Czech Films Power Karlovy Vary Premiere Slate

Of the 10 world premieres and two international premieres competing at Karlovy Vary this year, Czech work makes up an impressive share.

With 11 films either wholly Czech or co-productions with Czech partners, prospects are strong for the nation. Road movie “Winter Flies” by Olmo Omerzu, a Slovenian-born Prague-based filmmaker, screens in the main competition along with Adam Sedlak’s cycling drama debut “Domestique” and a minority Czech co-production “I Do Not Care if We Go Down in History as Barbarians” by Romanian director Radu Jude.

This Romanian-Czech-French-Bulgarian-German project considers of the scars of World War II via Prague producer Jiri Konecny and Romania’s Ada Solomon of Hi Film.

The East of the West section, once made up of films from the former East bloc and now also covering Greece, Cyprus and the Middle East, features more Czech work, including debut “Moments” by Beata Parkanova and family comedy “Bear With Us” by Tomas Pavlicek.

“We are very happy to see that this year’s East of the West competition is dominated by a strong female element,” says KVIFF’s Lenka Tyrpakova, who curates the section, describing Belarusian director Darya Zhuk’s “Crystal Swan,” about a Minsk-based law student who dreams of becoming a DJ in the U.S., as “a powerful, energetic debut.”

The film, which opens the section this year, is the first Belarusian fiction film screened at KVIFF in 15 years, says Tyrpakova, “and hopefully it’s a sign that more exciting surprises will come from Belarus soon.”

The debut by Cypriot director Tonia Mishialli, “Pause,” a study of menopause and perception, is “another interesting voice from a woman director,” says Tyrpakova.

Presented last year at KVIFF’s Works in Progress, the film “is a strong psychological drama addressing the issues surrounding the position of women in a patriarchal society.”

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