FESTIVALS: Slovak Febiofest Shortened to One Day Due to Pandemic

    Kryštof Hádek and Jiří Mádl in Droneman by Petr Zelenka Kryštof Hádek and Jiří Mádl in Droneman by Petr Zelenka

    BRATISLAVA: Febiofest will last only one day, Wednesday 30 September 2020, due to the increase of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Slovak Prime Minister announced the tightening of measures and a ban on cultural events only two days before the planned opening of the festival. After the cancelation of the 27th IFF Febiofest in March 2020, the festival was supposed to take place on an alternate date from 30 September to 4 October 2020.

    At a press conference on Monday 28 September the Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovič announced new restrictions, including a ban on mass events, which will take effect on 1 October. Stricter measures came after the last week, when the number of the infected increased significantly. A record of 552 new coronavirus-positive cases was reported on Friday.

    The autumn Febiofest was ready to screen films in two smaller cinemas, using only 50 percent of the capacity for spectators who adhere to strict hygiene measures. No accompanying events or sessions were planned. Long-awaited premieres, which were postponed from March, were ready for release, including Earthly Paradise / Raj na Zemi directed by Jaro Vojtek or Cook F++k Kill / Žaby bez jazyka directed by Mira Fornay.

    „If we have interpreted the words in Monday´s statement correctly, from 1 October cultural houses, theatres and cinemas will also close en block. In that case, of course, our projections cannot be screened,“ said Ľubica Orechovská, executive director of Febiofest.

    The organisers decided to screen a selection of ten films from the Febiofest programme in Bratislava's cinemas Lumière and Mladosť during Wednesday 30 September, when the inauguration of the festival was to take place. The list of the screenings includes the Slovak premiere of Czech/Slovak/Slovenian coproduction Droneman / Modelár directed by Petr Zelenka and the Oscar-nominated Corpus Christi / Boże Ciało directed by Jan Komasa.