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FESTIVALS Czech Republic

Karlovy Vary announces first selections

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Organisers of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (June 30-July 8) promised “more quality as well as quantity” for this year’s event as they unveiled part of the 2006 programme. The official competition roster will be completed in June but three filmmakers are already preparing their suitcases for the spa town.

Jan Hrebejk’s much anticipated Beauty in Trouble (Kraska v nesnazich) is the Czech entry. The two other titles announced so far in official competition are Mouth to Mouth (Mun mot Mun) by Sweden’s Björn Runge and the Polish film Several People, Little Time (Pare osób, maly czas) by Andrzej Barański. All three films will have their international premieres during the festival.

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Hrebejk, whose Divided We Fall (Musime si pomahat, 2000) was nominated for Best Foreign Language Oscar, is no stranger to Karlovy Vary. Two of his previous films, Pelisky (1999) and Pupendo (2003) competed for honours there, with the former winning a Special Mention and the Critics’ Prize.

Serbian director Goran Paskaljevic will chair the official competition jury, which includes Czech actor Karel Roden (The Bourne Supremacy, 15 Minutes), Iranian actress Leila Hatami, Polish director Juliusz Machulski, Canadian historian Laurence Kardish and US screenwriter Coleman Hough.

In collaboration with the Sundance Film Festival, ten of what have been labelled “Sundance’s best films of the last 15 years” will be shown in a special section called “Sundance at Karlovy Vary”. Sundance Director Geoffrey Gilmore is expected to present the films himself in the North Bohemia town.

The Festival will keep all other sections that have made a name for themselves in recent years, including East of the West and the Forum of Independents.

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