BRATISLAVA: Slovakia has seen a significant increase
in the number of premieres in 2011, particularly in the second half of the year,
accompanied by far-reaching international interest in the high quality of
product coming from Slovak directors and producers. The leap forward is a
direct result of a new national funding system launched just two years ago.
While in 2010 only nine Slovakia-produced or
coproduced films, including one feature film (Flying Cyprian by Marianna Čengel-Solčanská) premiered in cinemas, 11
Slovak movies have been released this year, while another 17 are expected to
premiere between October and December 2011.
Moreover, the 2011 crop of Slovak films are
achieving success abroad, both in cinema release and at festivals. Among the
most international visible releases of 2011 are Martin Šulík's Gypsy, a €1,000,000 Czech-Slovak coproduction from the director's own company Titanic, Slovak Television (www.stv.sk)
and In Film (www.infilm.cz), and the feature-length
documentary Nicky's Family directed by
Mináč and produced by Patrik Pass of Trigon Productions (www.trigon-production.sk).
Notable films that premiered throughout 2011 also
include Peter Bebjak's €1,000,000
Apricot Island, produced by D.N.A.
Production (www.dnaproduction.sk); Petr
Nikolaev's Lidice, a €2,600,000 Czech-Slovak coproduction from Movie
(www.filmlidice.cz), Magic Box (www.magicbox.cz), Czech Television (www.ceskatelevize.cz), Vinná Galerie (www.vinnagalerie.cz), Magic Box Slovakia
Slovak Television; Peter Krištúfek's Visible World, coproduced by JMB Film (www.jmbfilm.sk) and Slovak Television and budgeted at €1,200,000; and
Stanislav Párnický's Cherry Boy,
a €1,400,000 drama from the same coproduction tandem.
The Slovak Audiovisual Fund (www.avf.sk), which succeeded the Culture Ministry's former grant programme Audiovision and started full operation in 2010, continued
to support the development, production and distribution of audiovisual works
within four different programmes.
To date, 441 out of 897 applications have been
accepted and over €9,700,000 has been distributed among the applicants, which
amounts to around one-seventh of the total sum applied for (€69,000,000).
In 2011, the largest grant, €370,000, went to
Artileria (www.artileria.sk) for the production
of Miracle by Juraj Lehotský. ALEF
Film and Media Group (www.afm.sk) received
€335,000 for the production of Hostage by
Juraj Nvota, while JMB Film was granted €320,000 for the development of Live and Let Live (no director announced
yet). Major support was also given to Arina (www.arinafilm.sk)
for the production of Fair Play by Andrea Sedláčková, to Attack Film (www.attackfilm.sk) for the production of Confidant by Juraj Nvota, and to
Jakubisko Film (www.jakubiskofilm.com)
for the production of Slavic Epopee by
Though box office in the country has
traditionally been dominated by US-produced movies, according to the Slovak
Union of Film Distributors (www.ufd.sk) the
most successful movie of the first half of 2011 was Identity Card, a Czech-Slovak comedy by Ondřej Trojan, coproduced by
Total HelpArt (www.tha.cz) and PubRes (www.pubres.sk), which had reached 150,000
admissions by June 2011.
However, it wasn't enough to make up for
sluggish box office results in general. Overall cinema attendance fell by 12.8
percent year-on-year in the first half of 2011.
On the other hand, 3D technology is steadily
gaining its popularity in Slovakia, with one fourth of movies now being
screened in 3D. The very first Slovak film shot in 3D, the ultra-low-budget
sci-fi drama Immortalitas by Erik
Bošnák leading a team of film school student filmmakers and produced by E.B.
was in the final stages of production by fall of 2011.
Slovak TV industry remained comparatively stable throughout 2011. In March,
Slovakia's transition from analogue television broadcasting to digital
technology was launched, and the analogue signal has now been terminated in
(www.markiza.sk), operated by Central
European Media Enterprises (www.cetv-net.com),
has maintained its position as the market leader. However, TV JOJ (www.joj.sk) is far ahead in producing local
content: while Markíza offers only two original scripted series, as many as five
are currently aired by TV JOJ. Original series are among both channels' most popular programmes.
state-run Slovak Television currently airs only one self-produced scripted
series. It is, however, expected that this number might increase in the future
thanks to support from the Audiovisual Fund and special state subsidies aiming
at boosting the production of local content by the public broadcaster.