The 5th Visegrad Film Forum (VFF) – international networking and educational platform for upcoming filmmakers – was held at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava between April 5-9, 2016. This year was attended by 406 accredited participants from 17 countries – mostly from Europe. We had also the participants from United Arab Emirates or Turkey. VFF was opened with the screening of this year´s Oscar winner in Best Foreign Language Film category – Son of Saul. After the screening there was a discussion with production designer of the film – László Rajk.
One 2 day long lecture
VFF unofficially started at 13:00 on Tuesday, April 5 with the first part of the closed 2day long lecture with Hungarian production designer László Rajk. Rajk, who worked with directors as Béla Tarr, Szabolcs Hajdu or Ridley Scott, gave special lecture about the production design for 25 participants. He held also first master class for all the participants of VFF in the morning on
Wednesday. The participants were very impressed of his knowledge and experience in field. After the master class the second part of the closed lecture was continued.
Seven master classes, six case studies and four blocks of student films
Participants of this year´s VFF had a special opportunity to attend 7 master classes with renowned film experts during five days. Except László Rajk VFF welcomed acclaimed experts as a directors Agnieszka Holland and Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, documentary filmmaker Bartosz Konopka, cinematographer Martin Žiaran, director of Israel Film Fund Katriel Schory or famous costume designer Paco Delgado.
Thursday belonged to the Polish cinema. The programme starts with Bartosz Konopka´s master class. He was talking about the working process and his cooperation with Piotr Rosołowski. After the block of student films there was a master class with Agnieszka Holland. The screening hall was full of young filmmakers, interested of work and films by Holland. The very special part of her master class was also a screening of her impressive diploma film from FAMU studio Hrich boha (The sin of god). Thursday´s programme ended with the case study of Holland´s second feature film – The Fever.
The Fever was one from the exceptional films, which were screened during VFF. Organizers prepared very special programme with every evening case study. Participants had an opportunity to see films as two Konopka´s short documentaries Rabbit á la Berlin and The Art of Disappearing, one of the most successful European films in 2012 – Blancanieves – unique Spanish black and white version of Snow White. The screening was with a presence of a costume designer Paco Delgado.
One very intensive industry day
The main topic of this year´s VFF became audience development and film literacy. Presentation of European projects, connected with audience development and film literacy was during all Friday, April 8. VFF welcomed presenters as the director of Doc Alliance Academy Nina Numankadić, or Eroll Bilibani, the executive director of DokuFest – International Documentary and Short Film Festival – the largest film festival in Kosovo, Maciek Jakubczyk – an expert for Polish Film Institute on children film screenplays from New Horizons Association, Ivo Anderle and his distribution project Scope 100 and others. A very special part of this programme was master class with Katriel Schory, the director of Israel Film Fund, who shared not only his experience, but mainly very important information about the audience development.
The last day on Saturday, April 9 started with the Paco Delgado´s master class. He talked about his work as a costume designer, about how important film costumes are. He prepared for participants a lot of materials and photos of his work. The last master class of VFF belonged to famous Fridrik Thor Fridriksson. Master class was followed by case study of his debut feature film White Whales, which gained a Special Mention at Locarno International Film Festival in 1987. This film was also official end of this year´s VFF.
Expect the master classes and case studies of the more than interesting European films, VFF continued with the friendly battles of partner schools. The best from film schools in Central and Eastern Europe in blocks of two partner schools, which were screened every day. The participants could see films and speak with filmmakers from Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine and Romania.