This year’s Karlovy Vary festival, which will take place from June 30 to July 8, will offer dozens of films in the most important part of the program. In the main competition, there will be one less than the original number, as the producers there had to withdraw a Chinese participant at the behest of the Chinese government, the artistic director of the event Karel Och announced on Tuesday.
The first trailer for the film Sensitive Man based on the novel by Jáchym Topol is accompanied by the composition Razors by the writer’s brother Filip Topol and his Dog Soldiers. | Video: CinemArt
“The withdrawal of the Chinese film was explained to us by the deterioration of relations between China and the Czech Republic, so no Chinese film may be shown within the Czech Republic, including the Karlovy Vary festival,” explains Och. Czech politicians from the President of the Senate Miloše Vystrčila from the ODS to the Speaker of the Chamber Markéta Pekarová Adamová from TOP 09 visited Taiwan in recent years, which was condemned by Chinese diplomacy. The communist government in Beijing considers democratic Taiwan to be part of it.
This year, visitors to the Karlovy Vary festival will not even see any films from Russian production. “We had very few of them to judge. We only judged those that were not created with the financial contribution of the Russian Ministry of Culture, and none of them made it into this year’s program,” adds the artistic director.
He and his colleagues selected from around 2,000 images, which is 400 more than last year. Among other things, Oscar-nominated American actress Patricia Clarkson, known from the series Sharp Objects, will be a member of the jury that will decide the winner. She already visited the festival four years ago.
In the genre- and stylistically diverse selection of the main competition, the works of recognized creators who gained experience in the French Cannes or the American Sundance meet with talented debutants. Czech cinematography will be represented twice. They will have their world premiere at Karlovy Vary Festival the drama Dawn by director Matěj Chlupaček and the adaptation of Jáchym Topol’s novel Sensitive Person of the same name. Tomáš Klein made his first feature film here, starring David Prachař, Tatiana Vilhelmová, Jiří Schmitzer and Jiří Lábus.
A sensitive person tells the story of a nomadic actor who returns from abroad to Posázaví with his wife and two sons. “I was interested in the book’s harsh subversive humor, but also the sensitivity and playfulness with which it grasps the topic of dying and death around us. At the same time, I saw in it a sensitive story of a boy growing up next to his escapist father, who himself has not yet matured,” says director Klein. Cinemas across the country will release Sensitive Man on October 5.
The competition section of the Karlovy Vary festival called Proxima will again this year provide space for creators who are still waiting to be discovered, as well as renowned authors looking for new paths. The section consists of a dozen works, ten world premieres and two international premieres. Among them will be, for example, screenwriter and director Albert Hospodářský with his first feature Brutální vedro.
The organizers included eight premieres of full-length works by domestic and foreign authors in the non-competition section Specially presented. The selection also includes Robert Hloz’s science fiction The Point of Recovery, David Jařab’s film Hadí gas or Tomáš Pavlíček’s novel Přišla v noci. In a Slovakian-Czech co-production, Robert Kirchhoff filmed the documentary We will all be brothers, a portrait of the representative of the Prague Spring, Alexander Dubček.
The festival has been presenting digitally restored Czechoslovak classics for years. This year, the renewed premiere of Every Day of Courage by Evald Schorm will continue the tradition. One of the fundamental films of the Czechoslovak new wave was created in 1964, starring Jana Brejchová, Jan Kačer, Josef Abrhám and Vlastimil Brodský.
Other program sections will recall the work of Japanese director Yasuz Masumura and independent Iranian cinematography.
At the opening concert of the festival in Karlovy Vary, the British band Morcheeba will play in front of the Thermal Hotel on June 30. The event will be free to the public. On the same evening, the New Zealand actor Russell Crowe, known from the movie Gladiator, will perform with his group Indoor Garden Party and Vojtěch Dyk with the author’s project DYK
Organizers have previously announced that actor and director Crowe will receive the Crystal Globe for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema. The next recipient will be actress Daniela Kolářová. She will receive the festival president’s award.
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