Friday 27 – Eat my Bata Salad
Let me guide you through some of today’s highlights in an overview…
Fact of the day: Hotel Moskva = Hotel Zlin
Some things that you think might be forever, aren’t forever anymore. The Hotel Moskva – probably one of the most steady elements in the Zlin Festival perception – for obvious reasons has changed its name. Before the renovation a few years ago, the place looked to me like a location from a James Bond movie, with velvet red curtains and people smoking big cigars. Imagine the meeting of the board committee… “Dear members of the board, we have to change the name of our hotel. We have 2 options… Hotel Bata or Hotel Zlin?” They might still be looking for new names on the menu for the Russian egg and the Russian salad. What about Zlin egg and Bata salad?
Moment of the day: The arrival
As soon as I set foot on Zlin ground (getting out of a luxurious Skoda taxi) I feel at least four arms around my neck. Not random arms! Elegant, classy arms that belong to some of my dearest members of the festival team. What a pleasure to be welcomed so warmly – if I might have ever doubted being ready for another challenging festival week, in a split second I realise… “Yes, I can do it! And I love doing it!” Less than 20 minutes later, I’m meeting old friends and shaking hands with new ones. I feel happy and proud about this festival’s big beating heart. It feels so good that we can all hear it beating again.
This moment was almost (!) topped by the early morning applause from the kids in the Congress Centre. What an enthusiasm; what an energy came from that crowd. On stage, Daniel Ehreman, producer of THE PATH must have felt like being blown away.
Song of the day: The Bee Gees – Tragedy
When walking the Zlin main square, you might easily pick up bits and pieces of the music performed on stage. This afternoon I heard an extremely smooth Czech version of a Bee Gees classic and noticed some particular motion in a far corner of the square. Looking closer I recognized the cinema team (Jaroslava, Lucie, Zuzana) dancing by broad daylight to a disco tune. Today in the first series of interviews for the Zlin Festival online TV “Festival Bubbles” the thought came back all the time. All guests were delighted about the festival atmosphere and the devotion of the team. Corinne Destombes (Folimage) could sense the festival co-ownership among the locals. She even mentioned the town’s young, fresh-looking mayor. (Did she say ‘sexy’? I can’t remember if she did…)
Film of the day: JOURNEY TO YOURLAND
Even in the busiest of times – world festival première in Zlin, opening weekend in Slovak cinemas – director Peter Budinsky (JOURNEY TO YOURLAND) found the time to extensively answer all our interview questions by email (read the result here). Last night we finally met for real, and the talk we had made the movie even more intriguing. How to commercially position a film that has the visual style of a box office hit, the stubborn narrative construction of an arthouse film, and the topical vision of a socio-political drama? Co-producer Barbora Budinska was eagerly awaiting the first box office results from the domestic market. We wish them to prove all marketers wrong and celebrate a super successful release.
Festival guest of the day: Teresa Lima
Two people are here representing the PLAY festival (Lisbon). Catarina was already here before, but her colleague Teresa is new to the Zlin experience. Today I saw her in town, like a humble Portuguese breeze blowing through Zlin’s city streets. On her face was an almost delirious smile. She simply liked everything about the experience, the warm welcome, the park, the staff members, the buildings, the films,... “I understand why people who’ve been her once, always want to come back”. Only two members are present from the ECFA Jury – Katerina Hager and Teresa together are like the cutest couple. We wish the PLAY team a fantastic festival stay!