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Cinema on the Border for the twenty-sixth time already

Text: Kateřina Misiarzová, Alexandra Vysloužilová

The traditional film show, which takes place on both banks of the Olše River, welcomed almost twenty thousand visitors. The largest Central European film showcase, held from 1 to 5 May 2024, brought more than 120 films to the both – Těšín and Cieszyn – this year. And as in previous years, our printing house was a partner of the entire festival.

For the twenty-sixth time, both cities were alive with culture and the streets were filled with spectators from both Poland and the Czech Republic. And it is on the Czech side that the interest in this festival grows every year. Despite the beautiful weather, the halls were full and the spectators left with enthusiasm on their faces. Discussions with the filmmakers, who were there for almost all the films presented, were also very popular.

This year’s 26th edition of Cinema on the Border was perhaps in a sense a turning point for us, the organisers. If I do not go into the details of its demanding organisation, which every year includes the uncertainty of securing sufficient financial resources, especially from grants, then in terms of the content offered, I think we have managed to appeal to the audience again with an ambitious film and accompanying programme.” said Martin Novosad, Czech Programme Director of Cinema on the Border.

“And if we consider the audience response as the measure of success, then I am glad that the selection of films in all sections really caught the audience’s attention, the best proof of which was the fact that this year’s screenings were attended by double the number of viewers than last year,” added Martin Novosad.

FINIDR, as a long-standing partner of the festival, had several dozen tickets available from the organizers for selected film performances, which could be picked up at the company reception. These films included Brothers, Her Body, The Tipping Point and #Annaismissing.

What were the most viewed films?

Once again, there were a total of five screens, two on the Czech side and three on the Polish side. And it was the film Brothers, the winning film of this year’s Czech Lions, that was the most attended on the Czech side of the festival. Other sold-out films included a number of Polish newcomers, such as the award-winning historical Kos.

Culture of all tastes

For the seventh time, Literature on the Border was held in parallel with the festival, which this year explored borders in depth. “…not only the borders within ourselves, but also the various barriers and boundaries that persist or newly emerge in our surroundings,” said Andrzej S. Jagodziński, who is the head of the Literature on the Border block.

The literary part, which takes place mainly in the premises of the Těšín’s café Avion, offered debates, but also the launch of the Polish edition of Josef Škvorecký’s book Obyčejné životy – Ordinary Lives.

Once again, and much to the delight of the organisers, the iconic Bridge of Friendship also hosted three performances of the summer cinema, which is very popular every year. Almost four hundred spectators visited them daily. The evening programme, in addition to the film screenings, also brought the audience concerts by performers.

The next edition of Cinema on the Border is being prepared for the date 30.4. – 4.5. 2025 and it is certain that it will once again connect not only the two towns, but also bring many film, literary or musical creators who will transform the streets of Těšín beyond recognition for five days. And let’s believe that FINIDR will be there again!