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KARLOVY VARY 2020

The Karlovy Vary IFF cancels its special 54 ½ edition

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- Karlovy Vary programmers had assembled a variety of titles hailing from Sundance, Berlin, Venice and San Sebastián, plus some flaunting the Cannes 2020 label

The Karlovy Vary IFF cancels its special 54 ½ edition
Gagarin by Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh

UPDATE (4 November 2020): In view of the ongoing lockdown announced by the government in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the special Karlovy Vary IFF 54 ½, originally scheduled for 18-21 November, will not take place. KVIFF president Jiří Bartoška said, "We are sorry that we will not be able to hold this event either, but in this era, people’s health absolutely takes priority, and I am sure that everyone sees it the same way. We believe that we will be able to organise our regularly scheduled 55th Karlovy Vary IFF on 2-10 July 2021 to the extent and at the level of quality that our guests, partners and audiences are accustomed to.”

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Despite the setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisers of the largest Czech film gathering, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, were confident that the festival would happen in one form or another. The first instalment unspooled as a decentralised, on-site version organised in local venues throughout the Czech Republic, as the KVIFF at Your Cinema showcase (see the news). The team earlier announced that the second instalment would happen in the usual spot (see the news) as the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 54 ½.

The event will be held as a four-day festival with a non-competitive line-up of films each being screened two or three times as Czech premieres. The screenings are planned to be held in well-known venues such as the Grand and Small Halls of the Thermal Hotel, the Karlovy Vary Theatre, and the Čas Cinema in the spa town of Karlovy Vary. “It is our ambition, even under today’s circumstances, to find a way to hold a large-scale cultural event effectively and, above all, safely. We believe that if we observe the rules and ensure that sophisticated prevention and protection measures are taken, there is no need to give up on cultural life, even today,” revealed the organisers.

The line-up for the special edition includes festival hits and titles blessed with the Cannes 2020 label. Set to screen are Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh’s feature debut, Gagarin [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Tr…
film profile
]
, about “perseverance, the connection to a specific place and the power of the imagination”; the winner of the Venice International Film Critics’ Week Grand Prize, Ghosts [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Azra Deniz Okyay; Emmanuel Mouret’s Love Affair(s) [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Emmanuel Mouret
film profile
]
; the opening film of Venice’s Orizzonti section, Apples [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Christos Nikou
film profile
]
by Christos Nikou; and the Venice competition title Quo vadis, Aida? [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Jasmila Žbanić, among others.

Nevertheless, the current situation is volatile, as the Czech Republic entered a state of emergency for 30 days on 5 October (with indoor events involving more than ten people now banned, among other precautions). “In view of the government measures related to the spread of the coronavirus, we anticipate that the current situation will continue to change, and so we are tentatively cancelling the planned start of ticket sales originally scheduled for 21 October 2020. We will inform you about our next steps the moment we have any further information as to how, and under what conditions, we will be able to hold our festival. By holding Karlovy Vary IFF 54 ½, we hope to support cultural life in our country while thoroughly observing all health and safety measures,” the organisers stated.

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 54 ½ will take place from 18-21 November.

Below is the full line-up of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 54 ½:

Apples [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Christos Nikou
film profile
]
- Christos Nikou (Greece/Poland/Slovenia)
The Big Hit - Emmanuel Courcol (France)
Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets - Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross (USA)
Coach to Vienna - Karel Kachyňa (Czechoslovakia)
Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan [+see also:
film review
interview: Julien Temple
film profile
]
- Julien Temple (UK/Ireland)
DAU. Natasha [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ilya Khrzhanovskiy
film profile
]
- Ilya Khrzhanovsky, Jekaterina Oertel (Germany/Ukraine/UK/Russia)
The Disciple - Chaitanya Tamhane (India)
Exile [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Visar Morina
film profile
]
- Visar Morina (Germany/Belgium/Kosovo)
First Cow - Kelly Reichardt (USA)
The Furnace - Roderick MacKay (Australia)
Gagarin [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Tr…
film profile
]
- Fanny Liatard, Jérémy Trouilh (France)
Ghosts [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Azra Deniz Okyay (Turkey/France/Qatar)
Gunda [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Victor Kossakovsky (Norway/USA)
Kiss Me Before It Blows Up - Shirel Peleg (Germany/Israel)
Love Affair(s) [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Emmanuel Mouret
film profile
]
- Emmanuel Mouret (France)
Nadia, Butterfly - Pascal Plante (Canada)
The Nest - Sean Durkin (USA)
Nomadland - Chloé Zhao (USA/Germany)
Notturno [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Gianfranco Rosi
film profile
]
- Gianfranco Rosi (Italy/France/Germany)
Quo vadis, Aida? [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Jasmila Žbanić (Bosnia and Herzegovina/Austria/Romania/Netherlands/Germany/Poland/France/Norway/Turkey)
Sweat [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Magnus von Horn
film profile
]
- Magnus von Horn (Poland/Sweden)
This Is My Desire - Chuko Esiri, Arie Esiri (Nigeria)
Wendy - Benh Zeitlin (USA)
Zanka Contact [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
- Ismaël El Araki (Morocco/France/Belgium)

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