Karlovy fest sidebars grow

Czech fest sees boost in business-related activity

KARLOVY VARY — The myriad of fest sidebars increasingly provide great networking for industryites, and the Karlovy Vary Film Festival is no exception.

At Karlovy, which shutters Saturday, the Hartley-Merrill international screenwriting prize celebrated its 15th anniversary with a presentation of winners Thursday. This year, it included a three-day screenwriting workshop for selected Central European participants.

The European Film Producers Club, in Karlovy Vary for the second time, is connecting 40 producers pitching projects in one-on-one meetings, after engaging in a hard-hitting assessment of economic conditions for filmmakers across the continent.

Some side events are becoming regular features, such as the European Film Academy annual board meeting, where it sets its awards process in motion, and the Czech producers association APA, which provides a retreat for producers.

Others are here for the first time, with plans to put Karlovy Vary on their yearly calendar. This includes Moonstone, (looking to expand its influence to include Central European films in development), a two-day Media Desk workshop for producers and a hands-on lab on HDTV cameras.

Film fests are also using Karlovy Vary to promote their own events. Cottbus, with its spotlight on Central European films, announced its Czech focus at this fall’s edition. Rotterdam launched a reception this year in an attempt to attract more participation from Central European filmmakers.

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