The 11th edition of the Visegrad Film Forum gets underway this week, welcoming world-renowned filmmakers to Bratislava

    What goes into the making of a film? What are the trends in contemporary cinematography? These and other questions will be addressed by world-renowned filmmakers who have worked on such cult classics as American Beauty, The King’s Speech, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. On 13 March, the Visegrad Film Forum will open its gates at the Film and Television School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava and in the auditoria of the Kino Lumiére film theatre.

    As always, participants can look forward to four amazing days of learning and networking, student film screenings, masterclasses with renowned experts, case studies of interesting film projects, and discussions. Kicking off this year’s VFF will be stop-motion animation director Mascha Halberstad. The screening of her feature film Oink (2022), which was nominated for a European Film Award, will be followed by a discussion with the audience. On Thursday morning, Mascha will be giving a masterclass to animation enthusiasts. Besides her own projects, Mascha has made animations for several feature films, including How to Survive… (2008) and Taking Chances (Berlinale Generation 2012). Both of her feature films, Oink (2022) and Fox & Hare Save the Forest (2024), were selected for the Berlinale Generation competition.

    Picking up from Mascha will be renowned French director Éric Toledano, known for such films as The Untouchables (2011), The Specials (2018), and, most recently, A Difficult Year (2023), which will also be featured at the VFF’s partner film festival, Febiofest IFF. Thursday’s programme will conclude with a screening of the cult classic Naked Lunch (1991), which will be attended by DoP Peter Suschitzky. Peter has served as director of photography on more than 50 films, including such cult classics as Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Mars Attacks! (1996), and David Cronenberg’s Crash (1996), eXistenZ (1999), and Eastern Promises (2007). He has been nominated for a BAFTA and honoured at the Cannes Film Festival with the Pierre Angénieux “Excellens” in Cinematography Award.

    On Friday, Peter Suschitzky will be giving a masterclass for cinematographers as well as casual film enthusiasts. In the afternoon, participants can look forward to a masterclass by possibly the most decorated short film director of our time, Rúnar Rúnarsson. Rúnar is a renowned Icelandic director and screenwriter, who was nominated for an Oscar in 2006 and the Palme d’Or and European Film Award in 2008. His feature debut, Volcano (2011), was selected for Cannes Director’s Fortnight and went on to become a festival darling, collecting 17 international awards. Rúnar’s most recent feature film, Echo (2019), won two awards in Locarno. Rúnar was also the screenwriter for Solitude (2023), which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and will be screened at this year’s Febiofest.

    Friday’s programme will conclude with a screening of Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers (2021), which will be attended by DoP José Luis Alcaine.

    Saturday will kick off with a masterclass by José Luis Alcaine, who is one of Spain’s most distinguished cinematographers, having over 100 credits to his name, including Belle Époque (Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, 1993), Bad Education (2004), and Parallel Mothers (2021). In the 1970s, José Luis pioneered the use of a fluorescent tube as a key lighting tool. He has collaborated with acclaimed directors such as Brian de Palma, Asghar Farhadi, and Pedro Almodóvar, and received numerous awards, including the European Film Award – Best European Cinematographer for the film Volver (2006) and five Goya Awards for Best Cinematography.

    The final day of this year’s VFF will conclude with a masterclass by British-American film editor Tariq Anwar. Over his 40-year career, Tariq has edited an assortment of films, from BBC documentaries to fiction films such as the Oscar-winning American Beauty (1999), The Good Shepherd (2006), Revolutionary Road (2008), and Law-Abiding Citizen (2009). Tariq has worked with some of the world’s top directors, such as Mike Newell, Franco Zeffirelli, Nick Hytner, Sam Mendes, Danny Boyle, and Robert De Niro. He has received numerous awards, including two BAFTAs and the European Film Award – Best European Editor for The King’s Speech (2010). He also holds two Academy Award nominations, for The King’s Speech and American Beauty. It will be with a screening of American Beauty, followed by a discussion with Tariq, that the 11th edition of the Visegrad Film Forum will conclude.

    V4 partner schools

    The Visegrad Film Forum will once again present films by students from its partner film schools, who will personally be coming to Bratislava. The screenings will be followed by discussions about cinematography as a whole, about the circumstances under which the individual films emerged, and about the professional training provided at the selected educational institutions. The following V4 film schools have confirmed their participation at this year’s VFF: ELTE, Budapest, Hungary; UTB Zlín, Czech Republic; Lodz Film School, Poland; VŠMU, Bratislava, Slovakia.


    Since 2019, the Visegrad Film Forum has been held in collaboration with FEBIOFEST Bratislava IFF (13–16 March). Cinepasses purchased for the VFF are also valid for FEBIOFEST. You can buy your Cinepass at the link below:


    Visegrad Film Forum 2024

    When: 13–16 March 2024

    Where: Bratislava, Slovakia

    Web: http://www.visegradfilmforum.com

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VisegradFilmForum

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vffbratislava/ 

    The Visegrad Film Forum is brought to you by Boiler, o.z., in collaboration with the The Film and Television Faculty, Academy of Performing Arts Bratislava and FEBIOFEST Bratislava IFF. The event is made possible by the financial support of the Slovak Audiovisual Fund.