Slovenčina                                                              29.09.2022, 01:10
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IVETA GRÓFOVÁ (1980, Trenčín)

Graduated from the Faculty of Animated Film (2004) and the Faculty of Documentary Film (2009) at the Bratislava’s Academy of Performing Arts. Directed short documentary At Least (2003), The Politics of Quality (2005), Goodbye Party (2005), Guest Workers (2007) and the short animation There Was 11 of Us (2004). Made in Ash is her debut fiction feature.


► How did you find the story of your film?


After high school, I wanted to earn some money for my university studies and I also wanted to get away for a while. Accidentally, I ended up in Aš, where I spent several months behind the sewing machine. I was very shocked by that environment and I ran back to mom very quickly. At the film school I returned to these memories and started to write the first draft of the story.


► The film was originally developed as a time-lapse documentary. When did you change it to a fiction film and why? Did it extend the dramaturgical options?


At the beginning, I used to visit Aš for research. I selected real exteriors, got to know the people. I was preparing to shoot a documentary film. With this technique, I slowly incorporated authentic people to the film, ones who are representing themselves  and I shot several purely documentary scenes which are now part of the film.

The leading female roles were a problem. If I want to shoot a film about girls who, due to their bad social situation, gradually exchange the work in a textile factory for a brothel, or have German pensioners supporting them, I am entering a particular part of life of these real women which they don‘t want to / cannot openly and sincerely talk about. I needed to go deeper and, at the same time, I needed to find somebody reliable. There were several women I shot with that ran off to Germany too quickly. It was important for me to tell the story of maximum two girls during a longer time period, in order for me to capture the process of their first job in the factory to the departure to Germany or a brothel as accurately as possible. I wanted to capture the motivation leading them to rough life-changing decisions, by most condemned immoral.

That is why I chose to change the method of the shooting. I “implemented” two non-professional actresses, Dorota and Silvia, to the authentic settings and based on the previously observed, together with Marek Leščák, we wrote a new, more accurate script for a fiction film. In this way I could present the story in a more truthful way, than by mean of a “pure” documentary.


► Your film could slightly remind of films by Ulrich Seidl. What’s your relationship to his work?


A positive one. His Models are one of the films that definitely influenced me. Just as films by Rainer Werner Fassbinder or the documentaries by Krzysztof Kieślowski.


Made in Ash is setting off on to the festival circuit. Are you however working on new stories and projects?


On Made in Ash I worked for several years, and, naturally, I started developing new projects, as well.

One of them is the film Discoboy about a Slovak guy Fero, a disco owner on the Czech-German borders. It is an authentic film about the life of a man at the edge of the “criminal underworld of fat-necked 90´s business men” and the life of a good guy dreaming of his own big discotheque.

On a long-term basis, I’ve been co-operating with the Slovak League against Cancer. Thanks to this, I was able to gather material for an omnibus film Jump Cuts (Prestrihy) rising from everyday and often absurd situations that originate between people with cancer and their environment. I’m not sure yet myself to which of these stories I give priority and I start working at.

published: 27.06.2012
updated: 28.06.2012