STILL z FILMU I’m On Fire (farebný) © A Minor Seven & MJZ

The international short film competition is an integral part of the oldest and largest Slovak film festival, Art Film Fest, which will take place in Košice from June 16th to June 23rd this year. The organizers continue the proven form of selecting 36 films presented in six blocks. For the final selection, the greatest possible variety of creators and represented countries was very important to the compiler of the section, Martin Kaňuch. This year, in addition to works from traditionally strong continents, short films from countries that have not been presented in our country (Somalia, Egypt) were included in the competition selection. Many future creators of European cinema start out in short films, it is always interesting to watch the seeds of their future film thinking and style.

“It’s always decided by an idea and its cinematic thinking, wit and insight, somewhere it’s decided by a captivating acting performance, elsewhere by a provocative theme, animation technique or an experiment with the crossing of different film procedures,” Martin Kaňuch explains the criteria for his choice and adds: “I’m fascinated by the power, the concentration of film statement where everything works on a small surface. This year’s program illustrates this nicely, for example, with the American film I’m on Fire, about a teenager who became hostage to his parents’ increasingly toxic relationship. He endures the breakup of their marriage by hiding in his headphones with brilliantly chosen music from the end of the last century, he also records it for others, and handling the technology finally inspires him with an idea how to get out of it.”

The different time frame which the creators of the short films worked with is also interesting. The shortest one in the competition is 97 seconds, the longest ones are already close to the thirty-minute limit set by the statutes. Slovakia will be represented by the films Liquid Bread (orig. title: Chlieb náš každodenný) by Alica Bednáriková and Strigov by Barbora Berezňáková. Among the selected films is the film Ice Merchants by Portuguese director João Gonzalez, which has also been nominated for an Oscar in the category of short animated films.

The jury that will decide on the results will be European. Slovakia is represented by Lea Pagáčová, who specializes in animated films at the Slovak Film Institute, the second judge is Radu Sticlea, originally from Romania, but living in Porto, Portugal, where he founded the Beast International Film Festival, focused on the cinematography of Central and Eastern Europe. The trio is completed by Elizaveta Maximová, a Czech actress of Russian origin. She starred in the short student film directed by Michal Blaško Atlantída, 2003 (2017) and also stars in his feature-length debut Obeť (2022), which recently won the Slnko v sieti award in the best film category.

Organizer: ART FILM FEST s.r.o.;
Co-organizers: The 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 the SPP Foundation;
The festival is co-financed by The Košice Self-governing Region from the Terra Incognita program
Main advertising partners: CODES CREATIVE, FORLIVE;
Official hotel: Hotel Yasmin
Advertising partners: construction company Adifex, ANTIK Telecom, Fors-stav, R-media, Okno mé lásky;
Official suppliers: BARZZUZ, NOV, ZEBRA, Best Press, SLOVNAFT, Central European Foundation, Kino Úsmev, Kino Veritas, Aurpark Košice;
Main media partners: TV JOJ, zregionu.sk, Pravda, Eurotelevízia;
Media partners: Radio and Television of Slovakia, Kinosála, JOJ 24, Film Europe, TV association LOToS, Radio KOŠICE, Korzár, Slovenka, Forbes, SITA, TASR, BigMedia, HomeMedia Production, Film.sk, Košice City Guide, Košice v Skratke;
Partners: JOJ Cinema, Millor – your partner in the field of energy, Airport Košice, Autocont, TelekomCLOUD, ECO Technologies, DELTA OnLine, MIHYRING, KAIFER law firm, Brother