The Visegrad Film Marathon, accompanying the 12th season of the Visegrad Summer School, will begin on 10 July (Wednesday) at 7:00 pm at Kino Mikro, ul. Juliusza Lea 5. Four documentaries and four animations from each of the Visegrad Group countries will be presented at the Marathon. Come and join us; tickets are free – they can be picked at the Mikro booking office from 4 July.
The Marathon Programme
- Dušan Hudec, Svedok/Świadek/The Witness, Slovakia 2001, 39 minutes, documentary
The film is about the events, which have been silenced and are even today insufficiently present in the Slovakian social consciousness . The archival materials show the events of the end of August 1944, when German troops entered Slovakia. The Hlinka Guard, which was a paramilitary organisation whose members were trained by the SS in Germany, awaited them at the square. The Hlinka Guard were responsible for the death of almost 4 thousand civilians and the sending of many thousands more to concentration camps, and it is with one of the groups that the life of seventeen year old Alexander Breuer was inextricably linked at the time. He tells his story in a simple yet precise way, as if it all happened yesterday. This emotionless storytelling is the main dramatic component of the film. The classroom in which young Alexander spent the worst hours of his life is where it all happened. The film was awarded the SILVER DRAGON at the 41st Kraków Film Festival.
- Michaela Čopíková, O ponožkách a láske/O skarpetkach i miłości/About Socks and Love, Slovakia 2008, 6 minutes, animation
The author of this animated movie was born in 1984 in Slovakia. She studied at the animation department of VSMU in Bratislava. The film is a funny and perhaps slightly bitter metaphor for love relations that all “come out in the wash”. Washing socks is the banal situation which is at the centre of this 6-minute film. Copiková’s next film, Dust and Glitter (2011), was inspired by San Francisco and she is currently working on a full feature animation based on the Slovakian Romantic writer Pavel Dobšinski’s fairy tales.
- Róbert Lakatos, Bahrtalo!/Powodzenia!/Good Luck!, Hungary 2008, 60 minutes, documentary
The author calls his film a “docufiction”, which immediately defines his approach to the reality he films. In fact he said in interview given to dokofilm.sk that he did not break the boundaries between documentary and fiction but took advantage of them, as he steered with the development of many situations in the film. Interestingly, Róbert Lakatos grew up in Transylvania and studied at Poland’s Łódź Film School, even though his main productions are created in Hungary. In one of his previous projects, Across the Border, an international coproduction with two other Central European directors, Lakatos followed two friends, Lori and Lali, both from Transylvania, who tried their hand at small-time trading at a flea market in Vienna. Bahrtalo!, which is a continuation of the “trade roadmovie”, takes place at a more exotic location in Egypt. The Romani protagonists are confronted with a different civilization and ways of thinking, which are eventually behind many humorous situations.
- Géza M. Tóth, Maestro, Węgry 2005, 6 minutes, animation
The author of Maestro has been awarded at over 70 animation festivals. He founded the Animation Studio KEDD and is a lecturer at the Budapest University of Theatre, Film and Television and a tutor at the Royal College of Arts in London and Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, Ludwigsburg. Maestro was in fact Oscar-nominated, as it meets all the requirements of the genre, being short, smart, witty and ending with the twist.
- Martin Štoll, Cesta na Vostok/ Podróż na Wostok/ A Journey to Vostok, Czech Republic 2011, 26 minutes, documentary
Documentaries based on the materials disclosed by private film archives are enjoying great popularity in the Czech Republic and it was very lucky for the director to find such an interesting person, who took part in a very engaging event and recorded it with his camera and even wrote a journal! The protagonist of Cesta na Vostok is the Czech astrophysicist Stanislav Fisher, who studied in Moscow and was given an opportunity to visit the Soviet Vostok research station in the Antarctic. This is a fascinating record of the conditions of work and communication between people of different nations and worlds -the communist and the democratic – at the beginning of the 1960s, and also of how they received information from the world and how they responded. In fact the film is a specific kind of a journey through time.
- Martin Máj, Cizinec/ Obcy / Alien / FAMU, Czechy 2013, 7 minutes, animation
Martin Máj, born in 1986, is a student of FAMU. His student films are appreciated for his specific sense of humour and frequently shown at film festivals. His latest film Cizinec/Alien was awarded the grand prix at the International Festival of Animation Films (ANIFILM) in the student films category. Alien is a dialogue-free animated road movie, heavily laced with black humour. Its protagonist travels abroad and gathers experiences only to behave towards the foreigners at home exactly the way they treat him in their countries.
- Karolina Bielawska, Julia Ruszkiewicz, Warszawa do wzięcia/Warsaw Up for Grabs, Poland 2009, 51 minutes, documentary
The young documentary makers followed the lives of three girls who left the countryside and set off to start a new life in Warsaw, each wanting to find a job, accommodation and start an independent existence. But are they ready to face such changes? Have they received enough advice and guidance at home to face the new challenge? Are they familiar with the patterns of behaviour that they will come across now? Their parents worked on the state farms that were dismantled after the collapse of Communism, which lead to the former workers being left to their own devices and subsequently to many social pathologies. The girls, who came from poor families in areas of high unemployment, had hardly any expectations of their future. The film shows their confrontation with life in the capital, which they have hitherto known mostly as the background of TV series. The film was awarded the Special Jury Awards at the WorldFest Independent Film Festival in Huston and the Grand Prix, GOLDEN HOBBY-HORSE at the Kraków Film Festival.
- Robert Sowa, Meine Heimat/ My Heimat, 2013, 5 minutes, animation
Robert Sowa (born in 1972) graduated from the Department of Graphic Design of the Kraków Academy of Arts. He is involved in animation, painting and photography. In his films he uses the language of associations and visual creation. He is an author of animations for various documentaries and multimedia projects, combining animation with contemporary music, working in cooperation with Centre for Digital Arts & Experimental Media University of Washington and other institutions. His films have been presented at the POMPIDOU CENTRE, MUSEUM OF MODERN ART and many film festivals across the world. His latest film, Meine Heimat, is based on a poem by Ulrike Almut Sandig as it metaphorically recalls the sense of one’s own country … place … home …