FNE at Berlinale 2011: First Slovak Film in Berlin in 20 Years


    BERLIN: The House directed by Slovak director Zuzana Liova which screens in the Forum is the first Slovak feature film to screen in one of the main programmes of the Berlinale for 20 years. It's all part of the renaissance Slovak film is enjoying at the moment which many attribute at least in part to the new Slovak Audiovisual Fund (www.avf.sk) which launched last year.

    Liova won the Krzystof Kieslowski Award in 2007 for her script for The House. This is the main prize of the prestigious Scripteast, (www.scripteast.pl) the Polish based and EU MEDIA and Polish Film Institute (www.pisf.pl) supported scriptwriting project that has launched a number of new young talents in the last five years.
    The House is the story of love, the clash of two generations and a longing for freedom. It has its world premier in the Berlinale and there are still two screenings left. It is produced by Fog ‘n' Desire Films (www.fogndesirefilms.com) and is a Slovak Czech coproduction.)

    Interview with Zuzana Liova:
    The screenplay to The House won the the Award for Screenplay in Slovakia in 2003, and a Krzysztof Kieslowski Award in Cannes in 2007. Today, when there's such a great need for good screenplays, yours took nine years to make to the big screen. Why do you think that is?
    I kept going back to the screenplay in the course of six years with shorter or longer intervals. During that time, I made the movie Silence, and then I needed a break to recharge my energy, and for a while, I wrote for television. Finally, I got my screenplay to an acceptable shape at the ScripTeast workshop and I started looking for a producer. So, to answer your question - I guess there is a time for everything...
    Similarly to your Slovak screenwriting colleagues, you also direct your feature debut. Is it something that was planned from the very beginning?
    Yes. When I talked to producers, I made it clear that I wanted to be the film's director.
    What was it like to work with Miroslav Krobot, who waited over fifty years to be discovered by filmmakers?
    It was great. Mr. Krobot got straight on the wave-length of Imrich; we talked a lot about his character, we analyzed him, and since Mr. Krobot is a film director himself, we had deep discussions and he won me over completely. Also, the minimalist acting style that he prefers when he directs on stage was just what I wanted to do with my actors. I think that in Mr. Krobot's performance, Imrich became exactly what he was meant to be - a very strong, dominating man inside, a father sure of his truth, convinced that he's doing the best thing for his daughters and failing to see that he's actually hurting them.
    ZUZANA LIOVÁ (*1977, Žilina - Slovakia)

    Scriptwriter and director. Studied scriptwriting and script editing at VŠMU in Bratislava, Slovakia. Started her career as a script editor, later shot several television documentaries and co-operated on TV series as a scripwriter. In 2005 she shot her first feature film for television - Silence, receiving a number of awards.

    In 2003 she became the winner of the Tibor Vichta Award, at the the National Screenplay Contest. She also participated at the ScipTeast 2006, winning the main prize of the programme - the Krzystof Kieslowski Award in 2007 for the screenplay for The House. She is a Nipkow Programme graduate and took part at various film workshops in Spain and Poland.
    Interview with Zuzana Liova republished with permission of Slovak Audiovisual Information Center (www.aic.sk)

    Contact in Berlin: Michal Kollar Tel+421 905 619 027