1.5 million people came to cinemas to watch works of local cinematography. As well, two national films made it to the Top 10 most-visited movies in Slovakia last year – for the first time ever – and Slovakia marked the biggest percentage growth in number of visitors and gross revenues from cinemas in the whole European Union.

For foreigners, the week between April 9 and 15 represents a rare opportunity to see Slovak movies with English subtitles; most of the films, especially feature films and long documentaries, have already been screened at film festivals, and thus have English subtitles.

In total, the festival will screen 39 films that premiered in 2017, with a majority (22) of feature films but also 12 documentaries and 5 animated cartoons.

Apart from the Lumière cinema in Špitálska 4 in Bratislava, the Week of Slovak Films will take place also in Banská Bystrica, Žilina, Košice, Nitra, Trnava, Trenčín, Martin and Spišská Nová Ves.

What is on offer during the Week of Slovak Films

Among the movies to be screened, of Slovak and Slovak co-production, are for example: Atlantis, 2003; The Ice Mother; Pokot; Detour on the Path to Perfect Illusion; The Filth; The Garden Store Trilogy; Barefoot; The Kidnapping; Dogg; The Line; The Little Crusader; Nina; The Little Harbour; Out; documentaries The World According to Daliborek; Ten Years of Love, The Hole in the Head, The Grey Lizard Conspiracy, The Heavy Heart; The Wolf from Royal Vineyard Street (documentary about director Jan Němec); Mečiar (documentary about one-time Slovak autocratic prime minister); Addicted to Altitude (documentary about Czechoslovak extreme climbing); The Sunrise Hotel (combined documentary); short films 39 Weeks and 6 Days, the Yellow; the animated movie The Oddsockeaters.

Accompanying events – in Slovak – will include an exhibition of scene designs by Viliam Gruska and Roman Rjachovský, a seminar with film reviewer Pavol Branko, a quiz, a masterclass of cinematographer Martin Žiaran, expert panels on Slovak film science, and debates after the screenings (in Bratislava) of the movies Addicted to Altitude, The Line (and Všetko Alebo Nič), Mečiar and The Kidnapping.

Sun in a Net prize

Part of the week presenting Slovak movies shot during the past year is also the ceremony of awarding the Sun in a Net prizes from the film academy.

On April 6, at 20:30, winners in 16 categories selected by jurors, as well as one by audience vote, will be announced. Also, two architects will be given a prize for set design: Viliam J. Gruska and Roman Rjachovský. Gruska’s TV film The Path across the Danube (Chodník cez Dunaj, director Miloslav Luther, 1989) will be screened with French subtitles, and Rjachovský’s The Death of Mr. Goluža (1982, director Zivko Nikolic) will be shown on April 8, at 18:30/16:30, respectively) in the Lumière cinema. Some of the works of these two filmmakers will be also shown on the public-service TV channel, RTVS.

Pavol Branko will be given a Special Award for his lifelong contribution to Slovak film science and film reviewing.

”We thought we would like to present also to some other, lesser known professions connected with movies, and thus we chose to award Gruska and Rjachovský as architects and set designers,” Martin Šulík, the chairman of the co-organiser, the Slovak Film and TV Academy, explained for the media.

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