Karlovy Vary to Pay Tribute to Vladimír Smutný, Youssef Chahine

Vladimir Smutny The Painted Bird Cinematography
Courtesy of Silver Screen

Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival is to honor Czech cinematographer Vladimír Smutný, whose credits include Jan Svěrák’s Oscar-winning “Kolya.” The festival will also pay tribute to the career of the late Egyptian filmmaker Youssef Chahine.

Smutný will receive the festival’s President’s Award. He started his career in the 1980s working with directors Jiří Svoboda, on films like “End of the Lonely Farm Berghof” (1983), winner of the jury prize at Karlovy Vary, and Karel Kachyňa.

As well as “Kolya” (1996), he worked with Svěrák on “Dark Blue World” (2001), “Empties” (2007), “Kooky” (2010), “Three Brothers” (2014), and “Barefoot” (2017).

Other directors he worked with include Ivan Fíla (“Lea,” 1996; “King of Thieves,” 2003), Jiří Vejdělek (“Tender Waves,” 2013; “Patrimony,” 2018) and Václav Marhoul (“Smart Philip,” 2003, “Tobruk,” 2008, and the recently completed “The Painted Bird,” 2019).

A Chahine retrospective at Karlovy Vary will feature 11 films restored by the director’s production house, Misr International Films, along with other institutions such as La Cinémathèque française and Cineteca di Bologna.

“A thorough look at the work of Youssef Chahine has long been overdue in Eastern Europe,” the festival’s artistic director, Karel Och, said. “We are delighted to pay this debt as a tribute to an exceptional artist and humanist with strong political views, as well as to Arab cinema, which has recently found a home in Karlovy Vary.”

Chahine won the Silver Bear at Berlin for “Alexandria Why?” (1978). Five of his films were in competition at Cannes, and in 1997 he was presented with the festival’s 50th Anniversary Prize for lifetime achievement.

Other elements of the festival lineup announced Tuesday include a selection of seven movies shot in 1989-1992 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, and a screening of a digitally restored print of one of the seminal works of the 1960s Czechoslovak New Wave, director Juraj Herz’s “The Cremator.”