15th IFF Bratislava introduces international competitions

    The most prestigious at each festival are the competition sections. Also this year's International Film Festival Bratislava will see three competitions seeking for the festival awards: Competition of First and Second Feature Films, Competition of Documentary Films, and Competition of Short Films.

    At choosing films, like in the previous years also this time I was interested only in aesthetic criteria, which is what creates the cinematographic and artistic value of a film – regardless of the genre, style definition of the director, or the country of origin”, said the main programme dramaturge and compiler of the Competition of First and Second Feature Films Nenad Dukić. The selection, dominated this year by European titles, shows, according to Nenad Dukić “a beautiful fact that Europe can count with the potential of its young creators, while the producers feel and support these vibrations of the young European filmmakers”.

    An excellent example is a debut of the Swedish author Anny Odell The Reunion, which won the FIPRESCI award in Venice. Anna Odell is a famous conceptual artist. In this film she basically plays herself, a filmmaker who starts to open unpleasant topics of the past at a high-
    school reunion, which evokes disfavour of her classmates. The Reunion is a film not only about social ostracism, but also about an unclear boundary between reality and fiction.

    The Russian film Major by director Sergey Sobolev depicts the corrupted world of the police and consequences it has on civilians. The main hero is a police major, who on his way to hospital, where his wife is giving birth, accidentally runs over a boy and he is trying to cover up his deed. However, things gradually begin to slip from control...

    The situation in Bosna and Herzegovina, which remains divided even 20 years after the war, is depicted in the film A Stranger. Discontent of young people with the current setting of the society, shown at a highschool class micro world, is the topic of the film Class Enemy. The theme of conception in a lesbian relationship is dealt with in the film Two Mothers.

    The Competition of Short Films includes many titles from big festivals, such as Berlin, Cannes, or Rotterdam. „There is a mix of experienced and relatively new film-makers; sometimes even within one film; and also a mix of genres or forms”, says the section compiler Erwin Houtenbrink. These films focus on topical social issues, such as dangerous ship transports from Africa to Europe (Sharaf), or an uneasy status of women in society (More Than Two Hours), others present the society via the optics of the microcosmos of accidental encounters (Homo Coreanicus), others play with the formal features (Restless Leg Saga andStoned), or they have autobiographic character (Off-White Tulips).

    The Competition of Short Films will present a wide palette of genres, methods, and styles via successful festival films, including the probably most discussed documentary film of this year – The Act of Killing, or the Cannes-awarded The Missing Picture. Both films deal with traumatising events of the modern history. Family history, on the other hand, is depicted in films Stories We Tell and Captivity. Dialogues in taxis are followed, like in the famous Jim Jarmusch's film, in Another Night on Earth.

    This year's IFF Bratislava comes with one novelty, as well – the category Out of Competition, which will present other interesting fiction, documentary, and short films, for which there was no room within the competition selections, yet they deserve attention.