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The first feature film by young director Iveta Grófová, Made in Ash (Až do mesta Aš) is harvesting positive reviews from international critics as well as festival awards. At the IFF Bratislava it won Unicredit Bank Award for the best Slovak picture that comes with a financial bonus of €3,000.
Time flies for all but for few it flies as fast as for those who like to spend it in the twilight of cinema theatres and for whom the projection lamp is all the sun they need. It seems as if we said “Hi!” only yesterday and time to say “Good-bye!” is almost here. But before it comes, be sure you make all the right moves and pick all the right movies today because final impressions from this year’s festival are very likely to stay with you for the whole year until we meet again at the Bratislava International Film Festival’s 15th edition next November.
Jan Ole Gerster’s debut feature film, Oh Boy, won three awards at the IFF Bratislava: Best Director Award, FIPRESCI Award and FEDEORA Award.
Sean Farnel is a curator and consultant specialized in festivals and digital platforms. He was a programmer at Toronto International Film Festival and programming director at Hot Docs. At this year’s IFF Bratislava he was a member of the Documentary Films Jury.
Our cine-feast may be heading to an end but there are still some delicacies to be dished out. For starters today, we highly recommend Made in Ash (Až do mesta Aš; 13:30, K9), a picture that demonstrates it is becoming worth giving Slovak films a try every now and then. In the words of respected film theoretician Martin Ciel, “it is an utterly modern film that keeps the finger on the pulse of what is going on in European cinema today. In the Slovak context, it is an exquisite and exceptional film.”
As part of this year’s Made in Slovakia section, the Bratislava film festival will present seven Slovak motion pictures that closely focus on different individuals’ life stories, traditionally exploring social issues. Some of them have already made it big at other film festivals while for the rest it will be a festival debut. In terms of format, they are all features and documentaries; however, the fact that we did not give a try to experimental or animated films this time round does not make our selection any less varied.
Jaime Rosales is one of the most prominent Spanish directors today. He visited the Bratislava film festival to present his film Solitary Fragments (La Soledad, 2007) that had received three Goya Awards including Best Film and Best Director.
Michael Grigsby is a prominent British documentary director whose career began in the late 1950s. His first film, Enginemen, was included in the last Free Cinema programme in March 1959. In 1970 he made I Was a Soldier, a documentary film about three returning Vietnam veterans, David, Dennis and Lamar. After more than 40 years, he teamed up with co-author Rebekah Tolley to re-explore the stories of the three veterans in We Went to War, a film that competed in the Documentary Competition at the IFF Bratislava.
As you may know, the Americans elect their president on the first November Tuesday of the leap year. On the first (and only) November Tuesday of this year’s edition, the Bratislava film festival presents two documentaries by Slovak filmmakers that deal with elections and political issues in general.