Press conference, 16 Oct 2018: Announcing the 29th Liffe
The programme of the 29th Liffe was outlined by Festival Director Simon Popek, as well as Uršula Cetinski, Cankarjev dom Director General, and partners – Marketing Communications Director Tomaž Jontes (on behalf of Telekom Slovenije d. d.), Matevž Jerman and Peter Cerovšek from the Kraken Society for Short Film Promotion, Jure Matičič from the Domžale City Cinema and Barbara Kelbl from the Kinodvor Cinema. Members of the press were first addressed by CD Director General Uršula Cetinski, who stressed the festival’s favourable attendance figures. Together with the growing number of screenings (from the initial 13 to almost 300 in 2017), the number of viewers has also been steadily increasing since 1990 – from 4,000 to 42,000.
After a few words by the representative of Telekom Slovenije, Tomaž Jontes, the Festival Director Simon Popek outlined the programme of the 29th Liffe. This year’s Retrospective features cinematic examples of the Czech New Wave, a movement that ended in 1968. This year we are commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968, as well as the deaths of Juraj Herz and Miloš Forman who died last April within the space of five days. Tribute is paid to the Berlin School, and its main representative Christian Petzold. Focus is placed on the geopolitical East-Northeast, and the countries of the former Soviet Union. Except for Sergei Loznitsa, most of the filmmakers featured in this section belong to the younger generation. He foregrounded the popular Icelandic cinematography that has recently enthralled festival audiences – the Perspectives section features Woman at War. The Perspectives selection is very “communicative”, primarily including comedies, not classical but satirical, treating serious issues with a highly pronounced comical element. Popek singled out several films from each section: Little White Lie is a witty caricature of fake news; Lars von Trier’s latest offering The House that Jack Built is a “bone of contention” that will split the viewers’ opinions; Loro by Paolo Sorrentini is not only a portrait of Berlusconi, but addresses “the world around him, the world of high politics”; in Popek’s opinion The Captain by German director Robert Schwetke is “one of the finest films of the year”; and Pity by Greek director Babis Makridis is “one of this year’s funniest black comedies”; mention should also be made of Loveridge’s documentary Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., which Simon Popek termed as “a powerfully engaged film” about a Sri Lankan activist and musician.
A representative of the Kraken Society for Short Film Promotion, a society oriented towards “experimental and unconventional artistic styles”, Matevž Jerman singled out the animated The Box by Dušan Kastelic, “a masterpiece that continues the tradition of outstanding animations of the recent years”. Barbara Kelbl from the Kinodvor Cinema outlined the 10th edition of the Kinobalon section. She drew attention to Halkaa by Nila Madhaba Pande, a heartrending and shocking film dealing with the issue of Indian slums, which lack even the most basic infrastructure. The film depicts a young boy's dream about his own toilet.
Jure Matičič from the Domžale City Cinema outlined the accompanying programme, singling out a “good practice” seminar titled The Arthouse Cinema We Need. Featuring foreign guests and members of the Arthouse Cinema Network Slovenia, the seminar will present different models of arthouse cinemas, “cinema on demand” practised in Austria, Germany and Belgium, good practice examples and determine what kind of arthouse cinema is required.
The 29th Liffe will delight film lovers with its rich and variegated programme, and address cinematic issues from different viewpoints in its varied accompanying programme.
Photo Manca Juvan