The venerable Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival may be turning 50, but the thrust of its program remains fresh and tuned to emerging talent. A new strand this year, launched by European Film Promotion (EFP), introduces directors that come from the cohort of the fest’s mostly college-age audience. Future Frames: Ten New Filmmakers to Follow brings short works by students and recent graduates of European film schools into the festival’s largely feature-length film mix. Filmmakers were nominated by their respective country’s EFP bodies.
Says Czech filmmaker Ondrej Hudecek of the initiative, “I think it’s always conducive and extremely valuable to meet fellow filmmakers and industry professionals, who are dealing with the same issues of how to make the transition from shorts to features and talk about the perspectives and possibilities we have, as well as about our films and approaches to filmmaking.”
Karlovy Vary runs July 3-11.
Provenance: Film and Television Faculty Academy of Performing Arts, Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Made as Buchelova’s third-year project, “Green Line” is a tender portrait of a woman taking care of her young son and aging father. She, along with scriptwriter Lukas Obermajer and producer Erika Paulinska, won a prize at the Midpoint Central European Script Center workshop with “The Contest,” about characters who enter an absurd reality show, that she hopes will be her feature debut. “The story expresses our opinion about media manipulation and our fight for people’s dignity,” she says.
“All We Share”
Provenance: Valand Academy, Gothenburg U., Gothenburg, Sweden
The “all” that we share in Carlsson’s impressive graduation drama is our common humanity. “All We Share” previously screened in Locarno’s Leopards of Tomorrow competition. Carlsson is studying for an MFA at Valand Academy and working on financing a short fiction/dance-film hybrid. “I want to create images that I see we lack today,” he says. “The people I see in films are often not as vibrant, complex and diverse as the people I see around me. Where is the diversity of perspectives?” He aims to provide more images of minority characters onscreen.
Provenance: Luca School of Arts, Brussels
Crombez has already made a name for himself with his M.A. graduation pic, “Perdition County,” a bold dystopian costume drama shot in English on location in the wilds of Wales. “I wish to make shorts and features that tell daring and relatable stories with a dystopian angle, while utilizing an engaging visual language, be it within the genre of contemporary drama, costume drama, historical epic or Western,” he says.
Provenance: FAMU, Prague, Czech Republic
Already a multiple prizewinner for his early shorts, Hudecek’s graduation film, “Peacock,” is an inventive and blackly comic look at the early life of a classic figure of realist drama, Ladislav Stroupeznicky. “My goal now is to extend ‘Peacock’ into a feature and continue telling the story of the main character, which I find electrifying,” he says. Hudecek recently participated in film labs in Denmark and Iceland, and was selected for the 2014 Berlinale Talents program.
Provenance: Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dublin
Fitzgerald completed a two-year cinematography course at Ballyfermot College of Further Education before he moved on to the national film school at IADT. The short drama “Skunky Dog” earned him an honors degree as well as several best short kudos on the festival circuit. After graduation, he signed with Rattle, a new company that makes high-end Web commercials. He is also developing his first feature, a drama called “Rockett” with Venom Films.
Provenance: Aristotle U. of Thessaloniki, Greece
Apharmacy student before switching to film, Kotzamani’s graduation project, “Washingtonia,” premiered at the 2014 Berlinale and nabbed the Hellenic Film Academy’s kudo for best short. Set in the urban jungle of Athens during a hot summer and filled with languor and yearning, it plays like a cross-pollination of the Greek Weird Wave and Miguel Gomes’ “Tabu.” She is prepping a new short in co-production with France.
Provenance: Filmschule Head Geneva, Switzerland
Pitteloud graduated with a B.A. in cinema from the film school Head-Geneva in 2014. Her suspenseful diploma film “The Offer” seems like a calling card for a feature thriller. “I often borrow from the thriller genre but I am very influenced by different types of cinema and different types of directors such as Michael Haneke, Thomas Vinterberg, Shlomi and Ronit Elkabetz and Ulrich Seidl as well as the Dardenne brothers and the Coen brothers,” she says. She is working on a short film that focuses on power mechanisms and the making of a tyrant.
Provenance: Budapest U. of Drama and Film, Budapest
Szabo studied Slavic culture and aesthetics at the Pazmany Peter Catholic U. before entering into theater and film arts studies in Budapest, with a focus on directing, in 2011. His perspective is strongly influenced by the Czechoslovak new wave and contemporary Scandinavian cinema. One can see the influence of the former, as well as a tip of the hat to Hungarian classics, in his diploma film, “The Border.” “My starting point is more character than genre,” he says. “I’m excited by marginal characters, coming from the edge of society, drifting around.”
Provenance: Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology, Oslo, Norway
Tondel’s highly accomplished, sexually frank graduation project, “Bird Hearts,” provocatively deals with gender roles, jealousy, sex, family and the tricky power of the stories lovers tell about past experiences. “I like combining the absurd with the sad, the funny with the sore, and to do that through people who are imperfect, but still very human,” he says. The helmer is developing another short, and working on fellow Norwegian Sara Johnsen’s new feature. The busy Tondel is also creating a small production company and developing a script for a future feature.
“Everything Will Be Okay”
Provenance: Film Academy, U. of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna
German-born Vollrath recently finished his studies — with honors — at Vienna’s Film Academy, in helmer Michael Haneke’s class. His diploma film, “Everything Will Be Okay,” recently screened in Cannes’ Critics’ Week. “I want to make hyper-realistic films,” he says. “But not only in the drama genre.” He is working on his feature debut. “I am writing two different stories right now,” he says. “I did a lot of short films during my studies. I guess it’s time to play with the big boys now.”