Slovak films on a "winning strike"
Slovak films continued to be successful during April, as well. At the beginning of the month, My Dog Killer and Lidice received awards at the Titanic IFF, My Dog Killer then "scored" two awards at the Finále in Pilsen, not far away from where Made in Ash was awarded with a Special Mention of the Jury in Linz. The "winning strike" is closing with yet another win for Made in Ash, which by receiving a Special Mention at the Neisse FF successfully leapt into a new month.
Five major and co-production Slovak titles was included in the program of the 20th Titanic IFF in Budapest, Hungary beginning of April. My Dog Killer by Mira Fornay, at that time already a two-time winner (Hivos Tiger Award from Rotterdam and Best Director Award from Vilnius IFF Kino Pavasaris), received a Special Mention in the Competition section. The international jury, consisting of the Irish producer Morgan Bushe, Hungarian director Szabolcs Hajdu and the Jury president Jiří Menzel, awarded the film because of its "consistently elaborated film language, suggestive atmosphere, precise and sensitive acting, direction, that is not afraid to take chances and a courageous, in-detail worked out screenplay."
The Czech director Petr Nikolaev received the Audience Award for his film Lidice, screened within the Staropramen Beer Snacks section.
Successes of My Dog Killer continued at the 26th Festival of Czech Films Finále Plzeň, as well: together with other co-production and major Slovak films Made in Ash, DONT STOP, Confidant and In the Shadow it competed in the New Czech Feature Films in Competition section and won twice - receiving the Golden Kingfisher for the Best Feature Film and the Audience Award for the Best Acting for its leading actor Adam Mihál. The Jury - Rick McCullum (US), Zuzana Mistríková (SK), Zornitsa Sophia (BG), Christian Schwochow (DE) and Radim Špaček (CZ) justificated their verdict as follows: "We have a unanimous decision: all of us agree passionately that the film MY DOG KILLER represents the best of what pure cinema can be. It is a bold, daring and stunningly powerful film that explores a world that illuminates intolerance in a very humane and deeply moving way. It does this primarily visually and with sound, the very foundations of film, with performances that are so real and so tense that you feel the character might explode in front of your eyes. The two words that best describe our feelings about this remarkable film are: F*CKING AWESOME!"
Other Slovak titles were featured in different sections of the festival, as well: The Greatest Wish (New Czech Documentary Films in Competition), An Ambigious Report of the End of the World (Wings of Fame: Juraj Jakubisko, Jiří Menzel, Jiří Krejčík) and The Grasp of the State (Special Mention).
An award-winning weekend was waiting for Made in Ash, too, which directly after Pilsen travelled to the Linz competition of European features at the 10th Crossing Europe FF in Austria. The Jury, consisting of Dominique Choisy (France), Sarlote Liduma (Latvia) and Pia Marais (Germany / South Africa), awarded director Iveta Grófová with a Special Mention. The film was personally presented by the director together with the cinematographer Viera Bačíková and she also personally received the award.
With a winning score Made in Ash entered another month at the Neisse FF at the German-Polish boarders. The Jury consisting of Jana Černik (CZ), Przemysław Wojcieszek (PL) and Nikolaj Nikitin (DE) awarded it with a Special Mention, as well.
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Slovak films at April festivals