Slovak Film Professional Parent Selected For Balinale 2024

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The Story
BRATISLAVA – The story, from the workshop of the young Slovak director Erik Jasaň, in collaboration with the award-winning Romanian filmmaker Marian Crisan, reveals sensitive topics, but also the harsh reality of professional parenting. The short film will have its world premiere at Balinala 2024 in early June.

The script for the film PROFESSIONAL PARENT began to be prepared five years ago, when director Erik Jasaň first visited a children’s home near Košice. “The purpose of my visit was to prepare some acting exercises for the children. After a few hours, the children began to confide in me with their stories that led them to the children’s home. Many children have already had the experience of a professional parent,” recalls the young talented director, how the theme of the new film came about.

A professional parent is an employee of a children’s home who raises children, mostly at home. He receives a fixed monthly salary for this work. “I was interested in this topic, so I read several articles on the Internet and met two professional parents in person. Among professional parents, you can find people who are kind-hearted, but there are also people who abuse this profession in order to enrich and improve their family coffers, ” explains Jasaň.

The fact remains that in our latitudes, the majority of children in children’s homes are of Roma origin, and unfortunately, we still live in a country where the issue of racism against the Roma population still resonates. This film is an important reminder of morality in this day and age. The film depicts people who cross their moral boundaries for the sake of profit. “My story is about people looking for opportunities in an environment that doesn’t give them a chance to breathe. Even one of the main characters, Marianna Kroková (Samantha), has a mother who went through a similar situation to the one depicted in the film,” the director explains.

The film captures the story of Ingrid , who lives in a small village in eastern Slovakia , where the Roma population is the victim of a persistent stigma . The main character is in a difficult financial situation, from which she is looking for a way out. The pressure on her is also created by her constantly sick daughter, who requires more and more frequent care. Ingrid therefore decides to become a professional parent of a young Roma girl and replaces her financially less favorable job as a sales assistant in a local grocery store. However, grandmother , with whom they live under the same roof, does not agree with Ingrid’s decision . The situation escalates and their fragile family relationships fall apart. The main roles were played by Ela Lehotská , Oľga Solárová and   Andrej Šoltés . The film also features child protagonists Klára Sviteková and Marianna Kroková .

Cooperation with world-renowned filmmakers

“The preparation for filming was different from what it is for a classic filming. We completed pre-shooting, which was attended by the main crew and actors. The point is that most productions come to the set with an approximate idea of ​​the filming of a single scene, or they invent the filming directly on the set. My production dog 95 film factory did the pre-filming and edited the material itself with the Romanian editor – Catalin Cristutiu, which gave us an exact idea of ​​what we had to shoot,” Erik Jasaň introduces the filming, which is often used by American productions, while the cameras were handled by the award-winning Romanian cameraman Tudor Mircea, whose films appeared at prestigious film festivals such as Cannes, Locarno, Toronto, San Sebastian.

“Working on Professional Parent has been a great ride. I witnessed the dedication of our director and actors who brought tremendous authenticity to their roles, it was truly inspiring. This film poignantly highlights the societal pressures that can push people to the brink, revealing the stark economic disparities that people face in desperate situations. The authentic portrayal of these challenges, thanks to our team, not only moved me, but also underlined the importance of spreading social issues. I am proud of what we have achieved,” said Mircea about the cooperation.

Only 12 shots in 14 minutes are used in the film . The film captures the life of the main actress and her struggle against an inappropriate and deplorable financial situation in a subjective documentary manner. “It is filmed in such a way that one situation is one shot without any editing, which is a difficult production method for the director, because every mistake that happens on the set is visible and cannot be cut to another character at any moment, ” the director explains the way filming.

“Before shooting the film, we did not have any co-producer agreed upon,” says Jasaň. However, after the end of filming, Košičan managed to get the Romanian director and producer Marian Crisan, who decided to join the project as a co-producer only after looking at the materials. “Marian is an incredibly humble person who gave us the nod to almost everything, and his commitment, despite the fact that it is a short film, could be compared to the commitment for a feature film,” Erik Jasaň praises the collaboration.

However, even a foreign star does not skimp on praise. “Working with Erik was a short but unforgettable experience while editing and finishing the film in Bucharest. I remember that Erik was very attentive to every shot in the film, which shows a strong connection with the work he was doing,” says Marian Crisan. The film was completed in the largest post production studio in Eastern Europe, AVANPOST in Bucharest.

The official distributor of the film is the French company Originefilms, which premiered its films at many film festivals, such as Cannes, Venice and Locarno. She also placed the film on the Oscar Shortlist. “Audiences should see The Professional Parent for its fearless portrayal of the human condition and its unwavering commitment to the truth. It’s a film that challenges prejudices, raises important conversations, and ultimately offers a glimmer of hope in the midst of darkness. Prepare to be both moved and provoked, the film will remind you of the power of redemption in the most unexpected situations. At the same time, the film credibly captures the universal dimension of society’s dynamics and sheds light on the treatment of minorities in contemporary society all over the world,” reveals the distributor about the themes depicted, as well as the impressions that the film can evoke in viewers.

The film PROFESSIONAL PARENT will have its world premiere at the Balinale 2024 festival on June 6 at Cinepolis Renon in Denpasar , Indonesia . “This is the start of his festival journey, which we are very excited about! We will also look forward to when this sensitive, rough, fragile and moving film will also come to Slovak film festivals and cinemas,” says the author of the film Erik Jasaň in conclusion.