VFF 2015 is over...but don´t be sad!

We are looking forward to seeing you next year!!!

Visegrad Film Forum – international networking and educational platform for upcoming filmmakers – was held at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava between 11th and 14th March 2015. This year was attended by 380 accredited participants from 13 countries – mostly from Europe, but also from The Philippines and Vietnam. The festival opened with the screening of the Academy Award winning classic The Godfather. The film was introduced by Christopher Newman who was nominated for the film in the sound category.

Four master classes, one workshop, five case studies

Four master classes by renowned professionals took place during the Visegrad Film Forum's four days. The Academy Award winning sound mixer Christopher Newman also gave a separate two-day workshop focused on sound in film for young filmmakers.

The first master class was held by Christopher Newman. In an all-day event he introduced his long career  (more than 70 feature-length films, 5 Academy Award nominations, 3 wins) and during the workshop he shared his views on how the students should think about sound in film: „Students who are working in sound have to concentrate on what the film is about, what the scene is about, and when they know what the film is about and what the scenes are about then they will know what sound is most appropriate for those scenes. It is as simple as that. It is a very difficult question necessarily to answer but that's how you do it.“

Fabio Grassadonia opened the third day with a conversation with Matthieu Darras from Torino Film Labs. They talked about the success of his debut he made with his longtime creative partner Antonio Piazza. Salvo tells a story of a mafia hit-man who spares the life of a blind girl. It won two awards at Cannes  Critic's Week in 2013.  

The topic of success at prestigious festivals was further explored by Ludmila Cvikova, who shared her experiences with students from international film festival she cooperated with such as Karlovy Vary, Locarno, Sarajevo or Rotterdam, where she worked as programmer for 15 years. 

"Wonderful vibes that one can feel at the Visegrad Film Forum are definitely a good sign that something extraordinary is going on here. I sincerely believe in the bright future of this project as it’s organized with passion and highly professionally. I even believe that this educational event, so useful for young people, has got a great potential to grow into a most important even of a kind in this part of Europe."

Ludmila Cvikova

Visegrad Film Forum 2015 was closed by master class  from Danish investigative documentary filmmaker Mads Brügger, who talked about his controversial method of filmmaking. Mads Brügger creates fake identities to access environments controlled by dictators (The Red Chapel - North Korea) or corrupt politicians and businessmen (The Ambassador - Central African Republic).  

A case study about the film Free entry with Hungarian editor Brigitta Bacskai was also part of the lineup. The feature debut of young Hungarian director Yvonne Kerékgyártó was shot with a small crew during two Sziget music festivals in Budapest. 

Friday and Saturday, were dedicated to unique workshop for fifteen selected students of sound from our eight partner schools. These students with Christopher Newman shot different scenes with actors: staged, videoed and recorded: exterior and interior. Then, they talked about shot scenes and their sound. Thanks to that practical experience, the students could find their strengths and weaknesses and discussed them with a recognized expert.

"Your Festival was great! The students were impressively knowledgeable and most enthusiastic. It was a pleasure exchanging ideas with participants from all over Eastern Europe. The memories will remain with me for a very long time." 

Christopher Newman

Four screenings, eight partner schools

Each of the eight partners schools – ADU Zagreb (Croatia), AGRFT Ljubljana (Slovenia), FAMU Praha (Czech Republic), LMTA Vilnius (Lithuania), Lodz Film School (Poland), SZFE Budapest (Hungary), UNATC Bucharest (Romania) including our co-organizing school FTF VSMU Bratislava (Slovakia) – screened a collection of their best films from last year in a form of a friendly battle, where two schools were screened back to back in one block. The screenings were followed by discussions with students. Among them were 2 participants of this year´s Berlinale – Slovak Rosso Papavero and Polish Maja. Also a participant of the Cannes Film Festival – Polish Fragments

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