Cinematik offers a large selection of films awarded in Cannes, Sundance, Berlin, San Sebastián and Venice

18. August 2022

In the rich programme of the Cinematik International Film Festival, viewers often have an exclusive opportunity to be the first in Slovakia to see new films by top European and world filmmakers. Many of them already come with prizes from the prestigious Sundance, San Sebastián, Venice, Cannes and Berlinale festivals. It won’t be any different even during the 17th edition of Cinematik, which will start in Piešťany on September 13, 2022. News from the workshop of award-winning directors such as Gaspar Noé, Park Chan-wook, Roger Michell or Felix van Groeningen will be concentrated, for example, in the sections Paths of Glory and Artistic Director’s Selection.

The Paths of Glory section is already a stable part of Cinematik. Visitors can look forward to a varied selection of award-winning festival films whose journeys to fame began just last year. Its curator is Peter Konečný, a member of the programme team.

One of the most remarkable titles in this section is undoubtedly Vortex (2021) by the iconic Argentinian filmmaker Gaspar Noé. The psychological drama with Dario Argento and Françoise Lebrun is the story of a couple trying to deal with the sorrows of old age. This time, Noé dropped his signature hypnotic visuals. However, he played with the picture by dividing it into two halves, which make it possible to watch the story simultaneously from the point of view of both heroes. Noé already used this formula in the movie Lux Æterna in 2019. Vortex premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. The film will have its Slovak premiere at Cinematik.

Horror fans should watch out for Men (2022). Alex Garland’s independent horror works with elements of folk tales. Its protagonist is a young widow (Jessie Buckley) who tries to find balance on a picturesque but remote estate after her husband’s suicide. However, someone or something is constantly watching her. This film was also premiered at the Cannes festival.

Ukrainian director and screenwriter Maryna Horbač’s film Klondike (2022) has also had a successful festival journey: It was screened in the Berlinale program, where it won the Ecumenical Jury Prize, but also at Sundance, where its creator won the Director’s Prize. The story takes us to the Ukrainian-Russian border to 2014, when a plane with almost 300 passengers on board was shot down. We follow the dramatic events through the lens of a couple who are trying to keep the peace in the middle of an armed conflict, but especially to protect their home and unborn child.

Korean director Park Chan-wook became famous in 2003 with the film Old Boy, winner of the Grand Jury Prize in Cannes. At the same festival this year, he won the prize for directing with the current novel Decision to Leave (Heojil kyolshim, 2022), a mysterious crime drama in which a detective becomes dangerously close to a woman suspected of murdering her husband.

Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch won the Jury Prize in Cannes this year for the film The Eight Mountains (Le otto montagne, 2022) based on the bestseller of the same name by Paolo Cognetti. A film about friendship, majestic mountains and what really matters in life. A captivating story of how children become men who try to overcome the footsteps of their fathers, but who, despite difficult life moments, always return home in the end.

The representative of Nordic cinema will be the film Beautiful beings (Berdreymi, 2022) in the Paths of Glory section. Here, Icelandic director Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson captures the story of teenage outsider Balli, who finds the missing support in a group of the same outcasts. The film impressed with its raw poetics at the Berlinale, where it won the Label Europa Cinemas award in addition to critical acclaim. Fun fact is that Czech producers also took part in the film from a predominantly Scandinavian co-production.

Cinematik visitors can also look forward to the winner of the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema category from the Sundance festival: It is the debut of Bolivian director Alejandro Loayza Grisi: Utama (2022). The film invites you to the arid South American semi-desert following an aging married couple from the Quechua tribe, whose lifestyle is irreversibly changing due to climate change.

From the Venice festival to Cinematik comes The Hole (Il buco, 2021), the local winner of the Special Jury Prize. Captivating, at times even meditative, the film captures the beauty of the southern Italian countryside, where a group of adventurers from the north come to explore one of the deepest caves in Europe.

The overview of the titles in the program of the Paths of Glory section is closed by the French drama Les Passageres de la Nuit (2022), which premiered in the main competition of the Berlinale. Screenwriter and director Mikhaël Hers built the film mainly on the acting mastery of Charlotte Gainsbourg. In a story set in Paris in the 1980s, she portrays a woman who, after years of separation from her husband, has to find a job. However, in the end, she finds much more in the radio show where she gets a job.

A reliable source of first-class film experiences is traditionally also the Artistic Director’s Selection section at Cinematik, which is overseen dramaturgically by Vladimír Štric. Once again, it will be seven exceptional international films that have already shined in the programmes of various foreign festivals. However, the Slovak viewer will see most of them for the first time.