Karlovy Vary Film Festival

Film Lover's Paradise

An impressive line-up for documentary films at this years 38th Annual Karlovy Vary Film Festval complements rich programs in the other categories. A true film lover's festival, KV seems to grow up a little more with each year's selection. Below are PTV's picks for festival. The festival runs from July 4th to the 13th and is a fantastic way to spend a few days out of town. Unlike other international film festivals, tickets are available (if you're willing to get up early), affordable, and all are welcome.

Note from PTV: Do not take the train from Prague. While a nice idea, it triples the transportation time. Take the bus: 2.0 hours. Also, if you do travel by public transport, get to the station early to buy a ticket. There will be many people going for the same seats (especially on Sunday evening).

Documentary Competetion

Journey to Tarakan

Directed by: Karel Doing

Netherlands, 2002, 47min.

"After a period of sixty years, filmmaker Karel Doing sets out on the trail of his uncle who was murdered by the Japanese in 1942 on the Indonesian island of Tarakan. A highly intimate travel diary which unfurls unobtrusive cinematographic images of long ago, complemented by excerpts of his uncle’s letters and archive film material."

66 Seasons | 66 sezón

Directed by: Peter Kerekes

Slovak Republic, 2003, 86min.

"A documentary film about the Košice swimming pool where history came to bathe. Seen through several stories which unfolded between the years 1936 and 2002, the film captures 66 seasons at the popular swimming pool, and the same number of years in the history of Central and Eastern Europe."

Bus 174 | Onibus 174

Directed by: José Padilha

Brazil, 2002, 122min.

"A devastating reconstruction of a bus hijacking in Rio, told in part through a vivid portrait of the life of hijacker Sandro who resorting to violent means on that June afternoon in 2000, he tried to draw public attention to his plight and that of dozens of other adolescents living on the streets of the Brazilian capital."

Whose Is This Song? | Cia e tazi pesen?

Directed by: Adela Peeva

Bulgaria, 2003, 70min.

"It seems that a certain song the director has thought was 100% Bulgarian since her childhood has been adopted by the other Balkan Countries. The director set out on an adventure across the Balkans to document how an ordinary song could become an instrument of fanatical nationalism."

Documentarist | Vaveragrogh

Directed by: Harutyun Khachatryan

Armenia, 2003, 62min.

"The chapters The Quarry, Maternity Hospital, Beggars, Beggars’ Feast, Children’s Home, Refugees and The Shooting all give a testimony of today’s Armenia."

Independent Films


Directed by: Emanuele Crialese

France, Italy, 2002, 90min.

"Grazia (Valeria Golino), a young woman living on a small island near Sicily, is too free-spirited for the local village to stomach, particularly for her husband’s family, who decide to send her to a psychiatric clinic in far-away Milan. An unusually strong drama set against the backdrop of breath-taking natural surroundings."

American Gun

Directed by: Alan Jacobs

USA, 2002, 94min.

"Desperate father (James Coburn) decides to find the owner of the gun which killed his daughter. This journey takes him across America, from legitimate gun shops to the black market, and finally to the world of pawnshops and nightclubs in Las Vegas. A film exploring America’s fascination with guns."

Official Selection

Dead Man's Memories | Der gläserne Blick

Directed by: Markus Heltschl

Austria, Germany, 2003, 88min.

Markus Heltschl'S mystery surrounds 3 people with something to hide. Shot in accordance with Dogma 95's manifesto Heltschl joins an increasing number of film-makers who are getting back to basics in their storytelling, eschewing the glut of big budget productions for a more visceral reality.

Old, New, Borrowed and Blue | Se til venstre, der er en svensker

Directed by: Natasha Arthy

Denmark, 2002, 90min.

Another Dogma 95 entrant...

"This mosaic set in Copenhagen and shot according to the Dogma 95 manifesto confronts various attitudes towards life. In addition to the ups and downs of the central couple it also follows a trio of the heroine’s friends. The narration – restricted to a few days – is framed by vistas on the everyday life of the metropolis. It is a post-modern twist on love stories, love which cannot be controlled."

The World Again | O cosmos xana

Directed by: Nicos Cornilios

Greece, 2002, 110min.

"Maria, Eleni, Giorgos and Yannis spent the first 15 years of their lives in a children’s home. Now, together with their friend Anna, they set out in search of Eleni’s mother’s grave, however, several strange encounters take them to the edge of reality itself. The third feature film by Greek film and stage director Nikos Cornilios. "

Czech Films

Jan Werich's Fimfárum | Fimfárum Jana Wericha

Directed by: Aurel Klimt, Vlasta Pospíšilová

Czech Republic, 2002, 98min.

Some of the brightest stars in Czech animation adapt the beautiful and rich stories of Jan Werich's FimFarum. No smallfeat, this film has played to acclaim in Prague for the last year and should grab a prize.

The Trash | Brak

Directed by: Karel Spevácek

Czech Republic, 2002, 85min.

"Three friends hold a huge lads’ get-together in a flat owned by the parents of one of the boys, but the party soon turns into a nightmare. This screenwriting and directing debut by Karel Spevácek is a remarkable attempt at black comedy created in the spirit of the American independent."

Horizons (Experimental and otherwise)

Adaptation | Adaptation

Directed by: Spike Jonze

USA, 2002, 114min.

"Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman is adapting the bestseller The Orchid Thief. The creative crisis which ensues is exacerbated by his twin, the book’s author, and its hero. For this original comedy Kaufman was awarded the BAFTA prize for his script, Chris Cooper an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his performance, and Spike Jonze a Silver Bear at the Berlin IFF."

City of God | Cidade de Deus

Directed by: Fernando Meirelles

Brazil, France, USA, 2002, 135min. Discussion | Add To My Program

"A raw, poetic drama inspired by real events which, through the eyes of a small boy, portrays the painful and bloody history of the drug scene in the oldest and most dangerous district of Rio de Janeiro. This adaptation of Paul Lins’ novel won awards at the IFFs in Havana and Toronto. Film editor Daniel Rezendes also received a BAFTA for his work."

Dolls | Dolls

Directed by: Takeshi Kitano

Japan, 2002, 113min. Discussion | Add To My Program

"Three stories from contemporary Japan are fusing together in a sad tale of love, performed by the traditional Bunraku puppet theatre. Matsumoto and Sawako are in love but the boy’s parents intend to marry him off to someone else. Hiro is a Jakuza boss who swapped love for power and wealth. And pop star Haruna Yamaguchi thinks she has lost everything after a car accident…"

Rabbit-Proof Fence | Rabbit-Proof Fence

Directed by: Phillip Noyce
Australia, 2002, 94min. Discussion | Add To My Program
Screening : 514 333
"This highly acclaimed film inspired by actual events centres on a journey made by a trio of Aborigine girls who resisted Anglicisation in 1931. They set out on a 1500-mile journey back home to their mothers, guided only by a rabbit fence cutting across the continent from a camp where they were ostensibly supposed to learn new manners."

Photos from last year's 36th fest:

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