All’s Well That Ends Well. Visegrad Film Forum Day Five


Everything has to end at some point. Before the final events of VFF, our Film Club members decided to say goodbye to Bratislava, which gave us such a warm welcome during these last few days.

Then we came back to VSMU to take part in the last screening session. This time all movies presented equally high level. Students from Ireland and Poland showed five short films and two animations. The Irish team prepared two short films about social issues and two animations. On the other hand, the group of Polish students submitted fiction films about different topics but all of them concerned relationships between a man and woman (or, in one case, a boy and a girl). Students from both schools had budgets amounting to approximately a few, up to a dozen or so thousands euros. As we heard from Polish students in our private conversation, the team from Katowice, Poland, had to organize most of the equipment on their own. 

The next event of the day was the master class with Peter Strickland, who is an English director and writer. He shared his movie-making experience with the audience and he admitted that sometimes there are situations when he is not able to write anything for days on end but when he comes up with a great idea, everything comes quickly and in short time the whole project is completed. He also believes that comedy directors have the most stressful job of all because good comedies are generally more difficult to come up with than serious dramas. This is the reason why he is not following in the footsteps of Woody Allen and Mel Brooks. In addition, Strickland said that he is also interested in music and he admires composers like Ennio Moriconne, Krzysztof Penderecki and Bruno Nicolai. Despite the fact that Strickland has vast knowledge of popular music, when he is working on his movie he prefers to cooperate with professional composers whom he can trust. He applies the same pattern to other collaborators, because he prefers to gather a crew that he can rely on no matter what.

He also complained that the work of a freelance director is very hard because he never knows if he will have enough amount of money for future projects. It pays more to be a cleaning lady than a director in this case, said Strickland. After the master class, he led a case study about his film, Katalin Varga, preceded by a screening of the movie.

Visegrad Film Forum in Bratislava was a very successful event. Many professionals, such as Colin Arthur, Ludovica Ferrario or Steve Matthews, have decided to come aboard. Moreover, there were a lot of interesting films created by students from all over the world. They proved that young people can create incredible movies and having a lot of money is not always necessary to achieve something quite impressive. We also gained priceless knowledge about the film industry from the perspective of many different professions, such as production, screenwriting or special effects.

The Students’ Film Club from a University of Łódź would like to thank the organisers for giving us the opportunity to take part in this invaluable event. We are also grateful for the networking events, which gave us a chance to meet a lot of people from different countries and talk about our varying experience. We do hope that we’ll be able to revisit your beautiful country and take part in VFF next year. Bardzo dziękujemy! Vel’mi pekne! Thank you very much!  

© Filip Koszlaga & Maciej Sztąberek & Magdalena Popłońska