The Line

Stills

Additional Film Info

Čiara (SK) / Čára (CZ) / The Line (ENG)
Slovak / Ukrainian, 2017
Format: Digital 2D
Length: 112 minutes
Sound: 5.1
Budget: 1 310 000 EUR
Classification: 15+
Filmmaking: February 2016, August – October 2016
Nr. of shooting days: 38
Distributors: Continental Film (SK), Bontonfim (CZ)

Synopsis & Trailer

Adam Krajňák is head of the family and also boss of a gang of criminals smuggling cigarettes across the Slovak-Ukrainian border. The failure of one of the transports triggers an avalanche of consequences that compels him to question his own boundaries, none of which he had planned on crossing until now.

Medium: Adam Krajňák is a father of family and a head of a criminal group that smuggles cigarettes from Ukraine to Slovakia. Among his nearest and dearest ones, he plays an irreplaceable role of a caring confidant as well as a high-principled and uncompromising leader who does not lack temperament in the deciding moments. Peaceful co-existence of the two intertwining worlds is shaken by the newly-secured border of the Schengen area that increases nervosity about the unclear future. And when one of the smuggling consignments fails a concatenation of events launches that will make Krajňák reconsider his own borderlines he always refused to overstep. Directed by Peter Bebjak the criminal story with elements of thriller offers a contagious vigour that digresses it significantly from an ordinary genre entertainment. It reveals a universal human story set in environment in which the cultures, traditions and lives intertwine.

Long: Summer of 2007. Slovakia is a few months away from joining the Schengen area and the efforts toward strengthening the Slovakian-Ukrainian border are in full swing. For Adam Krajňák who is the father of a large family and the head of organized crime on the eastern borderlands, a hectic time begins – his oldest daughter is about to marry a local loser Ivor, Adam’s Ukrainian partner Jona wants to start up his own business and a new product – narcotics begin to appear on the border. Pervasive anxiety from “the impending closure of border” and the increasing paranoia result in a failed transportation of cigarettes, and as a consequence, Krajňák becomes indebted to the feared Ukrainian boss Krull. The narrative mosaic is shaped by Krajňák’s mother Anna, the shadow queen of a family business, the corrupted police captain Bernard, and Assad, a migrant from Afghanistan, and his grueling journey to Europe. In the moment when all storylines intersect, death comes to the border. This starts off a carousel of exciting, absurd and tragic events, which lead to surprising revelations and victims. Krajňák bears the consequences of his actions and he gets to the point where the only way out of this vicious circle is crossing all the borders. This crime story with elements of thriller and black comedy is situated in a distinctive and mystical place, in which cultures, dialects, traditions, miracles and human fates are intertwined. The final editing montage takes place on the 21st of December 2007 during the official shift of the Schengen border between Slovakia and the Ukraine and reveals the narrative lines, the fates of the characters and completes the tragicomic story idea that the East will survive everything. Even the Schengen.

Peter Bebjak (b. 1970, Partizánske, Czechoslovakia) initially studied acting at Bratislava’s Academy of Performing Arts, where he later graduated in film and television direction. He became known for his short films, which he continued making after completing his studies. Of particular note is Štefan (1998), awarded Best Film at the Áčko Student Film Festival, a silver medal at the Brno 16 short film fest, and the IGRIC award at the Trenčianske Teplice FF. Outside the country he enjoyed considerable success with the short film voiceS (2010). He has also made three feature films – Apricot Island (2011), which won the Grand Prix at the Rouen IFF, Evil (2012), and the multi-award-winning The Cleaner (2015). Bebjak has been involved in television since 2005, where he has directed numerous episodes of hit crime series.

Directors, Producers and Crew

Cast:
Tomáš Maštalír, Emília Vášáryová, Andy Hryc, Eugen Libezňuk, Zuzana Fialová, Stanislav Boklan, Rimma Ziubina, Kristína Kanátová, Oleksandr Piskunov, Filip Kaňkovský, Milan Mikulčík, Volodymyr Helyas, Makar Tikhomirov, Vanesa Antovská, Nela Porkertová

Crew:
Director: Peter Bebjak
Story: Wanda Adamík Hrycová
Screenwriter: Peter Balko
Dramaturg: Zuzana Gindl-Tatárová
Dramaturgy Cooperation: Petr Jarchovský, Martin Daniel
DOP: Martin Žiaran
Make-Up Artist: Michaela Kicková
Costume Designer: Ján Kocman
Production Designer: Václav Novák
Sound Mix: Viktor Krivosudský, Peter Gajdoš
Music (Original Score): Slavo Solovic
Editing: Marek Kráľovský
Locations: Bratislava and surroundings, Starý Hrozenkov, Eastern Slovakia (Sobrance, Ubľa, Zemplínske Hámre, Tibava), Ukraine
Producer: Wanda Adamík Hrycová (Wandal Production) SK
Co-Producers: Andrey Yermak (Garnet International Media Group) UA, Tibor Búza
(Radio and Televison Slovakia) SK, Mayo Hurajt (Homemedia Production) SK, Martin Kohút (SK)
Realisation and distribution Slovak Audiovisual Fund, Ukrainian State Film Agency,
financially supported by: Creative Europe MEDIA, Bratislavský samosprávny kraj

Festivals

Karlovy Vary IFF - Competition (World premiere) - Best Director Award
Czech & Slovak Film Festival
Bergen IFF
Vancouver IFF
Haifa IFF
Fantastic Fest
Cineast Film Festival
International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg
FANCINE
Mostar Film Festival
Leeds IFF
Taipei Golden Horse
Arras Film Festival - Golden Atlas - Grand Jury Prize, Young Jury Prize
Chicago IFF - Best Art Direction
Cottbus FF
Black Nights FF
Cairo IFF