Programme team member Peter Konečný presents his five tips for the festival

9. September 2022

Peter Konečný and his festival selection:

Aftersun / r. Charlotte Wells

The main competition of the Cinematik Meeting Point Europe International Film Festival brings together a selection of exceptional European films, from which a jury of film critics and FIPRESCI members will choose their favourite, in addition to the audience. Traditionally, the selection consists of top films that have already had success at festivals around the world.

The section will open with a subtle British-American drama awarded at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Aftersun. The prestigious Critics’ Week French Touch Prize went to director and screenwriter Charlotte Wells, for the story of Sophie reflecting on the shared joy and personal melancholy of a holiday she spent with her father twenty years ago. Real and imagined memories fill in the gaps between the footage from the miniDV tapes, alongside her struggle to reunite the father she knew with the man she didn’t.

Vortex / r. Gaspar Noé

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 paths to fame began in the past year.

One of the most resounding titles in this section is undoubtedly Vortex (2021) by the iconic Argentinian filmmaker Gaspar Noé. Starring Dario Argento and Françoise Lebrun, this psychological drama is the story of a husband and wife trying to deal with the stresses of old age. Noé has abandoned his signature hypnotic visuals this time around. However, he has played with the image by splitting it into two halves, which allow us to follow the plot from the point of view of both protagonists at the same time. Noé had already made use of this element in his 2019 film Lux Æterna. Vortex premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. It will premiere in Slovakia at Cinematik.

The Eight Mountains / Le otto montagne / r. Felix van Groeningen, Charlotte Vandermeersch

The Cannes Jury Prize this year went to Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch for Le otto montagne (The Eight Mountains), based on Paolo Cognetti’s bestseller of the same name. It is a film about friendship, majestic mountains and what really matters in life. A captivating story of how children become men who struggle to retrace their fathers’ footsteps, but who, despite life’s challenging moments, always come home in the end.

This meticulous work won over the compilers of the Paths of Glory section and definitely deserves the big screen during its Slovak premiere at the Cinematik festival. The title will be screened in the large hall of the House of Arts – the largest cinema in Slovakia.

Klondike / r. Maryna Er Gorbach

The film Klondike (2022) by Ukrainian director and screenwriter Maryna Er Gorbach has had a successful festival journey: It flashed in the Berlinale programme, where it won the Ecumenical Jury Prize, as well as at Sundance, where its creator took home the Directing Award.

The story takes us to the Ukrainian-Russian border in 2014, when a plane with almost 300 passengers on board was shot down. We follow the dramatic events through the lens of a husband and wife who, in the midst of an armed conflict, try to keep the peace, but most importantly to protect their home and their unborn child. Cinematik will present this extraordinary Ukrainian drama in its Slovak premiere.

Slovo / r. Beata Parkanová

Beata Parkanová’s period film Slovo (The Word) had its world premiere at this year’s Karlovy Vary Film Festival (KVIFF). It won two main prizes from the international jury. Beata Parkanová won the Directing Award and Martin Finger the Male Actor Award. This is a historic success for Czech-Slovak film, as no Czech or Slovak film has ever won awards in both categories. The film will also be screened at the Cinematik festival in its Slovak festival premiere.

Slovo follows the story of Václav and Věra, who have given their word to each other that they will stand by each other through thick and thin. However, their surroundings and the difficult times in Czechoslovakia in 1968 and 1969 put them to a difficult test. The Word is a film about the unassuming strength of the love of two disparate spouses who hold fast and protect each other. Martin Finger and Gabriela Mikulková excel in the lead roles.

“The Word” is a film about one family, a film that follows the main characters, their emotions, feelings, gropings, fears, decisions in certain limited insights and intensities. I hope it also allows us to observe ourselves, to get in touch with our own feelings. I like it when a film can use art to penetrate behind the false shield we create for ourselves and touch something true within us,” director and screenwriter Beata Parkanová introduces her film.