The very DNA of festivals includes the fact that they take place live – Vladimír Štric, artistic director of the Cinematik IFF

10. September 2021

Interview for the daily SME – Magazine about the film

How do you perceive the position of film festivals in the current complicated times?

The position of film festivals is precarious, because it absolutely depends on the current pandemic situation, which is changing rapidly. So it’s a bit like a boat on a stormy sea, you never know when you’ll hit a rock or a shallow, or whether the sea unexpectedly turns into a calm pond. And also somewhere in the corner of your soul you have to reckon with the fact that you prepare the festival all year round, but then you have to postpone it. Of course, we are talking about festivals that take place live, but DNA of festivals include that they take place live, an online festival is a virtue out of necessity and can work once or twice, but then no more.

How difficult was it to create the program of such a large film festival as Cinematik?

Given that we can still rely on a decent offer of new films from producers, distributors and rights sellers, the year 2021 was not particularly demanding. As every year, we try to choose the best from the current offer, another question is that I personally feel the deficit of films watched on the big screen at world festivals.

Tips of the program director from the program of this year’s festival?

Some of the films we saw in the program team during the selection, I like to watch again and on the big screen: An exceptional drama Dear comrades! (Dorogie tovarishchi) of the famous Andrej Končalovský, the film-based modern Beginning of the award-winning Georgian director and screenwriter Dei Kulumbegashvili, the expected Slovak film The Report of Petr Bebjak, and the action Hungarian drama Coyote by debutant Marek Kostyál. From a number of films, I also draw the attention of viewers to the title directly from this year’s Cannes – The Story of My Wife (A feleségem története) directed and screenwriter Ildikó Enyedi and to the extraordinary Oscar-nominated drama The Man Who Sold His Skin by director Kaouther Ben Hania from Tunisia. And, of course, there must be an opening film, 107 Mothers by director Petr Kerekes, which will have an exclusive domestic premiere at Cinematik.