The 20th edition of the Bratislava International Film Festival will open its doors in less than one month. The days between 29 November and 2 December 2018 will offer a generous selection of quality titles made by the best of young contemporary cinema. The Bratislava city cinemas Lumière and Mladosť will welcome the audience with a pleasant atmosphere and bring innovative perspectives on the world and being in it. After last year's success the festival will present part of its programme in three cinemas outside of the capital as well; Kino Mier in Modra, Kino Záhoran in Malacky and Artkino Metro in Trenčín.
The backbone of the festival is again the Fiction Competition designated for first and second feature films. For example, the audience can look forward to José (2018), the second film by the American director Li Cheng and winner of the Queer Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival. José follows the story of a young homosexual man looking for love and emotional fulfilment in the environment of one of the poorest and most dangerous countries in the world, Guatemala, where the director lived for two years. Li Cheng’s name will resound the festival’s screening rooms for the second time already, as in 2014 he personally visited with his film Joshua Tree.
This year’s East of the West and FEDEORA awards of the International Film Festival Karlovy Vary went to the Russian director Elizaveta Stishova and her distinctive debut Suleiman Mountain (Suleimangora, 2017). Set in Kyrgyzstan, the film follows a bizarre story of a man (a gambler, habitual drinker, brute and cheater, but also a father and a husband of two women) living on the fringe of the society. His semi-nomadic way of life in a van with two wives, one rediscovered son and another – yet unborn one, as well as constant frustration, restlessness, uncertainty, mystique and shamanism create a captivating and engaging drama with elements of comedy and encourage the viewer to think about the numerous unanswered questions it poses.
Next in the Fiction Competition is Blind Spot (Blindsone, 2018), a directorial debut of Tuva Novotny, a Swedish actress and daughter of the Czech director Dávid Ján Novotný. The film was screened and awarded at the 66th San Sebastian International Film Festival. The category will also present Cutterhead (2018) by the Danish filmmaker Rasmus Kloster Bro, combining elements of drama and action thriller, as well as Sofia (2018) by the Moroccan director Meryem Benm’ Barek.
Another section of the Bratislava IFF programme will comprise three films nominated for the LUX Prize 2018, which has been awarded by the European Parliament since 2007. Its goal is to popularize original European film production and incite the EU citizens to discuss European values and identity.
This year’s section will present the film Styx (2018) by the Vienna-born director Wolfgang Fischer. Its story begins as a workaday life of a successful paramedic, who embarks on her dream yachting voyage. A violent storm on the sea changes the idyll into cruel reality, as she finds herself in the middle of nowhere with nothing in sight but a sinking vessel filled with dozens of refugees. No assistance is coming and she must decide and act on her own. The Serbian director Mila Turajlid and the story of her family in the documentary film The Other Side of Everything (Druga strana svega, 2017) give us an insight into the turbulent political events taking place in Serbia. The Belgian filmmaker Lucas Dhont deals with the question of transgender identity in his feature debut Girl (2018), telling the story of a 15-year-old Lara, who loves and studies dance at a prestigious Belgian dance academy. However, every day on a path towards becoming a ballet dancer is a fight. Lara
seeks the courage to be herself and works relentlessly on her male body, which is the biggest obstacle to the fulfilment of her dream.
The Bratislava International Film Festival acts as a platform where the general viewing public, cinephiles as well as film professionals from Slovakia and abroad meet and interact. Ever since its establishment in 1999, it has been developing its identity of a young cinema festival and event aiming to discover new names and future stars of contemporary film.
For the latest updates on the programme of the 20th Bratislava International Film Festival, please visit our official website at www.bratislavaiff.sk/en or our official Facebook account at www.facebook.com/bratislavaiff/.
20th BRATISLAVA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 29 November - 02 December 2018
Kino Lumière, Kino Mladosť Kino MIER Modra, Kino Záhoran Malacky, Artkino METRO Trenčín
Main Organiser: Partners Production
The Bratislava International Film Festival is held with the generous financial support of: Slovak Audiovisual Fund, The Bratislava Self-Governing Region
Main partners: Slovenská elektrizačná prenosová sústava, Transpetrol
COME, SEE, EXPERIENCE!