KVIFF 2021: Films by Olmo Omerzu or Václav Kadrnka will compete for the Crystal Globe

29 June 2021

Czech Film

KVIFF 2021: Films by Olmo Omerzu or Václav Kadrnka will compete for the Crystal Globe

Czech Film

KVIFF 2021: Films by Olmo Omerzu or Václav Kadrnka will compete for the Crystal Globe

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Karlovy Vary International Film Festival has revealed selection of three key sections of its 55th edition – Crystal Globe Competition, East of the West Competition and Special Screenings – which include 14 new Czech films and minority co-productions. Films by Olmo Omerzu, Václav Kadrnka, Erika Hníková and Miro Remo will celebrate world premiere in the main competition.

Crystal Globe Competition

The main competition will present 4 Czech films, including Bird Atlas by celebrated director Olmo Omerzu, who was awarded the Best Director Award at KVIFF three years ago for Winter Flies. In his brand-new Czech-Slovak-Slovenian drama, produced by Jiří Konečný of endorfilm (in co-production with Cvinger film, Punkchart films and Czech Television), Omerzu interweaves strained family relationships and the world of modern communication technology that can exploit our vulnerabilities. The Czech Film Fund supported Bird Atlas for both development and production altogether with EUR 450 000.

Celebrated auteur Václav Kadrnka will follow up his Crystal Globe-winning film Little Crusader (2017) with awaited Saving One Who Was Dead, the autobiographical story of a father who falls into a coma, and his family which finds itself in this extreme life situation. Kadrnka’s Sirius Films co-operates on the drama with French (Bocalupo Films) and Slovak (SilverArt) co-producers, while Czech Television joined the project on the Czech side. The Czech Film Fund supported the film in various stages of the making with altogether EUR 217 000.

For the first time in its long history, KVIFF’s main competition also includes documentary films, and two Czech documentary titles are part of it. Director and producer Miro Remo (Richard Müller: This Is Not Me) co-worked with Czech producer Vít Janeček (D1film) on At Full Throttle, a story of Jaroslav whose health has thwarted his lifelong dream to become a racing driver, but his new girlfriend Jitka is an excellent driver which brings Jaroslav new hope for his personal life as well as his auto racing dream. The film about a life of struggle and hope was also made in coproduction with Czech Television, Radio and Television Slovakia and with support of the Czech Film Fund (EUR 31 000).

The other Czech documentary selected for the Crystal Globe Competition is Every Single Minute, directed by Erika Hníková, produced by Jiří Konečný (endorfilm), co-produced by Punkchart films (SK) and Czech Television and backed by the CFF altogether with EUR 88 000. Hníková, who participated in Berlinale’s Forum (2011) with Matchmaking Mayor, this time focuses on a Slovak couple who have been conducting a peculiar experiment on their now 4-year-old son, ever since his birth. They spend every minute raising him to one day become a successful athlete and a "quality human being" in all senses of the word.

East of the West Competition

In this international competition focused on debuts and second films, 5 Czech films and co-productions will appear, including one documentary. In production of nutprodukce and Czech Television, Adéla Komrzý will introduce Intensive Life Unit, a documentary drama with elements of absurdity about how doctors and patients in our technologically advanced civilization relearn how to communicate about something as essential as death.

Two debut features are on the menu of East of the West Competition as well. Šimon Holý puts an authentic spotlight on relationships, dreams and concerns of present-day millennials in his minimalist and formally distinct feature debut from dance environment Mirrors in the Dark. The film is produced by the director himself in co-production with Alžběta Janáčková of Silk Films and Jana Hojdová of Bridge Films. Jan Foukal also focuses on a relationship between two young people and in his debut, he will answer the question of whether love can cure a cosmic pain. Two Ships, produced by Silvie Michajlova and Ondřej Zima (FILM KOLEKTIV) and co-produced by Czech Television and Storm Films from Norway, were supported by the Czech Film Fund with EUR 115 000. As project in the making, the film also took part in our Czech Film Springboard programme in 2019.

Moreover, the prestigious section will also give floor to two Czech minority co-productions – Polish-Czech Dear Ones (supported by the CFF with EUR 96 153) and Lithuanian-Czech Runner. While in the Dear Ones, director Grzegorz Jaroszuk, producer Agnieszka Kurzydlo and co-producer Karla Stojáková from AXMAN PRODUCTION (CZ) deal with people who miss a real contact with their family and friends, Lithuanian director Andrius Blazevicius follows a girl who decides to find her vanished boyfriend at any cost. Runner is produced by Marija Razgutė of M-Films and co-produced by Bionaut on the Czech side.

Special Screenings

Winner of Annecy’s Jury Prize, My Sunny Maad, will also be screened at the festival. Animated feature about an unconventional love story between Czech woman and Afghan man in post-Taliban Afghanistan is directed by Michaela Pavlátová, produced by Petr Oukropec and Kateřina Černá of Negativ, co-produced by Sacrebleu Production (FR), BFILM (SK), Alkay Animation Prague (CZ), Czech Television (CZ), Gao Shan Pictures (FR) and Innervision (FR). The Czech Film Fund supported Pavlátová’s feature debut with EUR 807 000 for both development and production and backed the film also within the incentives programme with EUR 392 000.

Celebrated director David Ondříček (In the Shadow, Loners) will finally premiere his biopic, Zatopek, which was postponed for over a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The story about famous Czechoslovak Olympic-winner is produced by Kryštof Mucha and the director himself (Lucky Man Films) and co-produced by a large number of partners: Czech Television (CZ), Olife Energy (CZ), Accolade (CZ), ALEF (CZ), Innogy (CZ), T-Mobile (CZ), SEBRE (CZ),  AZYL Production (SK), Radio and Television Slovakia (SK), Barrandov Studio (CZ). Notable support also provided the Czech Film Fund - EUR 604 000.

Two Czech documentaries will be part of this year’s Special Screenings – Dreams About Stray Cats and Reconstruction of Occupation. David Sís maps the life of his brother, Petr Sís, an important figure of the contemporary world art and cultural scene, children's books author, illustrator, graphic artist, creator of animated films in Dreams About Stray Cats. Producers Vít Bělohradský and Kateřina Bělohradská of Frmol Production were backed by the CFF with EUR 77 000 for production. Reconstruction of Occupation is a joint project of director Jan Šikl and producer Alice Tabery (CINEPOINT) who will introduce a collection of amateur films from different families, collected for more than 30 years, as well as long-lost professionally filmed material that captures the Soviet invasion of the Warsaw Pact armies to Czechoslovakia in 1968. The film was made with contribution from co-producers Radio and Television Slovakia (SK), PubRes (SK), Czech Television and the Czech Film Fund (EUR 38 000).

Furthermore, the festival will also screen the first episode of Michal Blaško’s TV series Suspicion, about a nurse in a small town who is accused of a murder she claims not to have committed starring Klára Melíšková. Blaško’s drama was made for Czech Television in Czech-French co-operation, helmed by nutprodukce and co-produced by ARTE.

In addition, the KVIFF will also give floor to world-premiere of digitally restored version of The Party and the Guests (1966), Czechoslovak classic by director Jan Němec.

Works in Progress

The festival also revealed first part of this year's industry programme, Eastern Promises, which will take place online, two weeks prior to the festival. Michal Blaško will take part in the Works in Progress programme with his drama Victim, produced by Jakub Viktorín of nutprodukcia (SK) and co-produced by Tomáš Hrubý of nutprodukce on the Czech side. The story of an Ukrainian single mother living in a small border town in the Czech Republic supported the CFF back in 2018 with EUR 273 000.

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