FNE at IFF Febiofest Bratislava 2021: Flood Takes Main Prize at Industry Days

    Applause by Juraj Lehotský Applause by Juraj Lehotský credit: Arytmia

    BRATISLAVA: Flood / Potopa, a Slovak work in progress directed by Martin Gonda, won the main prize at the 6th edition of the IFF Febiofest Bratislava Industry Days, which took place online 29 March 2021. A special mention went to the short experimental documentary Strigov by Barbora Berezňáková, which is now in post-production.

    Eleven projects in various stages of development/production were presented. Six are fiction films (including one short) and five are documentaries, including one short.

    The end of the Industry Days was devoted to presentations of partnership initiatives including Midpoint, DAE, doc.incubator, POP UP FILM RESIDENCY and SOFA.

    The event is organised by the Association of Slovak Film Clubs and the Slovak Film Institute, with financial support of the Slovak Audiovisual Fund.

    Work in progress - presented projects:

    Projects in development:

    Interiors / Interiéry (Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany)

    „Anxiety - this public secret makes the core of our film. We follow three people in two parallel realities, as they individually challenge their lives and how they interact in the safe spaces especially designed for the film. The narrative structure of the film is deeply inspired by my personal experience with anxiety and panic attacks,” said director Paula Ďurinová about her documentary debut Interiors.

    „Currently we are in the second half of the development stage supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund, and planning to apply for Media. It is an interdisciplinary project – the documentary is one of the several outputs, such as a book, gallery installation or series of talks and workshops with international topic holders,“ said Slovak producer Matej Sotník.

    Interiors is produced by Guča in coproduction with Analog Vision (Czech Republic) and Jana Cisar Filmproduktion (Germany). Cooperation with Universität der Künste Berlin is in negotiation.

    Production is planned for early 2022. The producers are open to bring other professionals into the project – distributors, festival representatives, people from cross-media platforms, etc.

    Mother of Darkness / Matka noci (Slovakia, Czech Republic, Latvia)

    The full-length debut of Peter Czikrai observes the Slovak witch-concept through the horror genre. „It´s a dark story with elements of social parabola, about exposing our cruel human nature. It deals with the question: Why do we commit evil deeds and why do we yield to them?“ said the director about the story.

    „We are in the stage of development and financing. We have received development support of 20,000 EUR from the Slovak Audiovisual Fund and we attended the Midpoint screenwriters workshop. Right now we have the fourth draft of the script,“ said producer Jana Kluková.

    The film is produced by KFS production in coproduction with Mindset Pictures (Czech Republic) and Mojo Raiser (Latvia). The estimated budget of the film is 1.2 m EUR. The producers are planning to apply for production support from the Slovak Audiovisual Fund. The entry of RTVS into the project is under negotiation.

    The producers are looking for coproduction partners from nearby countries, such as Poland, Hungary, Romania, Russia, or Serbia, and more opportunities to present the project at festival platforms.

    Flood / Potopa (Slovakia)

    The feature debut of Martin Gonda follows the story of Mara’s home village, which is sealed by a new dam project. She wants to leave the village, but her father will not allow her. Mara finds herself at the heart of a village community which is plagued by failing infrastructure, hidden terrors of the authorities, and the incoming flood.

    „For me, Flood has always been a story about the end of the world: the extinction of small communities, the eradication of a culture and way of life, the loss of identity and traditions, of home and well-established systems of coexistence,“ said the director about the story.

    The film is produced by Silverart. The estimated budget is 861,300 EUR. The film is supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund and Minority Culture Fund.

    The producers are looking for coproducers. Shooting is planned for June 2022.

    Projects in production:

    Applause / Potlesk (Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic)

    The drama directed by Juraj Lehotský tells the story of a talented musician Matúš, who left his successfully developing career to take care of his ill adoptive mother. After her death, he’s living with his stepbrother Dávid and together they go through life, each in his own way.

    „Right now the director is on set for the last two days of shooting,“ said delegate producer Katarína Tomková, „What is interesting about the visual style is that every scene in this film was shot in one take, without cuts.“
    The film is produced by ARYTMIA s.r.o. in coproduction with RTVS, Harine Films (Poland) and Black Balance (Czech Republic). The estimated budget of 1.3 m EUR is supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund, Polish Film Institute and Czech Film Fund.

    One More Question (Slovakia, Great Britain, Czech Republic)

    The documentary by Mira Erdevički follows the lives of three protagonists, who represents a generation of Slovak and Czech Roma children who emigrated to the UK in the 90´s and early 2000. In England, they were given chances which had been denied in their homelands. They took the opportunities and became educated and confident Europeans. But Brexit and world-wide pandemic has intervened in their lives, and also had an impact on the production.

    „Because of the lockdown, we really discover that we need to stop filming, and the four years of material that we have will be used in the new concept. We equipped our protagonists with iPhones and GoPro cameras, so they can film themselves,“ Mira Erdevički and coproducer Lucie Wenigerová said in a presentation.

