16th International Film Festival Bratislava
Slovakia, November 5 - November 17 2014
The 16th annual Bratislava International Film Festival has found its rightful place as the most important film event in young Slovakia and in the region around the River Danube on the former iron curtain between Eastern and Western Europe.
The films were presented in two little, traditional film theaters in the old town of Bratislava. The city is dominated by little streets with houses from the 18th century, old walls, towers and churches and a big fortress now used as the Slovak National Museum. The missing crown of the old Empire made at the beginning of the middle ages is now back in Bratislava where the Habsburgian kings were crowned for centuries.
The festival is held in the last week before Christmas time and, in the main square, the preparations for the Christmas market had already started.
The festival, headed by Vladimír Krajniak, presented a wide range of films composed in different sections. Most of the films made in Slovakia in 2013 and 2014 were shown, but unfortunately most of them were only screened in the Slovak language (without subtitles?). Director Theodor Pištek was awarded by the Festival for Artistic Excellence in World Cinematography.
The Panorama section showed a fine selection of new motion pictures by renowned auteurs or films already awarded at prestigious festivals, alongside other big festival highlights. Birdman was cancelled, but the festival showed The Postman’s White Nights by Andrey Konshalovsky, Kreuzweg by Dietrich Brüggemann, Corn Island by the Georgian director George Ovashvili and Coming Home by Zhang Yimou.
On the other hand, the Cutting Edge section is dedicated to independent and experimental films that go beyond the scope of mainstream cinema. The Main jury and the FIPRESCI jury focused on the Competition of First and Second Fiction Features. Coordinator Nenad Dukic picked up nine films made in Vietnam, Brazil, Slovakia or Norway. The winning film was Party Girl, a tender portrait of an old lady by his loving son.
The Bratislava Film Festival found once again a good balance in presenting national film production and the highlights of the international film-landscape, which normally doesn’t have the chance to be presented in the regular cinema program, something also dominated by the Hollywood mainstream. Our jury work was very well organized and we really felt treated like VIPs by the festival. We have to thank Guest Office coordinator Ina Oravcová and Jury coordinator Rastislav Steranka. It was a great pleasure to stay in Bratislava. (Katharina Dockhorn)
International Film Festival Bratislava: www.iffbratislava.com