Ten days before the start of the 29th edition of the oldest and largest film festival in Slovakia, its organizers informed at a press conference about its upcoming program and revealed the names of the laureates of the honorary award for actors.
Mayor of Košice Jaroslav Polaček: “Košice has deservedly been the home of Art Film Fest since 2016 because thanks to the quality cultural infrastructure we are able to offer the organisers the best festival facilities in the form of the Amphitheatre with the atmosphere of a cinema under the stars or in the modern premises of Kunsthalle and Kulturpark. Art Film Fest is not only a valuable showcase of film art, but also a great presentation of our city, which attracts thousands of guests and tourists every time. The popular international film festival will undoubtedly be the best start of the summer season in Košice, which will traditionally be marked by the Košice Cultural Summer full of other attractive events.”
“I am glad that we managed to prepare the 29th edition because it was not easy. It has never been easy, but lately especially so,” said Ján Kováčik, the festival’s producer, adding: “I would like to thank the city of Košice, the Košice Self-Governing Region and all partners for helping us to prepare the festival at a decent level.”
“It is an honour for the Košice Region that the Art Film Fest is writing modern history right here. After a one-year break, we are already yearning for quality films and a festival atmosphere. The county is once again helping with organization and projects that will attract crowds and raise the profile of the region. That’s why we launched the Film Office of the Košice Region last year and its results are fantastic. This year alone, a record seven feature films will be shot in the region. I therefore invite all those who want to experience Cannes in Slovakia to Košice,” said Rastislav Trnka, President of the Košice Self-Governing Region.
Martin Palúch, the artistic director of the festival, gave some interesting statistics: “During eight days (June 16th – 23rd ) at seven different screening locations, we will show a total of 146 screenings of 119 films, of which 82 are feature-length and 37 short. In the main international feature film competition for the Blue Angel award, we have 9 films from 4 different continents, and it is of some significance that female directors are dominant.”
The rich program divided into several sections will also include 4 films that premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Wes Anderson’s latest film Asteroid City and A Brighter Tomorrow, which also starred Slovak actress Barbora Bobulová, based in Italy, were part of the main competition. In the Director’s Fortnight section, The Goldman Case and Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry were included.
The International Short Film Competition returns into the program. The compiler of the section, Martin Kaňuch, has selected a total of 36 films from all over the world and they will be screened in six blocks in Košice. Domestic cinematography will be presented in a significant way, to which the sections Slovak season, 60 years of the Slovak Film Institute and Tribute to Juraj Jakubisko will be exclusively dedicated.
Three honorary awards will be presented at the 29th edition of the festival. Béla Tarr, one of the most prominent Hungarian filmmakers, will receive the Golden Camera and as part of his stay in Košice he will take part in the baptism of the Slovak translation of the novel Satan’s Tango. His film adaptation, which is over 7 hours long (439 minutes to be exact), set the record for the longest running time for a single work of film in Art Film Fest history. It will surely be one of the highlights of the festival, just like the masterclass with its director.
The festival will also include other masterclasses on various topics related to the creation of audiovisual works (scriptwriting, working with archives, special effects, etc.) and various types of accompanying events, which already have their traditional representation in the programme – i.e. presentations, exhibitions, concerts, public recordings of popular radio or television programs.
The first, unforgettable and only president of Art Film Fest – Milan Lasica – will be specially remembered. The very first film in this year’s program will be the Oscar-winning film by his most popular director Woody Allen – Annie Hall. Audiences will also have an exceptional opportunity to see on the silver screen the originally televised film Sweet Games of Last Summer, which was his favourite of his actor’s filmography. His long-time colleague Pavol Danišovič also prepared a special Evening of Milan Lasica. Songs with his lyrics will be performed by well-known personalities with an excellent band assembled by Martin Valihora. There will also be personal reminiscences, readings and stories related to the life and work of this great artist. Ady Hajdu, Dorota Nvotová, Natália Puklušová, Peter Lipa and the original duo of Dominika Kavaschová and Andrea Bučko, who are even preparing special versions of songs on the lyrics of Milan Lasica, have promised their participation. More guests will certainly appear in the program and it will not be only about songs, but also memories with humour, because it cannot possibly be otherwise.
