The Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival line-up features seven world premieres and five international premieres, including films from Georgian filmmaker George Ovashvili, Russian director Angelina Nikonova and Hungarian director Gyorgy Palfi.
“This year’s selection of competing films offers an exciting mix of outstanding films whose completion has been eagerly anticipated. Many of the filmmakers, who explore less frequently trodden paths of cinematic expression, come from the countries of the former Eastern Bloc, which the KVIFF has long focused on,” Karel Och, the festival’s artistic director, said.
The main section includes the long-anticipated film from Ovashvili (“The Other Bank”), “Corn Island,” a psychological drama that uses captivating imagery to present a topical subject — the intense relationship between man and nature.
Nikonova (“Twilight Portrait”) has chosen the festival for the premiere of her bitter comedy “Welkome Home,” set among the immigrant community in contemporary New York.
Palfi, one of Europe’s most original filmmakers, comes to KV with “Free Fall,” a sad and grotesque look at contemporary society. Through seven stories, Palfi presents “an alarming report on the state of humanity using his typical provocativeness and boundless imagination,” the fest reports.
The first animated film to be shown in competition at Karlovy Vary is the New York-based Latvian filmmaker Signe Baumane’s “Rocks in My Pockets.” This “funny film about depression” describes the mental illness that afflicted her family for decades.
An intimate drama with melodramatic moments, “I’m Yours” was filmed by Belgian director David Lambert, whose previous film “Beyond the Walls” was shown two years ago in Critics’ Week in Cannes. “I’m Yours” depicts the difficult road to emotional fulfillment through the story of an restless young Argentine man’s unlikely relationship with an aging Belgian baker.
Miroslav Krobot, a stage thesp and the only Czech actor to have appeared in films presented in Cannes, Berlin and Venice, will introduce his eagerly anticipated directorial debut “Nowhere in Moravia.” In this laconic rural drama with elements of dark comedy, Krobot channels Kaurismaki and the Mrstik brothers, with help from some of the Czech Republic’s leading actors, led by Tatiana Vilhelmova, Ivan Trojan and Jaroslav Plesl.
In the melancholic drama “Low Down,” Jeff Preiss presents the carefree bohemian scene of 1970s Los Angeles, as well as the talent and heroin-addiction of jazz pianist Joe Albany (John Hawkes), seen through the eyes of his daughter Amy-Jo (Elle Fanning).
Czech screenwriter and director Andrea Sedlackova delivers her film “Fair Play.” This intimate drama about trying to preserve human dignity in the face of state-organized doping during the totalitarian 1980s focuses on young athlete Anna (Judit Bardos) and her mother (Anna Geislerova).
This year’s strong representation of countries east of the Czech Republic also features renowned Kazakh filmmaker Nariman Turebayev with “Adventure,” a loose adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s “White Nights.” The contemporary tale of lonely Marat’s fascination for the complex Mariyam was shot on the streets of Almaty, while its melancholic ambiance is enhanced by subtle artistic and acoustic details.
In his subtly humorous new film “Paris of the North,” Icelandic filmmaker Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson (“Either Way”) evokes a melancholic mood without emphasizing the dramatic conflict. A teacher who has managed to overcome his problems with alcohol, his frivolous rocker father, and the other inhabitants of an out-of-the-way village dwell on the question of what to do with their lives.
In his second film, the magical and oppressive “La Tirisia,” Mexican director Jorge Perez Solano presents the story of Cheba and Angeles Miguel, two women who are pregnant by the same man. They live in a small isolated village, and their attempts at leading a modest but dignified life are constantly attacked by a strange illness of the soul, “la tirisia”.
France’s Pascal Rabate, winner of the best director award at the 2011 KVIFF for “Holidays by the Sea,” returns to the festival’s competition section with the intriguingly stylized and ironic morality tale “Patchwork Family,” in which the hardened cynic Christian is punished for the swindles he perpetrated in a manner not unlike the medieval punishment referred to in the film’s original title (“Tar and Feathers”).
The festival also revealed the line-up for the sidebar “Variety Critics’ Choice: Europe Now!,” which is curated by Variety magazine, with the support of European Film Promotion. The sidebar, which is in its 17th year at Karlovy Vary, has the aim of spotlighting groundbreaking European cinema and the directing talent behind it.
Variety and EFP will introduce 10 European directors and their films to the public, film industry and press during two days of events and screenings on July 6 and 7. (See below for full line-up.)
OFFICIAL SELECTION – COMPETITION
“Adventure,” Nariman Turebayev (Kazakhstan, France) World premiere
“Dira u Hanusovic” (Nowhere in Moravia), Miroslav Krobot (Czech Republic) World premiere
“Du goudron et des plumes” (Patchwork Family), Pascal Rabate (France) World premiere
“Fair Play,” Andrea Sedlackova (Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Germany) International premiere
“Je suis a toi” (I’m Yours), David Lambert (Belgium) World premiere
“Low Down,” Jeff Preiss (U.S.) International premiere
“Paris of the North,” Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson (Iceland) World premiere
“Rocks in My Pockets,” Signe Baumane (U.S., Latvia) World premiere
“Simindis kundzuli” (Corn Island), George Ovashvili (Georgia, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan) World premiere
“Szabadeses” (Free Fall), Gyorgy Palfi (Hungary, France, South Korea) International premiere
“La tirisia” (Perpetual Sadness), Jorge Perez Solano (Mexico) International premiere
“Welkome Home,” Angelina Nikonova (Russia) International premiere
EAST OF THE WEST – COMPETITION
“Axınla Asagı” (Down the River), Asif Rustamov (Azerbaijan) World premiere
“Bota,” Iris Elezi, Thomas Logoreci (Albania, Italy) World premiere
“Drevo” (The Tree), Sonja Prosenc (Slovenia) World premiere
“Kebab & Horoscope,” Grzegorz Jaroszuk (Poland) World premiere
“Kirsitubakas” (Cherry Tobacco), Andres Maimik, Katrin Maimik (Estonia) World premiere
“Klass korrekcii” (Corrections Class), Ivan Tverdovsky (Russia, Germany) International premiere
“Norviyia” (Norway), Yannis Veslemes (Greece) World premiere
“Rozkos” (Delight), Jitka Rudolfova (Czech Republic) International premiere
“Spomenik Majklu Dzeksonu” (Monument to Michael Jackson), Darko Lungulov (Serbia, Germany, Macedonia, Croatia) International premiere
“Utoelet” (Afterlife), Virag Zomboracz (Hungary) World premiere
“VAN valami furcsa es megmagyarazhatatlan” (For Some Inexplicable Reason), Gabor Reisz (Hungary) World premiere
“Varvari” (Barbarians), Ivan Ikic (Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia) World premiere
VARIETY CRITICS’ CHOICE
“Blind Dates,” Levan Koguashvili (Georgia)
“Blind,” Eskil Vogt (Norway, The Netherlands)
“Calvary,” John Michael McDonagh (Ireland, U.K.)
“Catch Me Daddy,” Daniel and Matthew Wolfe (U.K.)
“Class Enemy,” Rok Bicek (Slovenia)
“Grand Piano,” Eugenio Mira (Spain)
“Insecure,” Marianne Tardieu (France)
“Macondo,” Sudabeh Mortezai (Austria)
“Quod Erat Demonstradum,” Andrei Gruzsniczki (Romania)
“White Shadow,” Noaz Deshe (Italy, Germany, Tanzania)