Happy ending to the 17th Slovak Queer Film Festival
With its biggest edition to date and the slogan “Our differences connect us”, the Slovak Queer Film Festival (FFi) screened nearly 100 feature-length and short films across five Bratislava cinemas last week. “I think we once again succeeded in creating a space where LGBTI+ people and others felt good, safe and welcome in their society. That is a very important aspect of our festival,” affirmed FFi director Zita Hosszúová.
The screenings at the Slovak National Gallery and the Film and Television Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts, as well as the cinemas Mladosť, Nostalgia and Film Europe, were accompanied by interesting events – the educational programme CineQueer, inKonferencia, discussions, the Film Lab for Kids, the Cabaret & Party and Queer Cross Stitch. “At the festival, I took in the very supportive, friendly atmosphere and terrific energy, while meeting lovely people. I hope more people get to experience that feeling of togetherness and community – all they have to do is come to next year’s festival,” said Roman Samotný from FFi, with Zita Hosszúová adding: “Due to its scale and – I can confidently say – thanks to its solid organization and rich array of diverse films, the Slovak Queer Film Festival has become one of Bratislava’s main film events, and that’s both a major commitment and a call to action for future years.”
For the first time, the festival included a jury that selected the Best Short Film in the festival’s international short film competition. Lena Bohunicki (Filmtopia), Pavel Bicek (Mezipatra) and Jakub Spevák (Fest Anča) awarded the grand prize to Colombian short film Worlds Burning Amid the Shadows (d. Ismael García Ramírez, 2023). “In recognition of the film’s meticulous directing and form, as well as the filmmaker’s ability to convey the fleetingness of the moment in the form of a dream that reflects gritty reality. The film provides an innovative perspective on allyship in the queer microcosm,” stated the jury when presenting the award. The Special Jury Mention went to Slovak film The Birth of a Woman from Soňa Nôtová for its “interdisciplinary approach, which gracefully joins science with its subjects’ personal perspectives and stories, including those of the filmmaker herself.” According to the jury, the picture “successfully delivers a full, complex viewing experience in a short format.” Every year, FFi also grants the Pink Balloon audience award to the festival’s most popular feature-length film. Conducted online via the website cinepass.sk, the poll was won by the thriller Femme. And thanks to its high ratings from the viewer poll in the short film section, The Birth of a Woman was also awarded a Pink Balloon.
In addition to Slovak and international queer cinema, the 17th annual Slovak Queer Film Festival also featured several guests: Bohdan Zhuk, a programmer at the Kyiv International Film Festival Molodist and founder of the Ukrainian queer film festival Sunny Bunny, distinguished Hong Kong filmmaker Jacqueline Liu, screenwriter Miro Šifra and director/anthropologist Soňa G. Lutherová. “The films generated very positive responses, which makes me, as a programmer, incredibly happy. What pleased me most was the sold-out screening of Slovak shorts, where most of the directors came to personally introduce their films. That’s one of the reasons I’m hopeful that future editions of the festival will have an even richer selection of Slovak productions,” concluded FFi programmer David Benedek. Patronage of the festival was assumed by Slovakia’s president Zuzana Čaputová, the country’s public defender of rights Róbert Dobrovodský and mayor of Bratislava’s Staré Mesto district Matej Vagač.
The festival receives financial support from Slovakia’s Audiovisual Fund.
Organized with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic.
Major partners: Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Berlin, Férová nadácia, US Embassy in Slovakia, Poisťovňa NN, DHL, Hotel Clarion and CzechTourism Slovakia.
Partners: Kino Lumière x SNG, Kino Mladosť, Kino Nostalgia Nivy, Kino Film Europe, Film and Television Faculty at Bratislava’s Performing Arts Academy, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, NO CAP, MyCinepass, Bratislava–Staré Mesto, Edisonline, Bratislava Tourist Board, Ministry of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic, Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Bratislava, Embassy of Brazil in Bratislava, Guimarães Rosa, Víno Lednár, Blossom and Cheese, Ruido.cafe
Media partners: TERAZ, TA3, TV JOJ, FM RADIO, Denník N, Aktuality, Startitup, TOP Fashion, Refresher, Kinema, Film sk, Queer Slovakia, Citylife, Kam do mesta, QYS, Ponton, plan.art, Asian Movie Pulse, easternKicks