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The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival expands for its 2018 edition


- The East of the West competition will open up to films from the Middle Eastern territories

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival expands for its 2018 edition

The team behind the biggest Czech film gathering, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF), is already hard at work on the 53rd edition, which is set to unspool from 29 June-7 July 2018. As a mainstay of the industry in the Central and Eastern European territories, the KVIFF aims to extend its sphere of coverage to Middle Eastern cinema in a bid to strengthen its “unique position as a gateway to success for Eastern European film”. The East of the West competition, which spotlights up-and-coming filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the former Soviet states, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, will welcome a slew of new countries eligible for the competition: namely, these will be Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lenabon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. “We see significant potential among young filmmakers from the Middle East and would like to offer them a helping hand at the beginning of their careers. It is also about time to abandon the political definition of the East of the West countries and to switch to a more geographical definition. Boundaries in film should be practical, not ideological,” explained artistic director Karel Och.

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A minor rebranding will take place to take into account the festival’s territorial revision, and this will also be reflected in its industry programme, rechristened as The Eastern Promises @KVIFF. It will be enriched by works from the recently introduced countries of the Middle East. However, the festival notes, “Additional pitching forums, added as part of an expanded industry programme, will continue to focus predominantly on the region of Central and Eastern Europe.” The festival is set to begin a joint effort with the Trieste Film Festival’s Eastweek and When East Meets West industry platform as well as the MIDPOINT script development programme, in order to foster market opportunities for nine projects from the workshops focusing on development, financing and co-production. The selected projects will be introduced for the first time at Karlovy Vary.

The submission process for the 53rd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival opens on 1 November for fiction and documentary features that have been finished after 1 July. Entries may be submitted until 28 February 2018, with a late-submission option possible until the end of March via the festival’s website.

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