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FNE at Zlin’s 50th Anniversary: Visegrad Competition

Cathy Meils 2010-05-31
The Zlin festival of films for children and youth (May 31-June 6, www.zlin-fest.cz) has been steadily expanding beyond its original mission and name suggests. One of the more welcome sections, especially for Central Europe, was the addition of a competition of films from the four neighbor Visegrad countries.

Zlin festival director Petr Koliha commented on the Visegrad competition for FNE.

"The competitive review of creation from Visegrad Group countries is one of the oldest competitive sections of its type in the Czech Republic. Two film works from each Visegrad country are screened here each year. Although this is not primarily a festival section designed for children and youth, the dramaturgical criteria for selection fulfill the general direction of the entire festival. Through either their topic or story, individual movies relate to the issues of youth, or to current questions relating to the world of young people; in certain cases it is an historic view on a given specific Visegrad area in correlation to the problematic of the young generation and its development in comparison with today," he said.

The festival further ties in the Visegrad competition section with the "youth" theme by inviting a jury of students to judge the films.The choice of the student jurors reflects the geographical area of interest, which includes the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary.

The eight films in the Visegrad section provide a condensed overview of the heart of Central Europe.

"This year's fundamental dramaturgical focus of this competitive review is on the relationship between yesterday and today in the world of youth. The fundamental question linking all movies on a general plane is the view of specific relationships and rules inside a relatively closed community. While the pair of Polish Films - Mall Girls directed by Katarzyna Roslaniec and All That I Love directed by Jacek Borcuch - show a small group of young people, in the first case girls, the other students, profiled against majority society (prostitution and punk), both representatives of Hungary - Prank directed by Péter Gárdos and Paper Planes directed by Simon Szabó - follow the uncompromisingly definite rules and conventions within a closed community of children and young residents in Budapest," Koliha said.

"Slovakia is represented by the pair of films Broken Promise directed by Jiří Chlumský and Soul at Peace directed by Vlado Balko, in which the relationship is asserted of the past and present in grim social contours. The Czech Republic will be represented by the movies Men in a Rut directed by Robert Sedláček and the highly successful Protector directed by Marek Najbrt. Both films tell stories illustrating interpersonal relationships on a backdrop of the need to make tough decisions; while the former is a bit exaggerated, the latter unveils a cruel fate," he concluded.

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