PRAGUE — The 38th Karlovy Vary Film Festival (July 4-12) is due to unveil a Euro-heavy competition line-up today as programmer Eva Zaoralova continues to build on the Czech event’s heart-of-Europe identity.
Zaoralova’s success in picking films that went on to Oscar foreign-lingo recognition, including “Nowhere in Africa” and “Amelie,” has given Karlovy Vary wider access to choice films.
This year’s lineup includes the world premiere of Rudolf Thome’s “Red and Blue” from Germany and the international premiere of Ferzan Ozpetek’s locally acclaimed “Facing Window,” an Italian-U.K.-Turkey-Portugal co-production.
South Korea’s Kim Ki-duk, the subject of a retrospective last year, is in competition with “The Coast Guard.” French helmer Alain Corneau presents “Fear and Trembling,” a French-Japanese co-production starring festival guest Sylvie Testud.
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The U.S., not traditionally a strong presence at Karlovy Vary, sends Wayne Kramer’s feature debut, “The Cooler,” starring William H. Macy and Alec Baldwin.
Local productions look especially strong this year. Jan Hrebejk revisits the 1980s in his dark comedy “Pupendo.” Slovakia teamed up with the Czech Republic on “Cruel Joys,” a local B.O. success that marks the film debut of Slovak legit director Juraj Nvota.
The Philippines appears in competition for the first time with “Magnifico,” directed by Mario J. Delos Reyes. Iran once again has a berth, with Abdolrasoul Golbon’s “Paradise Is Somewhere Else.”
The remainder of the 16-film lineup hints at further discoveries. Titles include “Babusya,” by Lidia Bobrova (Russia); Danish Dogma film “Old, New, Borrowed and Blue,” by Natasha Arthy; Hungarian-Italian Holocaust drama “Rose’s Song,” by Andor Szilagyi; “Dead Man’s Memories,” by Markus Heltschl, an Austrian-German world premiere; “Buddy,” by Morten Tyldum, a world preem from Norway; “The World Again,” by Nikos Cornilios, repping Greece; and “Song for a Raggy Boy,” a co-prod from Ireland, U.K., Denmark and Spain directed by Aisling Walsh.