The Actor’s Mission award will be awarded to two representatives of Slovak and Czech cinematography.
Eva Holubová is one of the most frequently cast Czech actresses. In the last five years alone, she has starred in thirteen films and eight TV series. A major breakthrough in her career was her role in Buttoners (1997), for which she was nominated for the Czech Lion for Best Supporting Actress. She received the second nomination for Cosy Dens (1999), and finally won the Czech Lion for the film Ene Bene (1999). The film Pupendo (2003) was also an extraordinary success with audiences, and for her role in the comedy Holiday Makers (2006) she won the Best Actress Award at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York and received another nomination for the Czech Lion. From her filmography, she chose Jan Hřebejka’s cult comedy Cosy Dens for Art Film Fest.
Zdena Studenková first appeared on the screen at the age of 20 in the short story film the Motive for Murder. In 1978, she impressed in the fairy-tale horror Beauty and the Beast. In 1982, she portrayed Gábina in the Czech comedy of the century I Enjoy the World with You. Subsequently, she starred in the films The Wanderings of John Amos, About Fame and Grass, A Cart Full of Pain, Southern Mail, Private Lives and Everything I Like. Audiences also know her from many TV films, as well as plays and series. From her filmography, she selected Angel in a Devil’s Body for Art Film Fest 2023 pronouncing the following: “I would like the audience to come to the cinema to have fun and forget about the everyday worries that the current period brings.”
Both laureates will traditionally receive their awards not only at the opening or closing ceremony, but also in the presence of the public at the Lower Gate (Dolná brána) in Košice: June 17th at 16:00 (Z. Studenková) and June 22th at 16:00 (E. Holubová).
Organisation: ART FILM FEST s.r.o.;
Co-organizers: City of Košice, K13 – Košice Cultural Centres, ART FILM FEST, n.o., LGM, s.r.o.;
The festival was financially supported by: Audiovisual Fund and SPP Foundation;
The festival is co-financed by the Košice self-governing region from the Terra Incognita program;
Main advertising partners: CODES Brand House, FORLIVE, Lucka spring water;
Official vehicles: Auto Gábriel;
Official hotel: Hotel Yasmin;
Advertising partners: construction company Adefex, Jadrová a vyraďovacia spoločnosť, a.s., Oxyworld, U.S. Steel Košice, ANTIK Telecom, BARZZUZ, Cinema Úsmev, Aupark Košice, Fors-stav, R-media, Okno mé lásky;
Official contractors: NOV, ZEBRA, Best Press, SLOVNAFT, Central European Foundation, Spoločnosť pre skladovanie, a.s., DKC Veritas, Slávia Café, Tabačka Kulturfabrik, Ohnisko – Fire Dining & Brew Bar, Pub u Kohúta, El Nacional, Café de Paris, Maiko Sushi, DOMOS Slovakia, Pilsner Urquell, Macarons; Official wine: Kubbo Select and Ostrožovič;
Main media partners: TV JOJ, zregionu.sk, Pravda, Eurotelevision;
Media partners: Rozhlas a televízia Slovenska, Kinosála, JOJ 24, Film Europe, TV spolok LOToS, Rádio KOŠICE, Korzár, Slovenka, Forbes, SITA, TASR, BigMedia, HomeMedia Production, Film.sk, Košice City Guide, aktuality.sk, csfd.cz, Visit Košice, Košice v Skratke;
Partners: JOJ Cinema, Millor – your partner in the energy sector, Košice Airport, Autocont, TelekomCLOUD, ECO Technologies, DELTA OnLine, MIHYRING, KAIFER law firm, Taper, Brother, GROTTO, CELIMED authorized OMRON representation, NR-holding, CPK Slovakia, Casa Trade – Casablanca cafe, easylog transport&logistic, Flowers Victor, Slovak Film Institute, Faculty of Philosophy, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics TUKE, Private Secondary Art School in Košice, Košice Transport Company, Tesco Stores SK, DEMI sport, CANON, SPI International, Arténa audiovisual workshop by RTVS, Creative Europe, KPK Reklama, HAIR FACTORY Košice
Festival restaurants and bars: JAZZ Club Café Restaurant, Hostinec Brewery, Papa Café, Camelot Restaurant, Veritas Café