Slovak Queer Film Festival to feature Slovak films

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20.10.2015

Domestic productions will be showcased at the ninth edition of the Slovak Queer Film Festival, held from 21 to 25 October in Bratislava. Films depicting the lives of LGBTI people will be shown on three screens at Kino Lumiѐre and Film Europe Cinema.

The festival is held under the auspices of President of Slovakia Andrej Kiska and endorsed by Slovakia's Public Defender of Rights, Jana Dubovcová.

Enjoying its premiere screening, V Adamovom rúchu from promising Slovak director Martin Velič is a film about the fragility of relationships and the pursuit and loss of trust. It will be introduced by its creators on Thursday, 22 October. “It is, to a large extent, my personal confession. I wrote the screenplay while getting over a breakup. A long time passed between the screenplay’s writing and the filming, however, so I was able to approach the subject with a cool head and show at certain moments that we didn’t take ourselves too seriously. I’m hopeful that my story about love and the lack thereof will be of interest to audiences,” says director Martin Velič.

The relationship of a lesbian couple is the focus of Slovak documentary Família – Wives from director Tomáš Vitek. “Família is a series of family portraits intended to inspire. They have their own stories, worldviews and problems to cope with. And in this respect, Wives was no exception,” remarks the director. The idea of filming the story of a lesbian couple occurred to the filmmakers two years ago. But it took them a long time to find women who were willing to talk about their relationship. “Many were worried about the reactions of their extended family, those they hadn’t come out to. Slovakia is a conservative country, which is in many ways positive, but accepting otherness of any kind isn’t up to the country; it’s up to individuals. Nevertheless we managed to find a couple, albeit one of mixed nationalities, who wanted to share their story with us. It’s a look at the family from a different angle,” explains Vitek.

Viewers will also gain a deeper understanding of the circumstances of LGBTI people in Slovakia thanks to the Czech/Icelandic documentary Queer Fish (d. Elísabet Elma, Líndal Guðrúnardóttir), a testament to how tragic homophobia’s consequences can be. The documentary sketch delicately comments on the heavily publicized case of the death of the nephew of Czech TV presenter Ester Janečková. In early 2014, 14-year-old Filip took his own life to escape from the homophobia he so often confronted. The film draws viewers closer to his life and social environment.

The life stories of LGBTI people in Slovakia will also be treated by one of the festival’s accompanying events – the exhibition Record of Silence, prepared by Bratislava theatre troupe NoMantinels. At the Open Society Foundation gallery, visitors will have the chance to view the photographs of Monika Pascoe Mikyšková till 1 November. The images depict domestic scenes of gay and lesbian couples, who the artist also interviewed for her book. “As a heterosexual woman with many gay friends, I sometimes had to stop and think how to explain and authentically depict their world for those whose hearts, for various reasons, harbour prejudice and contempt,” says the artist, explaining the circumstances that gave rise to the exhibition.

Advance tickets to the Slovak Queer Film Festival are available at ticketportal.sk. In November, viewers in other Slovak cities and towns will have the chance to see SQFF screenings. More about the festival at www.ffi.sk.