Art Film Fest provides a large-scale setting for presenting the latest works of world cinema, as well as noteworthy titles from film history and a selection of quality films curated from the Slovak cinematic tradition. The festival’s centrepieces are its two competition sections – for feature films and short films, respectively. Winners of each are determined by international juries, who grant the Blue Angel Award for best film, director, actress and actor. The non-competition sections feature the works of established filmmakers, notable films of various national cinemas, cult classics that have made their mark in film history and thematically oriented film projects, as well as profiles and retrospectives of acclaimed filmmakers.
The constant concern of Art Film Fest’s organizers is to attract Slovak audiences, generate enthusiasm for the art of cinema and educate as well as cultivate film admirers and connoisseurs. Spontaneous audience interest is central to Art Film Fest’s philosophy, and thus we chiefly aim to interest and attract students and young people. A marvellous atmosphere, appealing programme, stars, luminaries and tens of thousands of visitors are the hallmark of the festival.
Art Film Fest has been held in the Slovak Republic since 1993, first in Trenčianske Teplice and later expanding to Trenčín. As of 2016 the festival has relocated to Košice.
Competition categories and awards
The Competition of Feature Films is judged by a five-member international jury, the Competition of Short Films by a three-member international jury. Both juries consist of nominated experts of various film-related professions.
International Competition of Feature Films of 60 minutes or more
Submissions must be fiction films produced in the preceding or current year (for this year, this means films copyrighted in 2018 or 2019). The competition is primarily oriented towards filmmakers early in their careers – only a director’s debut, second or third film may be submitted.
International Competition of Short Films of up to 30 minutes – not held in 2021
The competition is not restricted by genre – fiction, documentary, animated and other types of films can be submitted, as long as they do not exceed the maximum duration.
The Blue Angel
- Blue Angel for Best Feature Film – awarded to the film’s producer
- Blue Angel for Best Director – awarded to the film’s director
- Blue Angel for Best Female Performance – awarded to the actress
- Blue Angel for Best Male Performance – awarded to the actor
- Blue Angel for Best Short Film – awarded to the film’s director – not awarded in 2021
Actor’s Mission Award
Every year since 1995 Art Film Fest has bestowed the Actor’s Mission Award to world-famous performers for their outstanding contributions to the art of film acting. The award has been received by 65 international and Slovak performers to date.
The Golden Camera
The Golden Camera is awarded to Slovak and international film professionals of various trades for their significant contributions to the filmmaking craft. Since 2001, 43 prominent film professionals have received the award.
The President of Festival Award
The Festival President’s Award was first presented at the 25th Art Film Fest. The first recipients were legendary Slovak actress Mária Kráľovičová and Czech actor Jiří Bartoška. Mr Bartoška was already a laureate of the AFF Actor’s Mission Award, making him the first to win two of the festival’s honorary prizes.
The festival is accompanied by frequent evening concerts, workshops, autograph signings, discussions, exhibitions and vernissages.