The Slovak Film Institute Issued a Representative 10-Blu-ray Collection “Slovak Film”

On the occasion of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Slovak Film Institute issued a representative ten-part Blu-ray collection entitled “Slovak Film”. It consists of five films from the Golden Fund and five films from the current history of Slovak cinema. The collection was intended to present Slovak cinema in the European Union Member States during our Presidency from 1 July 2016; period posters to the individual films were also published in support of the collection.

PRESS RELEASE / 28 june 2016

The collection of ten Blu-ray films comprises significant works of Slovak cinema. The SFI’s Publication Council assembled the collection in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. The first five films are films over which the Slovak Film Institute exercises the producer’s rights under the Audiovisual Act. These include the war drama The Boxer and Death (Boxer a smrť, 1962) by Peter Solan, The Sun in a Net (Slnko v sieti, 1962) by Štefan Uher, which is regarded as the breakthrough film of the Czechoslovak New Wave, the blacklisted film by Juraj Jakubisko, Birdies, Orphans and Fools (Vtáčkovia, siroty a blázni, 1969), I Love, You Love (Ja milujem, ty miluješ, 1988) by Dušan Hanák, the only Slovak Silver Bear winner from the Berlin IFF and, finally, A Path Across the Danube (Chodník cez Dunaj, 1989) by Miloslav Luther, a film which returns to our territory during World War II. All the films underwent the audiovisual heritage restoration and recovery project and have been digitised and restored.

The second part of the collection consists of films made in an independent production environment after 1989. It commences with Everything I Like (Všetko čo mám rád, 1992) by Martin Šulík representing Slovak cinema after the “Velvet Revolution”, followed by a documentary about various forms of violation of human rights in the former Czechoslovakia Paper Heads (Papierové hlavy, 1995) by Dušan Hanák, the documentary The Power of Good – Nicholas Winton (Sila ľudskosti – Nicholas Winton, 2002), the prestigious Emmy Award winner made by director Matej Mináč, Blind Loves (Slepé lásky, 2008) by Juraj Lehotský who, after thirty-seven years, blazed the trail to young Slovak cinema at the Cannes IFF, and the collection is concluded by Soul at Peace (Pokoj v duši, 2009) made by Vladimír Balko. “Selection of the films was not easy, it always entailed compromise,” said the SFI’s General Director, Peter Dubecký, “but I think that this compromise is defensible and presentable. From the outset, we have tried to present films forming the basic pillars of Slovak cinema, and I am pleased that these ten films will be presented to the world also thanks to the SFI.”

The Blu-rays come with six language versions; the optional subtitles are English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Slovak for the hearing-impaired. Information on the film and filmmakers in Slovak and English, together with a photo-gallery, is included as a bonus. The Blu-rays also contain a bilingual booklet with information on the film and filmmakers, with photographs and an image of the original poster used when the film was released in cinemas. Graphic designer Marek Kianička is the author of the collection’s visual component.

The publication of the ten-part Blu-ray collection was funded from the budget of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union within the SK PRES project. The project took almost four years to implement and it also encompassed the demanding digitisation into 4K and complicated restoration performed with the presence of the filmmakers in the Digital Audiovision workplace. Many SFI experts from several departments took part throughout the project, and after the collection was issued, numerous presentations of Slovak cinema in the EU Member States and elsewhere were planned in the second half of the year. “The Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs holds a licence for ten films from 1 July to 31 December 2016, whereby these can be shown in all EU Member States in an unlimited number of screenings. However, the five films from the independent production environment may be presented only in EU Member States, while the first five films in the collection may be presented in all countries having Slovak representation,” explains Peter Dubecký. Cultural presentation is a common part of every presidency and the historically first Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU has an ambition to present the best of Slovak art and culture. The representative ten-part Blu-ray collection “Slovak Film” is one of these unique projects affording an opportunity to present Slovakia and render it visible in the world.

Individual screenings of Slovak films within the SK PRES project were held in several European cities, for instance in Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Vienna and Tashkent in Uzbekistan, with a further presentation planned for the prestigious Belgian Cinematek in Brussels. Films from the collection will also form a part of many festival programmes. Focus on Slovak cinema in connection with the Slovak Presidency in the Council of the European Union was also prepared for the Segovia European Film Festival (MUCES) in Spain, films from the collection were also presented in the programme of the Visegrad Film Festival in Cork, Ireland, and in five Brazilian cities within the “Slovak Visual” touring showcase. An accompanying exhibition of period posters to the individual films is also incorporated into the individual presentations of the SK PRES collection. “Technical progress is spreading fast and suddenly we have a new high-quality medium for audio and visual information,” said director Dušan Hanák with regard to the issue of the Blu-ray collection. He has two films in the collection, I Love, You Love and Paper Heads. “The films in this collection have withstood the test of time, they contain concentrated energy and it is as if they have regained their youth in the restoration process, in order to allow new audiences and friends of Slovak culture to find them. They will serve well as envoys for our country.”

The Blu-ray collection “Slovak Film” is divided in two sets; the first five films can be purchased in the Slovak Film Institute’s retail outlet and online at, while the second set is on sale from the second half of July. One boxed set costs € 50, and the Blu-rays are not available for sale individually. Up to the present date, the SFI has issued only the drama Signum Laudis (1980) by director Martin Hollý on Blu-ray, hence this ten-part collection represents an exceptional event.

Contact: Simona Nôtová, SFI Press Secretary
tel.: +421 2 57 10 15 42, fax: +421 2 52 73 32 14,