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How did you like the 17th Annual Art Film Fest?

Milan Lasica, festival president

Exceptionally. Viewers are very important to the festival, and every day this year we have really had full cinemas and I take great pleasure in that. My greatest experience has been last Saturday, when I visited four cinemas, and they were all full.

Peter Nágel, programme director

Since we have less than twenty-four hours to the festival’s end, I can now sincerely say that the 17th Art Film Fest has succeeded. Doubts of whether the festival has crowd-drawing potential have been averted, shown by the daily-increasing attendance levels. For me this is a tremendous surprise and all the more encouraging for our work in the coming years. All of the programme’s components have worked brilliantly, and of our staff have contributed to making the atmosphere as terrific as I feel and hear from others.

Jan Kačer, chairman of the jury of the International Competition of Feature Films

I really like it here. Those big festivals with have cool hotels, beaches and red carpets aren’t the real festivals; I think the true purpose of a festival is to have good films, and there have been many beautiful films here. They had something in common – most were pictures from young filmmakers, connected by an attempt to look at the world not through the eyes of a professional filmmaker, but with deep resonance and an attempt to look at life’s inner workings. I can’t think of a single film here that didn’t captivate. Of course we could only award certain films, but at the same time, we agreed to state publicly that the films left unawarded are good, high-quality and deserve attention. I’m glad that the more challenging films found their audiences as well, which proves that cinema still has something to say, and that is precious to me.

Peter Hledík, festival vice-president, head of the Actor’s Mission Award and Golden Camera

I’m very satisfied. Five years ago, when we began co-operating with Ján Kováčik, we said to ourselves that in five years, things will start to visibly improve. And at a film festival, nothing is more visible than the cinemas. And nothing is worse than an empty cinema, and nothing is better than a visibly full cinema. And this year we have had all of the cinemas full, lots of viewers and good films. I’m convinced that this year’s festival has been extraordinarily good. I’ll leave having had one of my greatest experiences. Jeremy Irons surpassed all of my expectations. Besides his incredible professionalism and charm, he was very open and friendly. And most of all, willing to undergo a very demanding schedule. That truly touched me.