    One More Question is produced by Slovak Pubres in coproduction with Spring Pictures (Great Britain), Krutart (Czech Republic), RTVS and Czech Television. The final budget of 270,000 EUR was supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund, Czech Film Fund, Minority Culture Fund, BFI/Doc Society and Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage (GB).

    The production of the film will end this summer and the completion is planned for the end of 2021. The producers are looking for sales agents and distribution partners.

    Maverick (Of Man and Hen) / Samorast (Slovakia) / previous title Chicken

    The short fiction directed by the fourth year student of film directing Peter Hoferica is a tragicomedy about 30 year old Juraj, who finds out that his parents are divorcing. Humour and drama result also from the way the main character is filmed, as he speaks to the viewer directly into the camera in the Fleabag style, in contrast to the other characters.

    Maverick (Of Man and Hen) is produced by FTF VŠMU and supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund. The length of the short will be 20 minutes and the premiere is planned for August 2021.

    „We are looking for film distributors, film creators or sales agents who would like to take our film and show it at their festivals or in their country.“

    A Happy Man / Šťastný človek (Slovakia, Czech Republic)

    The social documentary directed by Soňa Gyárfáš Lutherová follows the intimate story of a Czechoslovak family who emigrated to Sweden ten years ago, had two children and made a new home. Their ordinary life starts to change after the wife and mother finds a new hobby (writing erotic novels for the LQBT community) and realises that she doesn´t feel natural as a woman, and decides to become a man.

    „We follow the family´s everyday life for over two years. We use observations, interviews, selfie videos, photographs and family archives, and we will also show the imaginative world of Marvin’s novels. Only time will show, if Marvin will find his happiness, what will remain and what will change – this will give a true meaning to the title of our film – A Happy Man,“ the director said about the story.

    The film is produced by AZYL Production in coproduction with Company F (Czech Republic) and HBO Europe. It is supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund.

    „Despite the pandemic our production is moving forward. We shot more than 20 hours of great footage. We are moving forward with a coproduction deal with HBO Europe. We are looking for a Swedish coproducer and world sales. For the financing we are looking for 55,000 to reach the final 200,000 EUR, “ said Peter Veverka from AZYL Production.

    The release is expected in 2022.

    Unbalanced / Zošalieť (Slovakia, Czech Republic)

    The social tragicomedy directed by Zuzana Piussi tells the story of 45 year old Nada and her small daughter. Following her divorce, Nada has decided to start living again and better – to feel calmer and be more successful. But an unexpected source of frustration for Nada comes in the form of a local mentally ill person living in the flat above hers.

    The film is produced by Virus film and D1film. The estimated budget of 320,000 EUR is supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund and the Czech Film Fund.

    The release is expected in the Autumn of 2022.

    Projects in postproduction:

    Strigov (Slovakia) 8min.

    The short experimental documentary by Barbora Berezňáková depicts an intimate perspective, a surreal reflection of death and life through a poetic lens of the rarely captured moment of a relative‘s funeral in old traditional Ruthenian community.

    „As a western culture, where I now belong, we are trying to escape the uncomfortable. We are pretending that death doesn´t exist. Until it does. Until it becomes a very emotional and personal experience,“ said the director.

    The film is produced by Známa firma. The estimated budget of 8,000 EUR is supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund and the producers will apply for postproduction support in the autumn of 2021. The distribution partner is the NGO Disco sailing.

    „We are looking for postproduction partners, sales agents and festivals to premiere the film in 2021,“ said the director Barbora Berezňáková.

    Power / Moc (Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic)

    The Central European political thriller or, as the director Mátyás Prikler said, tragicomic absurd drama, deals with politics and power in contemporary Western democracy. The story of an unfortunate incident whereby a high-ranking politician accidentaly kills a boy, reveals the hidden machinery of political power, and its mechanisms of self-protection.

    Power is produced by MPhilms and coproduced by Proton Cinema (Hungary) Negativ (Czech Republic) and RTVS.

    The estimated budget is 1,590,000 EUR. The film is supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund, Kultminor, the Hungarian National Film Fund, the Czech Film Fund and Creative Europe.

    Release is expected in 2021.

    Completed project:

    Rough Poetry Architect / Architekt drsnej poetiky (Slovakia, Czech Republic, Brazil)

    The docudrama by Ladislav Kaboš tells the story of Hans Broos, a Carpathian German born in Slovakia, who became an important representative of modern Brazilian architecture.

    „We started to develop this film in 2018 and worked with many archive materials. For the next couple of years we shot in authentic locations in Slovakia, Germany and Brazil. We met people who worked with Hans Broos, and also a young historian of architecture, who all spoke very enthusiastically about his work. It is this enthusiasm we would like to pass on to viewers at cinemas and festivals,“ said producer Darina Smržová.

    The film is produced by EDIT studio (Slovakia) in coproduction with RTVS, KABOS Film & Media (Czech Republic) and Embaúba Produções (Brazil).

    The premiere is planned for the autumn of 2021. There will also be a 56 minute long television version available. The producers are looking for sales agents, broadcasters and festivals interested in including this film in their programme.