FESTIVALS: Slovak Season Days for European distributors at Artfilmfest

By Jana Kadlecová

    Slovak Audiovisual Producers Association SAPA (www.sapa.cc) and Film Europe Agency EFA present Slovak Season Days, a pilot project that focuses on the promotion of Slovak films within the international market, at the ArtFilm Fest International Film Festival Trenčianske Teplice, Trenčín (18-26 June, www.artfilmest.sk).

    The event will present Slovak cinematography to foreign film distributors and TV buyers to showcase new Slovak movie production as well as to introduce current Slovak cinematography from a commercial as well as non-commercial point of view.

    "It is for the first time in the history of Slovak film festivals that Slovak films with English subtitles will be screened to 15 European distributors," Marta Lamperova from EFA told FNE.

    The presentation of Slovak films to foreign distributors and producers has been under-represented in the past. "Until now Slovak festivals have not helped Slovak cinematography and we want to begin changing it. We should be proud of the films that have been produced in Slovakia. Instead they are almost being kept hidden," said Lamperova. "This project not only helps the sales of the Slovak films but it aims to build a bridge between Slovak film producers with the international film professionals," explains Lamperova.

    Slovak film screenings will take place in Cinemax Trenčín: on Thursday, June 24 at 10.30 am through Saturday, June 26. Seven films will be screened. Other Slovak films will be available on DVD.

    "We have organized this for the Slovak producers and the only thing they've got to do is to come there. They will get a chance to introduce their film before the screening, they can join the discussion with the international guests on Distribution of Eastern European films and they are invited to a Cocktail with the distributors," says Lamperova.

    EFA plans to continue in this project and invite foreign producers in the future, with the goal of leading to new international co-productions. "Slovak films need partners for film production and, naturally, in most of the cases they come from Czech Republic or Poland," she said.

    ArtFilm Fest offered a well-timed opportunity for the project. "However," Lamperova said, "this project can be done even without festival, just as an independent activity. "