Igor Smitka is a Slovak director living in Prague. During his studies of photography at the Academy of Fine Arts & Design in Bratislava, he also started expanding into film & audiovisual media. After several years of extensive cinematography work Igor slowly transitioned into developing his own short films, which all somehow carried an activist undertone. He likes to use film as a tool of empowerment, conveying stories of minorities and queer subcultures. His past two directing projects are As Above So Below (2022) - an experimental dance film which depicts Roma experience in the context of Central & Eastern Europe, told and co-created with Romani dance group Bachtale Kale Phrala. His latest film House of Velvet (2023) follows a day in the life of the kiki house of Velvet members. Scripted scenes merged with authentic and lived experiences of the characters show how he ballroom culture intertwines with their lives & vice versa.