Documentary on Slovak paramilitary group wins award

The ceremony ended the six-day film festival in Bratislava.

Slovak Levies during training.Slovak Levies during training. (Source: Facebook)

The documentary When the War Comes by the Czech director Jan Gebert, depicting the practices of the Slovak paramilitary group Slovenskí Branci (Slovak Levies), won the main prize at the One World international film festival.

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Read also: Documentary shows civilians training for war Read more 

It depicts 18-year-old Peter, who at first sight is no different from his peers. However, a few years ago he established the Slovak Levies. Since then, more than 200 young men have undergone intensive military training in the Slovak woods, wearing camouflage clothing and carrying the models of submachine guns. Peter believes his organisation has a future. He plans to take off the uniform one day and enter politics, as the TASR newswire reported.

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The documentary was selected by the international festival jury composed of Slovak director and producer Iveta Grófová, British director and producer Mike Chamberlain, and Czech director and teacher Václav Kadrnka.

Other documents awarded, too

Apart from When the War Comes, the jury gave special recognition to the documentary The Limits of Work by Apolena Rychlíková. It follows the Czech investigative journalist Saša Uhlová, who spent six months in jobs with the worst salaries to show how bad some working conditions in the Czech Republic are.

The Austrian documentary Blue by Karin Holden won the Audience Prize. It does not only report about the alarming condition of oceans and environment, but also captures inspiring stories of people who have become activists, TASR reported.

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During the six-day festival in Bratislava, 96 screenings of 67 Slovak and foreign documentaries took place. There were another 29 screenings for schools attended by more than 2,500 students.

Moreover, the festival welcomed more than 60 guests, including directors, producers, environmentalists and reporters from Europe and the USA.

The festival was visited by about 10,000 people in Bratislava. It will now move to Košice and then to 20 other Slovak towns, TASR reported.

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