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Art Film Fest 2015: Maidan, Berlinale’s best debut and more

An eight-day celebration of cinema awaits visitors at the 23rd edition of Art Film Fest, running from 19 to 26 June 2015 in Trenčín and Trenčianske Teplice.

This year’s programme will be divided into 13 sections. “Throughout the year, we attend prestigious independent international festivals both large and small, seeking out titles for Slovakia’s filmgoers. We pick the latest works of distinguished filmmakers as well as newcomers who are making waves in today’s film world. And while festival awards do reflect a film’s positive reception, not every film in our programme has to have a prize ‘tacked on’. It goes without saying that, given their quality, we consider all our films equal,” says festival director Peter Nágel.

This approach is exemplified by the International Competition of Feature Films. Curated by Nágel himself, the original collection includes the winning debut from this year’s Berlinale – director Gabriel Ripstein’s 600 Miles, starring Oscar nominee Tim Roth; the New Zealand production Dark Horse from director James Napier Robertson, festooned with ten international awards including ones for best film and director; and one of the year’s most talked-about Turkish films – Sivas from debut director Kaan Müjdeci.

Art Film Fest’s grand prizes – the Blue Angels – will also go to the winners of the International Competition of Short Films. This year marks a new festival record for the number of entries, with a total of 148 feature-length and 932 short films submitted to the two competitions respectively.

Art Film Fest fans can also look forward to other popular time-tested sections: Around the World, with exclusive preview screenings of major titles; European Corner, featuring the most fascinating films from the Old World; Eastern Promises, serving up cinematic delicacies from Asia; Slovak Season’s selection of the most notable domestic releases; Love and Anarchy, highlighting trailblazing trends of independent film; and Late Night Show, capping off each day of the festival with a hand-picked array of genre films.

New to the programme will be Slovakia’s first-ever showcase of the latest developments in American independent cinema – Focus: American Indies. Another newcomer is Focus: Ukraine, led by Maidan, a documentary from renowned director Sergei Loznitsa premiered at last year’s Cannes. The film captures the revolution on Kiev’s legendary square, from the mass euphoria and determination to change things, to the police and army’s blockade and eventual attack against the protestors.

This year’s Art Film Fest will also include the new Short Film Special: Window on Qatar, featuring shorts from this hitherto-obscure, exotic corner of the Arab world, selected for Art Film Fest by the curator of this section Laura Aimone.

As in previous years, films will be screened in Trenčianske Teplice at Prameň Cinema (Kino Prameň) and Kursalón, and in Trenčín at Cinemax, ArtKino Metro and the ODA Festival Cinema – the Garrison Club.

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Art Film Fest 2015—the 23nd International Trenčianske Teplice/Trenčín Film Festival

Organizers: ART FILM, n.o., FORZA, a.s.
Co-organizers: the Town of Trenčianske Teplice, the City of Trenčín, Kúpele Trenčianske Teplice

The festival is held under the auspices of Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic Robert Fico.
Financial support: the Audiovisual Fund
General sponsor: Slovenská elektrizačná prenosová sústava
Main sponsors: Slovenská pošta, SLOVNAFT, Transpetrol, AquaCity Poprad, cestovná kancelária Hydrotour,
Official transport provider: Hyundai
Logistics sponsor: DHL
Student cinepasses for just €5 provided by: Prvá stavebná sporiteľňa (First Housing-Construction Savings Bank) Sponsors: DWC Slovakia, SEVITECH, LGM, Slovak Telekom

Official suppliers: Hutira Wine, Moët, Barzzuz, ad one
Main media partners: Slovak Radio and Television, Rádio FM, Pravda
Media partners: Film Europe Channel, Central Europe Television, Rádio Anténa, Rádio Beta, zoznam.sk, Eurotelevízia, Forbes, STAR, Kam do mesta, Film.sk, webnoviny.sk
Partner: the European Commission Representation in Slovakia