Coming back to Košice, my hometown, where my family still lives, is always something special; not just for those reasons, but also thanks to the city’s one-of-a-kind atmosphere. Many people may not know that the brother of Hungarian writer Sándor Márai was the eminent film director Géza Radványi, who after emigrating discovered the likes of Louis de Funès. The brothers’ childhood home still stands in Košice’s Hlavná ulica, which to me makes a walk through the city centre all the more unique. For the festival, this ambiance is an asset.
I’ve been travelling the world for some time now; there was an entire year when I actually lived at festivals. In some places I spent less than 24 hours before flying straight to the next; in others, I could stay longer. I’ve truly seen a great deal. But even after these experiences, it’s lovely to return to Art Film Fest. Because here, I’m coming home. After the premiere of my film Out at Cannes, I actually went straight to Košice to show my film to local audiences, the first ones to see it in Slovakia. My whole family from eastern Slovakia came. I was so glad that my grandmother could come and see the film in such a festive setting. Though she proceeded to scold me about the name of the film, I’m thankful to Art Film Fest that she had the opportunity. And because my film’s subsequent marketing and distribution was rather neglected, those festival screenings in Košice have grown even more important to me over time.
I’m enjoying the city; it’s great to be able to watch outstanding films in Košice. I’ve even sat down in Kino Slovan, that old picture house with the aisle still running down the middle of the seating area, and I was just delighted by the whole thing. The fact that these spots are still in operation, that Košiče locals frequent them and that cinema interests them. I hope it stays that way for a long time yet.