FESTIVALS: Bratislava IFF Names Programme Team

By Cathy Meils

    BRATISLAVA: Speculation on the future of the Bratislava IFF (www.iffbratislava.sk) appears to have cleared with the appointment of Serbia's Nenad Dukic to programme the main competition. The 13th edition of the festival will run 4-9 November 2011 with a budget reduced by 40%, festival executive dector Vojtech Kabath told FNE.

    The management is on target to clear past debts by the end of August, Kabath added. To reduce costs for 2011, the festival will be two days shorter and will screen only 100 films (a decrease of 10-15%), and satellite screenings in other Slovak cities will be eliminated unless the local municipalities fund those themselves,

    Joining Dukic on the new programming team are former Rotterdam programmer Erwin Houtenbrink (shorts), Slovak film theorist Pavel Smejkal (documentaries), and Czech critic Radovan Holub (special sections).

    A number of other changes are also in the works, including a partnership with the Jerusalem film festival on a "Made in Slovakia" programme. The Bratislava festival will introduce morning screenings aimed especially at student audiences, a section on "upbeat" films (a response to audience surveys at the 2010 festival), and a focus on Nordic tales for children. Industry events include a documentary presentation and workshop by the Slovak Film Institute (www.sfu.sk) and a presentation on digitalization. The festival itself will add an award for scriptwriters.

    "The festival is still under reconstruction," Kabath said. Moving it to one month earlier (instead of the traditional early December dates) means the festival "is not competing with Christmas," he added. Management is aiming the festival at three age groups: 21-35; 16-21; and the 50+ "traditional cinema-goers."

    While still to be confirmed, the festival is looking at giving an award for artistic contribution to Hungarian director Bela Tarr.