Napa Valley Film Festival 2017, World Premiere
WINNER BEST SHORT FILM! Dhaka International Film Festival 2018, Asian Premiere
Prague Shorts Film Festival 2018, European Premiere (organized by Karlovy Vary International Film Festival)
Irvine International Film Festival
Sedona International Film Festival
Bare Bones International Film Festival
Utah Film Festival and Awards
AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD! New Filmmakers Film Festival New York
Arizona International Film Festival
SouthSide Film Festival
New Hope Film Festival
Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series
REMI WINNER! Worldfest - Houston International Film Festival
Shortz! Film Festival
Festival International du Film de Nancy, France
Filmfestival Kitzbühel, Austria
WINNER BEST SHORT NARRATIVE! Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
Holly Shorts Screening Series, Hollywood, California
"This director has a very distinct and intriguing style. Good portrayal of a common real and current situation."
- Dances With Films
"There is so much to like, the acting, directing, and cinematography are all excellent. Well done. A timely, sensitive, topic. The viewer is brought into the narrative quickly and feels empathy for the principle actor. Limited dialogue and camera work are very effective."
- Oxford Film Festival
"The story flows very naturally in this short and the theme is very timely and current. It has it's own uniqueness and does not seem like it is trying to conform to other stereotypical film genres or try to be something it is not. Very strong acting and very strong use of images."
- BendFilm Festival
"Excellent job on cinematography, acting, and editing. This is a story thatshould be told.The struggles our youth born here or immigrated hereare important and successes need to be heard. It is a thoughtful portrait of ayoung immigrant woman."
- CINE Golden Eagle Awards
Short Winner: Anna, from the Czech Republic by Petra Priborska, dealing with a current immigrant dilemma in a unique way, told and acted in a most professionally accomplished manner.
- Dhaka International Film Festival, SydneysBuzz
Anna is scraping by in New York to rid herself of a hard upbringing in communist Czechoslovakia. Working two menial jobs and relatively uneducated, the young woman faces precarious circumstances that worry her mother sick. Mom pleads with her to come home, but her grandfather's grinding experience under Soviet rule produces the opposite advice. He insists she should stay and get an education; it's the only way out.
She would do just that, too, but she has an additional hurdle to overcome. She needs to prove she's in the United States legally, and that is suddenly her biggest problem of all. Now she has two days either to firm up her paperwork or fly home to her mother.
Stories like Anna's are not uncommon in an era of inexpensive flights, rapidly improving technology and global economic expansion. The world is racing ahead at an exponential rate, fostering a dynamic whereby many people feel compelled to seek better opportunities abroad while others question how such migration should take place and at what pace. Anna is a good person in a tough situation, and there may be no clear answer for her in the short term.
This student film by Petra Priborska strikes a sympathetic chord on an intimate and humanitarian level.
- New Hope Film Festival
"This short film called Anna is simple in concept but interesting because the lead actress seemed to really feel the dilemma of her character, and she portrayed Anna with grace and determination. I enjoyed the progression from wanting to go to the US as a young girl, up through her quest to go to school in the USA, and the struggles she faced just to be accepted at school in a foreign country.
We as Americans take for granted the ease with which we can obtain education, and the rights we have just by being born here. I appreciated the perspective that the character shares with us. As a young girl, her grandfather told her they couldn't come to the US yet because the Russians wouldn't let them. Then we see that she did come to the USA and she's excited to attend college in NYC...but she has to work for a few years just to get enough money to apply. When she gets sad news from back home in the Czech Republic, she resolves to go back home to be with her family. But then we see she does stay in the US. And she is still trying to get a green card or student visa. She is even propositioned by a patron in the bar where she works. He alludes to what he can do for her in exchange for something he wants from her, and she tells him to leave her alone. It's interesting that towards the end of the film, she is now so desperate to get into school, that she is comtemplating her options, staring at the necklace that reminds us of the previous offer from the bar patron.
I appreciated the quiet moments and the focus on the facial expressions and emotion of the lead actress. To want something so badly that is as simple as a valid ID, and to watch everyone around us taking that for granted, is frustrating. I love her determination and the plan she devises to get what she needs so that she can finally go to school. They did a fantastic job showing her hesitance and fear of being caught and deported. One of my favorite moments is in the closing scene where she is contemplating her next move, and she looks straight into the camera with resolve, having decided what she must do, and summoning the courage to follow through.
The directing and editing are great. The sound is excellent as well. I hope to see more from this lead actress. She was interesting, believable, vulnerable, and brave. I recommend this film to anyone who is a champion of opportunity, as well as those who look down upon others for wanting to become citizens here. I love stories where people find ways to rise above challenges, even though it has me questioning how I was cheering for the main character to find unconventional means in which to fulfill her dreams. I hope that this film will get much play worldwide, but especially here in the US. It is very well put together and for a first project, the writer/director should be proud."
- The Utah Film Festival and Awards
© 2017 Petra Films NYC