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ART FILM FEST 2019

A raft of Slovakian films to be premiered at Art Film Fest

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- Domestic documentary projects vastly outnumber fiction features at this year’s edition of the Slovakian gathering

A raft of Slovakian films to be premiered at Art Film Fest
BATAstories by Peter Kerekes

A huge number of domestic movies will be premiered at the longest-running film festival in Slovakia, Art Film Fest (the 27th edition of which unfolds between 14 and 22 June). The Slovakian Season section, which gathers the latest domestic films, looks set to be particularly extensive. Slovakian documentarian Peter Kerekes is bringing his latest project, BATAstories [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, to Art Film Fest: the movie is a feature-length creative portrait of Tomáš Baťa and the current state of global capitalism, of which Bat’a was one of the pioneers. Produced by French outfit Seppia, which also handles the sales, and co-produced by Arte, Czech production company Negativ, Czech Television and Peter Kerekes Film, the film aims to depict Baťa in an international context and thus tracks down “batamen” all over the world, including India, Kenya, France and Brazil.

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There will be a world premiere for the romantic tragicomedy Loli Paradička [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, a feature debut by writing-directing father-son duo Richard and Víťo Staviarsky. Set in the world of travelling fairs, the film revolves around a central duo on the fringes of society, an amputee and a Roma girl. The project was presented at Febiofest 2018’s Industry Days. Another fiction film set to be unveiled at the gathering is a thriller set in the milieu of gambling and poker players, CASINO.$K, the sophomore feature by Ján Sabol (produced by Rebuy Stars, a company that actually runs several casinos and which also handles the film’s sales).

Domestic documentary projects vastly outnumber the fiction features this season. The latest arrivals include Martin Repka’s road movie about a notorious group of progressive poets from the 1960s and its three leading constituents, The Lonely Runners, and Pavol Barabáš’ documentary portrait of composer Svetozár Stračina. Peter Gašparík will bring a feature-length tribute to his late mother in the intimate biographical documentary Tereza – The Charge of Love, which focuses on her struggle with cancer, her efforts to take care of her disabled daughter and her work. The Calling is another documentary due to be unveiled as a world premiere. Directed by Erik Praus, it follows three monks in an Eastern Orthodox monastery as they leave their traumas behind and find the meaning of life in the cloister. Meanwhile, in his documentary essay The Wind. A Documentary Thriller [+see also:
film review
interview: Michał Bielawski
film profile
]
, Polish filmmaker Michal Bielawski will scrutinise the Halny wind in the High Tatras, which not only causes physical damage to the forests, but also has a psychological impact on people (as the number of suicides rises when it blows in the region). Last but not least, a special screening of Štefánik’s Impossible Voyage by Michal Kaboš and Noro Držiak will take place as part of Slovakian Season. This imaginative documentary revolves around celebrated domestic personality Milan Rastislav Štefánik, a politician, diplomat, aviator and astronomer, while also doubling as a tribute to Georges Méliès.

A number of movies already released during the current or previous season will be available for audiences to watch on the big screen once again – most notably, Tomáš Krupa’s intimate portrait The Good Death [+see also:
interview: Tomáš Krupa
film profile
]
; the chamber drama Talks with T. G. Masaryk [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Jakub Červenka; the feature debut by Beata Parkanová, Moments [+see also:
trailer
interview: Beata Parkanová
interview: Beata Parkanová
film profile
]
; the documentary feature debut by writing-directing team Palo Kadlečík and Martin Šenc, An Extra Something, addressing the issues of acceptance of and coexistence with people suffering from Down syndrome; Teodor Kuhn’s socio-political thriller By a Sharp Knife; and Juraj Šlauka’s dramedy inspired by a real-life community living on the fringes of society, Punk Never Ends! [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Juraj Šlauka
film profile
]
.

The full line-up of Slovakian Season is as follows: BATAstories by Peter Kerekes (France/Czech Republic/Slovakia), CASINO.$K by Ján Sabol (Slovakia), The Good Death by Tomáš Krupa (Slovakia/Czech Republic/France/Germany/Austria), Talks with T.G. Masaryk by Jakub Červenka (Czech Republic/Slovakia), Moments by Beata Parkanová (Czech Republic/Slovakia), Loli Paradička by Richard Staviarsky and Víťo Staviarsky (Slovakia), An Extra Something by Palo Kadlečík and Martin Šenc (Slovakia), The Lonely Runners by Martin Repka (Slovakia), By a Sharp Knife by Teodor Kuhn (Slovakia/Czech Republic), Crazy Against the Nation by Adam Hanuljak (Slovakia), Punk Never Ends! by Juraj Šlauka (Slovakia/Czech Republic), Svetozár Stračina by Pavol Barabáš (Slovakia), Štefánik’s Impossible Voyage by Michael Kaboš and Noro Držiak (Slovakia/Czech Republic), Tereza – The Charge of Love by Peter Gašparík (Slovakia), The Calling by Erik Praus (Slovakia) and The Wind. A Documentary Thriller by Michal Bielawski (Poland/Slovakia).

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