Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

By Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

karlovy-vary-film-festivalTaking place from June 28 to July 6, the 48th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, set in the picturesque west Bohemia spa town, brings filmmakers from all over the world to present their films in various categories. The main competition includes six world and seven international premieres. Other categories include Forum of Independents featuring low-budget films and an East of the West section focusing on productions from Central and Eastern Europe. Documentary films will play a prominent role at the festival, too. The other category is called Ten Euro Directors to Watch. This season also is devoted to Kurdish movies. At the opening ceremony of the prestigious festival, French director Michel Gondry will show his latest film, the poetic love story set in 1947 called Mood Indigo, which stars Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris.

karlovy-vary-film-festivalReturning directors

Six filmmakers in the main competition category are by no means newcomers to the Karlovy Vary scene. Three of them, the duo of Krysztof Krauze and Joanna Kos-Krauze plus the Israeli director Yossi Madmony have nabbed Crystal Globes for Best Film at the festival in the past years. During their third time at Karlovy Vary, the Kauzes will present a black-and-white rendition called Papusza, which centers on the first Roma poet as she strays from the stereotypical female role in Roma society. Madmony will offer moviegoers a story focusing on a father-son relationship, A Place in Heaven. Israeli historical events also play a role in the plot.

Karlovy Vary Tours from Prague

The main competition entries

Prominent Czech director Jan Hrebejk will present Honeymoon. The psychological drama is the third part of a trilogy. It takes on the themes of guilt and the possibility of forgiveness. The plot involves an uninvited guest attending a wedding. British director Ben Wheatley takes spectators back to the 17th century, during the English Civil War, with his A Field in England. Wheatley’s entry will premiere at Karlovy Vary this year. French director Philippe Godeau competes with his 11.6, based on the true story of criminal Toni Musulin. Godeau debuted as a director with the 2009 drama One for the Road, which received five nominations at the Cesar Awards 2010, winning in the most promising actress category. Making his third appearance at the festival, Uzbekistan filmmaker Yusup Razykov will present the premiere of his Russian civil drama Shame to audiences.

The East of the West section and documentaries

Opening the East of the West section is Slovak director Juraj Lehotsky with his film Miracle, centering on drug abuse issues and prostitution. The category features 12 new feature films by beginning directors. Six of their films make debuts at the festival. Documentaries competing include 10 feature films and 6 short films. Bara Kopecka’s DK, examining the life and death of original architect David Kopecky, is the Czech entry. Kopecky died in 2009 of a brain tumor. The Forum of Independent Competition features 12 low-budget films.

Oliver Stone to be honored

Legendary American screenwriter, director, and producer Oliver Stone will receive a Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema. Stone has been awarded three Oscars during his illustrious career. After serving as an infantry soldier in the Vietnam War, Stone made a name for himself with films focusing on the conflict in Vietnam. His Platoon took on this theme in 1986 and won four Oscars. British TV Channel 4 ranked Platoon as the sixth-best war movie of all time. He also was awarded an Oscar for Born on the Fourth of July in 1989, a tale about Vietnam War veterans’ hardships after doing their military duty.

The documentaries of Oliver Stone

However, Stone is not only known for his Vietnam-themed movies. He is also a very accomplished documentary filmmaker, earning praise for his movies about John F. Kennedy, Jim Morrison, Richard Nixon, and George W. Bush, for example. He also created the 10-hour documentary The Untold History of the United States, which criticizes the decisions that define the role America plays in the world. At the festival, Stone will present a new version of his film about Alexander the Great, who never lost a battle and is considered one of the most successful leaders in history. The king of Macedon in Greece built one of the largest empires in the ancient world by the time he turned 30.

Honoring Theodor Pistek

Theodor Pistek, who has designed costumes for films such as Marketa Lazarova and Amadeus, will also receive a Crystal Globe. He was awarded an Oscar for his costume designs in Amadeus. Pistek was also a prominent actor, performing in 325 Czech films from the 1920s to the 1950s. He also directed eight movies.
Jerry Schatzberg to present his films
That is not all the festival has to offer. Filmmaker Jerry Schatzberg, a Palme d’Or recipient at the Cannes festival, will show three films produced early in his career. Also a renowned photographer, Schatzberg will present films that focus on society during the late 1960s and early 1970s. His creation Scarecrow shared the grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973.

Other highlights of the festival

Kurdish film will be represented by 15 features and shorts. English actress Helen Mirren takes the spotlight in a new trailer for the festival. Mirren has won numerous awards, including Academy Awards, BAFTAs, Golden Globes, Emmy Awards, and others. In 2005 she was honored with a damehood for her contributions to the performing arts. The judging panel will be headed by Polish director and screenwriter Agnieszka Holland, whose three-part TV miniseries about university student Jan Palach received much acclaim. The 20-year-old Palach set fire to himself in Prague in 1969, protesting the onset of the rigid era of normalization in Czechoslovakia after Soviet tanks crushed the 1968 Prague Spring noted for its liberal reforms. Holland is known for making political films and is one of the few female directors in Hollywood today.

How to reserve tickets

karlovy-vary-film-festivalThere are several ways to reserve tickets. Before the festival begins, it is possible to order tickets on the Internet. Tickets are also available at the festival’s box offices, located at the Hotel Thermal and Grandhotel Pupp. Moviegoers can reserve tickets by WAP or by text message while at the festival, too. A Festival Passholder can attend films without a ticket. Tickets cost 65 Czech crowns or the discounted price of 50 Czech crowns. They can be purchased as of June 27 at 9 am. From June 28 it is possible to buy tickets at the box offices, which open at 8 am.

Discussions with the filmmakers

After the end of most films, audience members can discuss the movies with the directors. KVIFF Talks also offers the audience a chance to meet with the filmmakers. Obtaining a festival pass will allow spectators to attend press conferences. The festival also holds concerts, events, and exhibits.

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