Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

Prestigious international film festival returns to Czech Republic

The 49th annual Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF) returns to western Bohemia this summer for an event-packed nine days of local and international films, talks with industry insiders and professionals, and awards celebrating ground-breaking new features and documentaries.

KVIFF, which was established in 1946, is one of the world’s longest-running film festivals and its history and reputation has led it to be ranked by the French organisation Fédération Internationale des Associations de Producteurs de Films (FIAPF) as one of the most respected film festivals in the world.

Since 1994 KVIFF has been organised by the renowned Czech actor Jiří Bartoška and esteemed film critic Eva Zaoralová who helped to transform it into a festival of international standing and a key annual event for filmmakers, distributors and journalists.

Each year the peaceful spa town of Karlovy Vary is transformed into a bustling haven for film lovers with approximately 200 carefully selected films shown, which includes around 70 of world, international and European premieres.

This year’s festival, which takes place between 4th and 12th July, has a number of treats in store for film fanatics. KVIFF 2014 will showcase Czech theatre director and actor Miroslav Krobot’s film directorial debut Nowhere in Moravia, a rural drama with hints of dark comedy; Georgian filmmaker George Ovashvili’s eagerly anticipated psychological drama Corn Island, which explores the often turbulent relationship between man and nature; and for the first time ever an animated film, Rocks in My Pockets, by Latvian Signe Baumane, a brave and humorous look at mental illness.

The 49th KVIFF will also pay tribute to some of the film world’s most respected individuals including the late unsung hero of Italian post-war film Elio Petri, who while achieving s degree of critical success was largely ostracized due to his unwavering and controversial stance on politics, art and morality, and experimental British filmmaker and visual artist Ben Rivers, whose films often document the lives of people on the social periphery of life.

As with every year, KVIFF will conclude with its annual awards ceremony recognising the best films presented, with categories including the Grand Prix Crystal Globe Award for best feature film, the East of the West Award for films specifically from Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Turkey and former SSR states and the Audience Award.

With some a programme of some of the most thought-provoking contemporary films and much-heralded special guests to be announced closer to the festival, the 49th annual KVIFF is a must in any film fans diary.

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