Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival, the leading movie event in Central and Eastern Europe, unveiled its competition lineup Tuesday with a geographically diverse selection, which includes 10 world and two international premieres.
Cambodia-born British filmmaker Hong Khaou brings the follow-up to his critically acclaimed Sundance debut “Lilting” with a moving drama about a young man of Vietnamese descent rediscovering his roots in “Monsoon,” starring “Crazy Rich Asians” actor Henry Golding.
Germany’s Jan-Ole Gerster follows his well-received debut, “Oh Boy,” winner of the European Film Academy’s European Discovery Award, with the world premiere of “Lara,” a psychological study starring Corinna Harfouch.
Kara Hayward, best-known for “Moonrise Kingdom,” stars in U.S. director Martha Stephens’ 1960s Oklahoma-set drama “To the Stars,” which premiered at Sundance and makes its international premiere at Karlovy Vary.
Spain’s Jonás Trueba “combines lightness and charm with intense existential emotions,” according to KVIFF, in “August Virgin.” The film centers on thirtysomething Eva, whose inner turmoil is soothed by “fleeting encounters and unexpected adventures” during Madrid’s August fiestas.
The Philippines’ Dwein Baltazar delivers the bitterly comic “Ode to Nothing,” about a funeral parlor owner who develops “a highly unusual relationship” with an unidentified corpse.
Chinese director Zhai Yixiang’s “Mosaic Portrait” centers on a pregnant 14-year-old girl, whose revelation of the child’s father causes a shock. The young helmer crafts “an unsettling image of the injured heroine, who remains proud and strong.”
Eastern and Southeastern Europe are represented by a trio of films by recognized filmmakers.
In “Half-Sister,” Slovenia’s Damjan Kozole, best director winner at the 2016 Karlovy Vary for “Nightlife,” combines “compassion and humor reminiscent of the central films of the Czechoslovak New Wave.”
Bulgarian directorial duo Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov’s intimate family drama “The Father” follows on the footsteps of “The Lesson,” which won the best new director’s prize at San Sebastián, and “Glory,” which won an award at Locarno.
Slovak cinema is represented by Marko Škop’s “Let There Be Light,” a gripping drama about a father who discovers that his son is a member of a paramilitary gang. Škop’s debut feature, “Eva Nová,” picked up a Fipresci prize at Toronto.
Belgian filmmaker Tim Mielants presents “the bitingly ironic yet gentle” debut film “Patrick,” set in a naturist campsite.
A second feature debut in main competition is Chilean Felipe Ríos’ psychological road movie “The Man From the Future.”
Returning to KVIFF’s competition section three years after “My Father’s Wings” is Turkey’s Kıvanç Sezer with his “absurdly humorous look at life crisis” in “La Belle Indifference.”
The 54th edition of the festival runs June 28-July 6.
OFFICIAL SELECTION – COMPETITION
“The Father” (Bulgaria, Greece), dir: Kristina Grozeva, Petar Valchanov. World premiere.
“Patrick” (Belgium), dir: Tim Mielants. World premiere.
“The Man from the Future” (Chile, Argentina), dir: Felipe Ríos. World premiere.
“La Belle Indifference” (Turkey), dir: Kıvanç Sezer. World premiere.
“Lara” (Germany), dir: Jan Ole Gerster. World premiere.
“Mosaic Portrait” (China), dir: Yixiang Zhai. World premiere.
“Monsoon” (U.K.), dir: Hong Khaou. World premiere.
“Let There Be Light” (Slovak Republic, Czech Republic), dir: Marko Škop. World premiere.
“Ode to Nothing” (Philippines), dir: Dwein Baltazar. International premiere.
“Half-Sister” (Slovenia, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia), dir: Damjan Kozole. World premiere.
“To the Stars” (U.S.), dir: Martha Stephens. International premiere.
“The August Virgin” (Spain), dir: Jonás Trueba. World premiere.