Not every film festival could or should be Cannes, Venice or the Berlinale – there have to be some smaller, cosier, friendlier film festivals on the circuit for us, the travelling band of filmmakers, film industry people and journalists, to relax a bit, meet one another in a pleasant atmosphere, see old friends and make new ones, while still doing our work. Art Film Fest in Košice might just be the right location for that for a variety of reasons. The weather is usually nice, the city is charming, the organization is good, the offer of “extracurricular activities” like exhibitions, concerts, receptions, parties and networking-oriented brunches is quite generous and the film programme is really diverse.
Speaking of the programme, one of the best things Art Film Fest does is give us an opportunity to finally catch some films from the A-list festivals that we have kept missing so far, but also to see other, more exotic titles that definitely deserve our attention. Carefully programmed in different sections apart from the official competition, like Children’s Movies, Late Night Show, Love & Anarchy, Slovak Season, Neighbours Online, American Indies etc., Art Film Fest’s film selection is dynamic, exciting and clever. However, my special “shout out” must go to Kristína Aschenbrennerová, curator of the festival’s most interesting and fulfilling section, Eastern Promises, which consists of the best, brightest and most carefully picked examples of East Asian cinema.