The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, annual event that has been taking place in the Czech Republic since 1946, has decided to cancel its 55th annual festival in light of the coronavirus, KVIFF organizers announced on Tuesday morning in Prague.
The festival would have taken place on July 3-11.
Instead, it will offer a selection of movies from its lineup in theaters across the Czech Republic, as the country prepares to open up cinemas (up to 50 viewers) again. It will stage its industry program online.
“We strongly believe that seeing a movie with other people in a theater is a powerful and irreplaceable experience,” said Jiří Bartoška, president of the festival. “And because of the Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival is one of the most important cultural events in the Czech Republic, we have decided that holding an alternative version would go against the festival’s main mission: to bring together audiences, filmmakers, and people from different walks of life in order to collectively enjoy works of cinema.”
The tour will be a special version of the “KVIFF at Your Cinema” program, which takes festival films around the country each year.
At the same time, KVIFF organizers will also offer a virtual version of the “KVIFF Eastern Promises” presentation, in which films in various stages of development and production can be presented to international buyers and festivals.
Those projects will be from Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and North Africa.
The festival has also joined the YouTube project We Are One: A Global Film Festival.
The 55th annual Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will now take place on July 2-10, 2021.