The Painted Bird and SH_T HAPPENS in the 76th Venice IFF’s competitions
Strong representation of Slovak cinema is heading to the 76th Venice International Film Festival (August 28 – September 7, 2019). Long-awaited The Painted Bird by Václav Marhoul was selected for the Main Competition and short animated SH_T HAPPENS by directing duo David Štumpf and Michaela Mihályi will world premiere within Orizzonti Short Film Competition. Furthermore, representatives of two upcoming films will take part in the Venice Gap-Financing Market.
The Painted Bird follows the journey of The Boy, entrusted by his persecuted parents to an elderly foster mother. The old woman soon dies and The Boy is on his own, wandering through the countryside, from village to farmhouse. As he struggles for survival, The Boy suffers through extraordinary brutality meted out by the ignorant, superstitious peasants and he witnesses the terrifying violence of the efficient, ruthless soldiers, both Russian and German. When the war ends, The Boy has been changed, forever.
Three-country co-production (CZ-SK-UA) is based on the novel of accomplished Polish writer Jerzy Koziński. “After reading the novel The Painted Bird or the script, many people are shocked. Shocked by the description of the violence and brutality that such a creature - as a man can commit. I dare to say that Kosiński's perception of violence is not one-dimensional. Nor is it the second layer. In his conception, it is nothing but an internal, logical, and thus, in fact, irrelevant form, which has the same purpose as a picture frame that stretches the canvas. It is that what is painted on canvas is important. The story that the painting tells is important. Its content, its individual and linked parts, which gradually and inevitably lead the main hero to the final catharsis.” said director, scriptwriter and producer of the film Václav Marhoul.
For the first time in history, Slovak cinema will also have a representative in Orizzonti Short Film Competition. Short animated SH_T HAPPENS tells a story of the caretaker exhausted by everything, his frustrated wife and one totally depressed deer. Their individual despair leads them to absurd events, because... shit happens all the time.
Czech-Slovak-French co-production was made by two directors – David Štumpf and Michaela Mihályi - both of Slovak origin currently living in Prague. „Working as a directing duo can be quite complicated at times. We have worked on a few projects prior to this film already, so we divided our duties in the same way as on our previous projects, the design was in Michaela's hands and the animation in David's. But with writing and directing it was a bit different. We set a rule that the stronger argument wins. We think it made our film much better, because we had to double check everything. Also the fact that you are not alone in the production aspect of filmmaking made us less afraid of it. On the other hand, we argued for hours about the size of the brush for one scene!” say Štumpf and Mihályi about working together.
Alongside the oldest film festival, the 6th edition of the Venice Gap-Financing Market will take place. Three-day industry event will present 51 upcoming films including fiction film Charlatan (d. Agnieszka Holland) and feature-length animation My Sunny Maad (d. Michaela Pavlátová).
Programme of Slovak films:
The Painted Bird, d. Václav Marhoul, CZ-SK-UA, 2019
September 2 | 20:00 | Sala Darsena *press&industry
September 2 | 21:00 | Sala Perla *press&industry
September 3 | 16:45 | Sala Grande *world premiere
September 4 | 16:45 | PalaBiennale
SH_T HAPPENS, d. Michaela Mihályi, David Štumpf, CZ-SK-FR, 2019
August 29 | 16:30 | PalaBiennale
September 6 | 11:15 | Sala Giardino *press&industry
September 6 | 17:15 | Sala Giardino *world premiere
September 7 | 16:30 | Sala Giardino
Feature Films in AIC database:
My Sunny Maad (d. Michaela Pavlátová): http://www.aic.sk/slovak-films/23463.html
The Painted Bird (d. Václav Marhoul): http://www.aic.sk/slovak-films/21971.html
Charlatan (d. Agnieszka Holland): http://www.aic.sk/slovak-films/23466.html