The cinema of Slovakia encompasses a range of themes and styles typical of European cinema. Yet there are a certain number of recurring themes that are visible in the majority of the important works. These include rural settings, folk traditions, and carnival. Even in the field of experimental film-making, there is frequently a celebration of nature and tradition, as for example in Dušan Hanák's Pictures of the Old World (Obrazy starého sveta, 1972). The same applies to blockbusters like Juraj Jakubisko's A Thousand-Year Old Bee (Tisícročná včela, 1983). The percentage of comedies, adventures, musicals, sci-fi films and similar genres has been low by comparison to dramas and historical films that used to include a notable subset of social commentaries on events from the decade or two preceding the film. One of them, Ján Kadár's and Elmar Klos' The Shop on Main Street (Obchod na korze, 1965), gave Slovak (as well as Czech and generally Czechoslovak) filmmaking its first Oscar. Children's films were a perennial genre from the 1960s through the 1980s produced mainly as low-budget films by Slovak Television Bratislava. The themes of recent films have been mostly contemporary.
The center of Slovak filmmaking has been the Koliba studio (whose formal name changed several times) in Bratislava. Some films conceived at the Barrandov Studios in Prague have had Slovak themes, actors, directors, and occasionally language, while Prague-based filmmakers and actors have sometimes worked in Slovakia. In line with Slovak, Hungarian, and Czech histories, their past sharing of the Kingdom of Hungary and Czechoslovakia, there is early overlap between Slovak and Hungarian film, and later between Slovak and Czech film. Some films are easily sorted out as one or the other, some films belong meaningfully to more than one national cinema.
Some 350 Slovak feature films have been made in the history of Slovak cinema. It has produced some notable cinematic works that have been well received by critics, as well as some domestic blockbusters. In recent years, Slovak films have often been made by working (wholly or partly) with foreign production companies. Joint Slovak and Czech projects have been particularly common. The Slovak film industry has been dogged by lack of money intensified by the country's small audience (2.9–5.4 million inhabitants), which translates to the films' limited potential for primary, domestic revenue.
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