Karlovy Vary IFF unveils the first details about its 54th edition
by Martin Kudláč
- The upcoming edition of the festival will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, honour Egyptian legend Youssef Chahine and add a new feature to its industry programme
The upcoming edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (28 June-6 July) will honour domestic cinematographer Vladimír Smutný with the KVIFF President’s Award. The seven-time winner of the Czech Lion for Best Cinematography, two-time winner of the Czech Film Critics’ Award and cinematographer on the Oscar-winning film Kolya, directed by Jan Svěrák, with whom he worked intensively, recently completed the shoot for the eagerly awaited adaptation of the controversial book The Painted Bird (see the news), helmed by Václav Marhoul, with whom he also worked on his previous projects.
A wide-ranging retrospective – “the biggest of its kind to be featured at any international film festival,” according to the organisers – will be dedicated to Egyptian filmmaker Youssef Chahine. Five restored films will be unveiled as festival premieres, while three of them will be shown with English subtitles for the first time. “A thorough look at the work of Chahine has long been overdue in Eastern Europe,” says the festival’s artistic director, Karel Och. “We are delighted to pay this debt as a tribute to an exceptional artist and humanist with strong political views, as well as to Arab cinema, which has recently found a home at Karlovy Vary.”
The 54th edition of the KVIFF will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution with seven movies made between 1989 and 1992. This selection of domestic films encapsulating the spirit of “the wild nineties” will include Věra Chytilová’s cult comedy and “visionary morality tale” The Inheritance or Fuckoffguysgoodday, Irena Pavlásková’s psychological thriller Time of the Servants, Filip Renč’s feature debut Requiem for a Maiden, Jan Němec’s The Flames of Royal Love and Juraj Jakubisko’s dramedy It’s Better to be Wealthy and Healthy Than Poor and Ill. Another domestic cult classic, The Cremator (1968) by Czechoslovak New Wave director Juraj Herz, will have its festival premiere as a digitally restored version. The National Film Archive will re-release the film in cinemas 50 years after it was made.
The KVIFF is dedicated to supporting and promoting talents from Central and Eastern Europe and will therefore be continuing the KVIFF Eastern Promises industry initiative launched last year, with the organisers adding that they are working to make it “even more comfortable and easier for film buyers to pick up some as-yet incomplete film projects”. The Works in Development – Feature Launch platform will present projects in development within the MIDPOINT programme, and the festival’s annual industry panel Works in Progress will introduce projects in the post-production phase. Similarly, documentary projects will be presented at Docs in Progress, and less orthodox and more experimental fare will bow as part of the Eurimages Lab Project Award. The main novelty of the 54th edition will be the First Cut Lab workshop, hosted by the When East Meets West industry platform, which “gives three carefully selected films at the rough-cut stage the opportunity to be presented before a panel of international experts and to benefit from some timely advice on editing”. Projects may be submitted until mid-May.
The list of films set to be presented as part of the tribute to Youssef Chahine is as follows: Daddy Amin (Baba Amin, 1950), The Blazing Sun (Siraa fil wadi, 1954), The Devil of the Desert (Shaytan al-sahraa, 1954), My One and Only Love (Enta habibi, 1957), Farewell My Love (Wadda't hubbak, 1957), Cairo Station (Bab el-Hadid, 1958), Saladin (Al-Naser Salah al-Din, 1963), Dawn of a New Day (Fagr yom gedid, 1964), The Return of the Prodigal Son (Awdat al-ibn al dal, 1976), Alexandria Why? (Eskanderija... lih?, 1978) and The Sixth Day (Al-yom al-sadis, 1986).
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