Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Celebrates its Golden Jubilee

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF) got underway on Friday the 3rd of July 2015. In its fiftieth avatar, this year’s event honours Hollywood star Richard Gere who received the Crystal Globe for his outstanding contribution to world cinema at the opening ceremony. The festival also opened with his new film “Time Out of Mind” directed by Israeli filmmaker Oren Moverman.

The twelve films running in competition highlight KVIFF’s status as the premiere festival in the region. Amongst the big names include German wunderkind Dietrich Brüggemann with his latest satirical comedy “Heil” following up on the 2014 success of his art-house flick “Station of the Cross.” Debutante director Slavomir Horak leads the Czech representation with his dark comedy “Home Care.” Starring veteran actor Bolek Polivka the film premiered to multiple standing ovations on Sunday evening. The other Czech film in the running “The Snake Brothers,” directed by Jan Prusinovsky is a small-town drama shot in Central Bohemia.

In addition to the feature films in the running, this year’s KVIFF also has a substantial number of documentaries in competition. Amongst the highlights are young Czech director Jan Foukal’s debut “Amerika,” produced by HBO; film critic Mark Cousins’ “I am Belfast,” and the Portuguese film “IEC Long,” which opened to rave reviews at this year’s Berlinale.

The festival will also feature three retrospectives – a cinematic dedication to the legendary Ukrainian director Larisa Shepitko; a showcasing of the best films that emerged from the aftermath of the Lebanese Civil War; and tributes to American actors John Cazale and Chris Penn.

Other big-ticket appearances expected in the week include Australian actor Ben Mendelhson and American legend Harvey Keitel. This year's festival will also be the European premiere for young Indian director Prashant Nair’s latest “Umrika” which showcases the talents of actors Suraj Sharma who was last seen in “Life of Pie,” and, Tony Revolori from “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF): www.kviff.com

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