The 47th Karlovy Vary Film Festival announced on Tuesday a dozen competition pics, many reflecting a thread of isolation and angst in art film extending across Europe, Japan and Mexico and including eight world preems and four international preems.
The Czech entry, “Polish Film,” is Marek Najbrt’s sendup of local filmmaking opportunism — hopefully not a portent for the fest. It pokes fun at itself and the slavish compromises it makes to qualify for its primary coin source, a Polish film fest prize.
“It’s the only Czech film we considered,” said fest artistic director Karel Och.
The rest of Europe is well represented with Portuguese civil disobedience tale “Hay Road,” by Rodrigo Areias; Greek economic survival story “Boy Eating the Bird’s Food,” by debut helmer Ektoras Lygizos; Spain’s study of aging “La lapidation de Saint Etienne,” by Pere Vila Barcel; Austria’s “Your Beauty Is Worth Nothing…,” a debut immigrant story by Huseyin Tabak; terrorism chronicle “The Italian Conspiracy,” by Marco Tullio Giordana; Norway’s middle age crisis exploration “The Almost Man,” by Martin Lund; and Poland’s own war legacy account “To Kill a Beaver,” by Jan Jakub Kolski.
Canada’s “Camion,” by Rafael Ouellet, considers the dark pull of a road accident while Japan’s “Kamihate Store” by Tatsuya Yamamoto reflects on suicide. Mexico’s “Nos vemos, papa” by Lucia Carreras examines loss and grief, while Iran’s “The Last Step” by Ali Mosaffa is a playful psychological marriage story.
East of the West section, featuring 11 pics from the former East bloc, includes Slovak-Czech debut “The Town of Ash” by Iveta Grofova, Czech Lion winner “Flower Buds” by Zdenek Jirasky, Polish-Czech post-Iron Curtain drama “Yuma” by Piotr Mularuk and Polish sibling sex tale “Shameless” by Filip Marczewski.
Hungary, despite political and economic turmoil, has produced secret police thriller “The Exam” by Peter Bergendy and psychological drama “Dear Betrayed Friends” by Sara Cserhalmi. Pics from Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Latvia and Estonia fill out this sidebar.
Karlovy Vary’s docu competition has 16 pics from 14 countries, including U.S. helmer Lauren Greenfield’s “The Queen of Versailles,” a story of economic excess. Czech entries are soccer allegory “Two Nil” by Pavel Abraham and Helena Trestikova’s “Private Universe,” following one family over 37 years.
Fest’s popular indie sidebar Forum of Independents will also feature 12 pics and “adventures from a Serbian living room, a Canadian fairground and the mountain ranges of Pakistan,” according to programmers.
Karlovy Vary, the Czech Republic’s main film event, runs June 29-July 7.