Thirty-three films comprise the eclectic lineup for the 56th Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival, the programming team led by the artistic director Karel Och revealed Tuesday.
The selection includes 27 world premieres, three international premieres, and three European premieres, covering five continents.
In addition to the Crystal Globe Competition and Special Screenings section, KVIFF’s new competition, Proxima, will make its debut in this year’s edition.
Proxima aims to be “an inclusive space for pictures by young filmmakers and renowned auteurs alike, presenting bold works that defy categorization,” the festival said. In contrast to the East of the West competition, which it replaces, Proxima has no geographical restrictions. (East of the West was for films from Central and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.)
Thirteen titles in the official selection are directed by filmmakers who have competed in KVIFF before. Nine films are debut features. Melodramas, dystopian sci-fi, romantic comedies, and essay documentaries are part of the wide-ranging lineup.
“From the 1,500 films that have been submitted this year, we have chosen 33 brand new works of cinema that offer the accurate reflection of our taste – a taste derived from a belief in a meaningful edginess and the championing of new means of cinematic expression that nonetheless do not stand in opposition to the audience’s receptiveness and inclinations,” Och said.
In Memory Of… Our “Doctor” Zaoralová
The Karlovy Vary festival is honoring its longtime artistic director Eva Zaoralová with an exhibition of photographs documenting her lifelong relationship with cinema, her activities in the management of the festival, and her relationship with the festival’s president Jiří Bartoška.
Among other things, the photographs record her meetings with dozens of international stars from the world of cinema.
Zaoralová (1932-2022) was a respected film critic, translator, teacher and author. In 1994, she and Bartošká took over at the helm of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, and she went on to play an important role in saving the festival and transforming it into an internationally acclaimed survey of film.
Zaoralová headed KVIFF, first as the festival’s programming director and then as its artistic director until 2011, and remained active as artistic advisor after that.
In her memory, this year’s festival will be showing Federico Fellini’s “La Strada,” which according to her was of key importance to her relationship to cinema and to Italian film in particular, and which significantly influenced her future professional career. Fellini and his work would become a lifelong love for Zaoralová. She did the Czech translation for the film’s subtitles.