15th International Film Festival Bratislava

Slovakia, November 6 - November 12 2013

The jury

Alexey Gusev (Russia), Pierre-Yves Roger (France), Miroslav Lanik (Slovakia)

Awarded films

Bratislava, the charming capital of Slovakia, welcomed the 15th International Film Festival of Bratislava from the 6th to the 12th November 2013. The festival wrote its first chapter from 30th November to 8th December 1999 as continuation of the International Film Festival Forum, established in 1994. Despite its brief history, the Bratislava IFF has already confirmed its stable position in the calendar of international film events by becoming a unique viewers’ experience of positive artistic and emotive values. The Bratislava festival features programs of high quality, introducing the local viewers to contemporary world cinema, works of well-known and respected authors alongside with provocative subjects, discoveries or new trends. IFF Bratislava has three competition sections – Competition of First and Second Feature Films, Competition of Documentary Films and Competition of Short Films – where works from around the globe are assessed by international juries, consisting of experts from various filmmaking professions; by the  FIPRESCI jury (composed of members of the World Federation of Film Critics) and by a student jury. The other sections include Panorama (dedicated to critically acclaimed, highly appreciated and masterfully shot films); Out of the Stream (independent films); Profile (tribute to a significant film personality); Stories – Films of Human Strength (most interesting and most discussed stories in contemporary cinema), Made in Slovakia (Slovak contemporary cinema), Focus (this year targeting Israeli cinema), and Asylum (targeting internet images among others).

There were eight films in the main international competition. This year they were exclusively European titles and according to the coordinator of the competition section Nenad Dukic, it demonstrated the “beautiful fact that Europe can count on its young filmmakers’ potential thanks to the sensitivity and encouragement extended to them by producers.”

This year’s IFF Bratislava introduced a novel section in Out of Competition category. More interesting feature films, documentaries and short films were screened as part of this category, thus making it worthy of attention.

The Grand jury and the FIPRESCI jury came to the same verdict, so the Best Film award and the FIPRESCI award went to a debut film, Class Enemy (Razredni sovražnik) by a young Slovenian director Rok Bicek. For his brilliant portrayal of the main character in the same film, Igor Samobor won the Best Actor award.  The Best Director Award was received by two directors: Bobo Jelcic for the film A Stranger (Obrana i zaštita, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2013) and Yuri Bykov for the film The Major (Mayor, Russia, 2013). The Student Jury Award was received by an innovative movie The Reunion (Återträffen) by the Swedish director Anna Odell, who also played herself in the movie so well that was also received the Best Actress award. The Award for Best Documentary Film went to Stories We Tell and Award for the Best Short Film was awarded to Animals I Killed Last Summer (Djur jag dödade förra sommaren).

Despite financial problems and change of the venue from multiplex in the shopping mall to classic cinemas, the 15th International Film Festival of Bratislava offered quality program. One can only hope that the festival can overcome these difficulties and we will meet again next year at the IFF Bratislava. (Miroslav Lanik)

International Film Festival Bratislava: www.iffbratislava.com