FESTIVALS: Darras Departs Bratislava Festival

By FNE Staff

    Matthieu Darras has left his position as artistic director of the Bratislava Film Festival (www.iffbratrislava.sk), it was announced on 13 December 2010. Darras, a French film critic and festival programmer, had been in the post since 2009.

    In a statement, the festval organization said, "After balancing the outcomes and objectives which the IFF Bratislava, as one of the most important Slovak cultural events, considers important, and after more discussion regarding the shape of the festival, management decided to change the artistic director."

    "I had a contract on an annual basis for each edition of the festival, and my mission was of course for a specific edition. Both parts agreed to proceed like this, in order to evaluate each edition, and to see if we wanted to continue collaboration for the year after," Darras told FNE.

    "I started to work for a film festival in 2009 knowing that it had internal problems:," Darras added. "After the first edition, I was already considering to leave the festival."

    Darras was credited with giving the festival a more prominent position on the international circuit. He brought in a team from outside Slovakia, and focused on a programme which was less oriented toward domestic and regional film. Local film professionals were largely absent from the festival and accompanying events. The Slovak Film Institute (www.sfu.sk) opted not to give any presentation on Slovak film or related topics during the festival. However, foreign festival guests were lavish in their praise of Darras and the programme of the festival under his direction.

    The festival organizers said they would bring in a new team of both Slovak and international programmers.