Visegrad? Where the hell is that?

With this daring motto, playfully ironic visual design and primarily interesting film selection, Visegrad Film Festival presented its programme in Cork, Ireland. How was it, where does it go and why is it actually held in Ireland?

With this daring motto, playfully ironic visual design and primarily interesting film selection, Visegrad Film Festival presented its programme in Cork, Ireland. How was it, where does it go and why is it actually held in Ireland?

“I have lived in Cork for nine years and I have been selecting the programme for a significant local cinema for the past three years. Since the very beginning, I have included films from the Visegrad countries in the programme. I found that although they are completely unknown to the viewers, they receive a big and favourable response,” remembers festival director Peter Zemek. After this experience, he decided to bring the cinema and thus also culture of the Visegrad Four to the Irish Isle by organizing a big festival.

Although the VFF only saw its second edition this year, its programme and organization improved significantly. That was possible also thanks to important partners who liked the premiere festival. “Last year, we started with a single cinema, this year we already had three,” explains Eva Pa from the realization team. “We extended the programme by screenings of short films, we introduced the best animated films by young talents as well as music videos from Slovakia,” Eva randomly names other specialties. This year’s side events are worth mentioning as well. The practical workshop of working with 16 mm material, whose quality was guaranteed by University College Cork and St. John’s College, was very successful. The video art installation of the experimental film Remembering 90 by Barbora Berezňáková, including guided tours with the filmmaker, was also well received. That, however, is not the end of the list of the festival’s positives.

“To create a real cinematic link between our five countries, we launched the Visegrad Films from the Emerald Isle section presenting short films made by Visegrad immigrants in Ireland,” explains Peter Zemek. The fact that the minority is not insignificant is proved by numbers. All four member countries of the Visegrad Four have strong and mutually interconnected communities in Ireland; there are 300 000 immigrants that became part of the local cultural life. “The festival audience is really diverse; in particular, the Visegrad viewers are the most emotional when it comes to the screenings of their national films. However, a large part of our audience is formed by the Irish,” concludes Eva Pa.

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