La Slovacchia ha registrato un aumento delle produzioni cinematografiche e della distribuzione in sala nel 2019
- Il 2019 è stato un anno di successo per il cinema slovacco in generale, in linea con la tendenza positiva stabilita prima dell'interruzione causata dalla pandemia di coronavirus
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Throughout 2019, Slovak cinema maintained the positive trend established in previous years – and thus last year can be considered as another success story. As the 2019 Report on the Slovak Audiovisual Situation (read the full report here) states, the most outstanding areas were film production and theatrical distribution.
2019 saw 44 full-length feature films completed (27 fiction features, 16 documentaries and one block of animated films), and 24 of them were made as Slovak majority productions, an increase on the 33 feature-length projects completed in 2018, with nine solely domestic productions and ten majority productions (read our industry report here). Among the majority productions were the political thriller Amnesty [+leggi anche:
scheda film] (see the news), the tragicomic love story Loli Paradicka [+leggi anche:
intervista: Marka Staviarska
scheda film] (see the news) and an unorthodox dramedy subverting the norms of social dramas, Punk Never Ends! [+leggi anche:
intervista: Juraj Šlauka
scheda film] by Juraj Šlauka.
The minority productions cover a wide spectrum, ranging from commercial fare, such as the romantic comedy Closer to the Stars (directed by Lenka Kny), to a comedy appealing to mainstream and arthouse audiences alike (Owners [+leggi anche:
scheda film] by Jiří Havelka) and predominantly arthouse oeuvres, such as Cook F**k Kill [+leggi anche:
intervista: Mira Fornay
scheda film], written and directed by Slovak filmmaker Mira Fornay. Twelve feature-length films were debuts, the same number as in the previous year. Two movies stand out in terms of the number of awards they netted during their festival run, followed by being picked as national submissions for the Oscars race – Marko Škop’s Let There Be Light [+leggi anche:
intervista: Marko Škop
scheda film] (Slovakia’s submission for Best International Feature Film) and Václav Marhoul’s gritty World War II drama The Painted Bird [+leggi anche:
intervista: Václav Marhoul
scheda film] (a Slovak minority co-production that became the Czech representative for the Academy Awards and was shortlisted).
In terms of theatrical distribution and domestic audience attendance levels, 2019 clocks in as the second most successful year since 1993 (when the country gained its independence) in terms of the number of admissions – 6,529,320 in total, which means a 9.46% hike compared to 2018 (see the news). The number of screenings of domestic films fell by 0.67% compared to the previous year. As many as 43 Slovak features were released from among the total number of 248 theatrically distributed films. Two titles performed extremely well at the local box office: the mystery thriller The Rift [+leggi anche:
scheda film] by Peter Bebjak, which was seen by 262,588 theatre-goers, and the romantic flick The New Year’s Kiss, enticing 201,858 viewers (both films managed to enter the top ten of the most successful domestic releases). The two movies make use of a blueprint for sure-fire domestic blockbusters, which has already been verified in previous years – genre films, most notably thrillers inspired by true events (usually political thrillers), and the evergreen favourite of romance or romantic comedy.
In 2019, the Slovak Audiovisual Fund allocated €10,941,000 in total to 345 projects (out of a total of 521 submitted applications). Among the 28 new projects registered in 2019, there were features including Piargy (see the news), Il Boemo (see the news), The Chambermaid (see the news) and The File (see the news). The highest amount of financial support in 2019 (in the Production of Feature-length Audiovisual Works sub-programme) went to Juraj Lehotský’s project Applause, which benefited from €600,000 (read the report on the project formerly known as Ode to Joy). €580,000 were earmarked for the preparation and production of Never Give Up, a comedy by Matej Mináč, and Tereza Nvotová’s The Nightsiren (see the interview about the project) received €450,000.
It is clear that 2020 will not be continuing the upward trend witnessed in previous years, due to the disruption from COVID-19. Domestic institutions have come up with measures to protect the national film industry (see the news) and to mitigate the consequences (see the news). In Cineuropa’s interview with the head of the Slovak Audiovisual Fund, Martin Šmatlák, he confirmed that no film projects or film festivals faced threats to their existence, although he added that the major negative impact was on cinema operators and film distributors.
The major highlight of 2020 before the outbreak of the pandemic was the record-breaking opening of Mariana Čengel Solčanská and Rudolf Biermann’s co-written and co-directed effort Scumbag [+leggi anche:
scheda film] (see the news), a domestic blockbuster that adheres to the tried-and-tested blueprint of political thrillers inspired by true events, and which had a well-timed release slot just before the domestic general election.
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