You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Software creators cater to festival logistics

DataKal helps ease workloads, prevent human errors

MUNICH — Organizing a film festival takes military precision, a fact that Pavel Kalenda, who developed his computing skills in the Czech army, understands. His DataKal software, designed to take care of all the logistical needs during a fest, also gets it.

Since the launch of DataKal in 2001 at Norway’s Bergen Film Fest, Kalenda and his business partner, Tomas Prasek, have convinced the organizers of 21 fests — including Berlin, Tribeca and now Dubai — that their program can considerably ease their workload, the flow of information and prevent human errors.

“Apart from providing a database, the program is a comprehensive tool for all the different departments. It supports the hospitality staff in sending out invitations, keeps track of RSVPs and organizes travel, accommodation and accreditation. At the same time, it tracks the selection and programming process, and streamlines the production of the catalog,” explains Prasek, a former fest organizer who met Kalenda while running the hospitality department of the Karlovy Vary fest.

It takes about a week to train fest staffers to use DataKal effectively, and once the system is in place, support continues. “We’re not just suppliers of a program, we usually become part of the festival staff,” Prasek explains, adding: “Because we’re constantly refining the program through the feedback we receive, the program is becoming more and more universal and internationally transferable. Festival organizers probably don’t want to hear this, but around 85% of their work is the same.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Margot Robbie Big Ticket Podcast

    Margot Robbie Was 'Pretty Rattled' After Reading the 'Bombshell' Script for the First Time

    Margot Robbie took to Twitter to prepare for her role as a conservative news producer and aspiring broadcast journalist for Fox News in “Bombshell.” “Understanding her upbringing and her point of view on politics in the world, that really took me a minute,” Robbie says on today’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s [...]

  • Randy Newman My First Time

    My First Time in Variety: Randy Newman

    “What?! My god.” This is Randy Newman’s reaction upon learning of the first time he ever appeared in the pages of Variety, back in May of 1965. That was three years before he released his first album as a singer-songwriter, at which point he began steadily accruing fans of his warped musical character sketches until [...]

  • Kiri Hart Stephen Feder Ben LeClair

    Rian Johnson, Ram Bergman Expand T-Street With Producer Trio

    Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman are expanding their T-Street studio with Lucasfilm veterans Kiri Hart and Stephen Feder, along with Ben LeClair. Johnson is best known for directing and writing 2017’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which Bergman produced with Kathleen Kennedy. The duo is teamed via T-Street on the upcoming “Knives Out,” starring Daniel [...]

  • Branko Lustig

    Branko Lustig, 'Schindler's List' Producer and Holocaust Survivor, Dies at 87

    Holocaust survivor and Academy Award winner Branko Lustig, who nabbed best picture Oscars for “Schindler’s List” and “Gladiator,” has died at his home in Croatia. He was 87. His death was announced on the website for Festival of Tolerance, which Lustig oversaw as president since 2008. Lustig was born in Osijek, Yugoslavia, in 1932 to [...]

  • Frozen 2

    ‘Frozen 2’ Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying

    Early reviews are in for the highly anticipated “Frozen 2,” and the sequel stands its ground amid lukewarm responses. Currently sitting at 82% on Rotten Tomatoes, “Frozen 2” has released to mixed reactions, the main sentiment being that while the film is unnecessary, Disney has released another money-maker that knows how to satisfy its audience. [...]

  • The Way Back Trailer

    'The Way Back' Trailer: Ben Affleck Struggles With Addiction in Basketball Drama

    Ben Affleck struggles with sobriety in Warner Bros.’ first trailer for his sports drama “The Way Back.” Affleck plays construction worker Jack Cunningham, who has a routine of drinking at every opportunity — in the shower, at work and at home. That routine is interrupted when he’s asked to coach the high school basketball team [...]

  • Mark Koven Music

    Film Composers Tap Into Offbeat Inspirations for Scores

    An electro-acoustic cello for a comic-book villain. Sampled whistling for young revolutionaries in a Latin American jungle. A German rendition of a Beatles song for a satire on the Third Reich. A retro synth score for the tribulations of a gambling addict. Angry, dissonant music for two men alone in a 19th-century lighthouse. Avant-garde saxophone [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content