Czech films at Karlovy Vary IFF 2024

23 May 2024

Czech Film

Czech films at Karlovy Vary IFF 2024

Czech Film

Czech films at Karlovy Vary IFF 2024

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58th edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF), running June 28–July 6, 2024, offers a generous selection of Czech film across many sections, including the Crystal Globe Competition, Proxima Competition, Special Screenings, and Out of the Past program. A number of selected films will see the world premiere at KVIFF, others are returning the the screen in the restored version. A grand total of 24 Czech films is featured at KVIFF this year.

Beata Parkanová's third feature Tiny Lights, Adam Martinec's debut Our Lovely Pig Slaughter and minority co-production The Hungarian Dressmaker by awarded Slovak director Iveta Grófová will vie for the award in the Crystal Globe Competition. Family drama March to May by Martin Pavol Repka heads to the Proxima Competition. The Special Screenings section includes two fiction features – the historical drama Waves by Jiří Mádl about one of the most iconic moments of recent Czech history and the satirical drama The Gardener's Year by Jiří Havelka. Moreover, the program showcases five new Czech documentary features: Czechoslovak Architecture 58-89 by Jan Zajíček, The Other One by debuting director Marie-Magdalena Kochová, who will also present her short film 3 MWh in the Future Frames: Generation NEXT of European Cinema program, tata_bojs.doc by Marek Najbrt and I'm Not Everything I Want to Be by Klára Tasovská, premiered at Berlinale, all part of the Special Screenings section, and The Actress by Theodora Remundová in the Out of the Past section.

Out of the Past program will also offer screenings of three great Czechoslovak classics: the sci-fi parody The Mystery of the Carpathian Castle (1981) by Oldřich Lipský, Shadows of a Hot Summer (1977) by František Vláčil and the satirical comedy Murdering the Devil (1970) by Ester Krumbachová, all restored by the National Film Archive (NFA). Another Czechoslovak classic, Joseph Kilian (1963) by Pavel Juráček and Jan Schmidt, is part of the The Wish To Be a Red Indian: Kafka and Cinema Kafka-centered retrospective, which also features America (1994) by Vladimír Michálek. Horizons section showcases Living Large by Kristina Dufková, which recently won the Contrechamp Jury Award at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival. Tribute to Ivan Trojan features The Karamazovs by Petr Zelenka. And lastly, there is also an opportunity to see some recent Czech short films. Pragueshorts at KVIFF program features The Baroque by David Payne and Tomáš Navrátil, Buzz of the Earth by Greta Stocklassa, Eighth Day by Petr Pylypčuk, Sea Salt by Leila Basma, Blue Boy by Nikulás Tumi Hlynsson and Electra by Daria Kashcheeva.

All the all first-run films have been supported by the Czech Film Fund at some point of development or production. Three of them – Our Lovely Pig Slaughter, March to May, and Waves have participated in the Czech Film Springboard programme organized by the Czech Film Center at the Finále Plzeň film festival.

Crystal Globe Competition

Award-winning author Beata Parkanová (MomentsThe Word) returns to Karlovy Vary with a sensitive family portrait which details the breakdown of a marriage through the eyes of a six-year-old girl Amálka titled Tiny Lights. Parkanová's third feature is produced again by Vojtěch Frič from love.FRAME and Martin Palán from Bontonfilm Studios, in co-production with Slovak AZYL Production. The Czech Film Fund supported the film altogether with EUR 434,000 and the film received also support from the South Moravian Film Fund and Slovak Audiovisual Fund. The sales and festivals are handled by London-based Reason8.

A pig slaughter happens every year at the old folks’ place in Osoblaha. It’s the only day of the year when the whole family gathers to rejoice, complain, eat, drink, and just live. But this year is different because Grandpa is unsure how to tell his son-in-law Karel that this will be the last slaughter. Adam Martinec (Anatomy of a Czech AfternoonSugar and Salt) portraits in his feature debut Our Lovely Pig Slaughter how the resilience of mutual family bonds is tested during this very special day. The film is produced by Matěj Paclík of Breathless Films, in co-production with Slovak filmsomnia and Czech Television, and the Czech Film Fund granted the film the support for development and production of EUR 316,000. The film also received additional suport from the Moravian-Silesian Region, Film Foundation and Slovak Audiovisual Fund, and was selected for the Czech Film Springboard programme in 2021.

Celebrated Slovak director Iveta Grófová (Crystal Bear-winning Little Harbour) will present in Karlovy Vary's main competition drama set during the WW2 called The Hungarian Dressmaker, which tells a story of Marika, a Hungarian widow dressmaker, who shelters a Jewish boy in her home on the Slovak-Hungarian border during the turbulent years of WW2 and Wartime Slovak State. Grófová casted in the titular role EFA European Actress of 2017 Alexandra Borbély. The film is produced by Zuzana Mistríková's PubRes in Slovakia and Ondřej Trojan's TotalHelpArt T.H.A. in Czech Republic, in co-production with Campfilm, RTVS, Fortuna Film und TV and Czech Television. The Czech Film Fund supported the film within the minority co-production scheme in the amount of EUR 116,000, alongside with Slovak Audiovisual Fund, Eurimages, KULT MINOR and MOL Foundation. The sales and festival are also handled by Reason8.

Tiny Lights (dir. Beata Parkanová / CZ, SK, 2024, 76 min)

Tuesday 2/7 / 20:00 Grand Hall, 519
Wednesday 3/7 / 13:00 Pupp, 6P2
Thursday 4/7 / 19:00 Lazne III, 7L6
Friday 5/7 / 16:00 Congress Hall, 835

Our Lovely Pig Slaughter (dir. Adam Martinec / CZ, SK, 2024, 85 min)

Sunday 30/6 / 20:00 Grand Hall, 319
Monday 1/7 / 10:00 Pupp, 4P1
Tuesday 2/7 / 19:00 Lazne III, 5L6
Wednesday 3/7 / 16:00 Congress Hall, 635

The Hungarian Dressmaker (dir. Iveta Grófová / SK, CZ, 2024, 129 min)

Saturday 29/6 / 19:30 Grand Hall, 218
Sunday 30/6 / 10:00 Pupp, 3P1
Monday 1/7 / 19:00 Lazne III, 4L6
Tuesday 2/7 / 16:00 Congress Hall, 535
 

Proxima Competition

Martin Pavol Repka's feature debut March to May, strongly inspired by the director's personal memories, is an intimate observation of a functioning family, which proves that more than drama, there is life going on. Produced by up-and-coming producer Tomáš Pertold through his own company Perfilm, in co-production with Studio BEEP and PFX, the film received the development support from the Czech Film Fund of EUR 19,000. The director took part with the project in the Czech Film Springboard program in 2021.

March to May (dir. Martin Pavol Repka / CZ, 2024, 85 min)

Monday 1/7 / 19:00 Karlovy Vary Theatre, 4D7
Tuesday 2/7 / 15:00 Cas Cinema, 5C3
Wednesday 3/7 / 13:00 Lazne III, 6L2
Thursday 4/7 / 14:00 Cinema B, 754
 

Special Screenings

In his third feature film, Waves, another Czech Film Springboard project, the actor-turned-director Jiří Mádl (To See the SeaOn the Roof) delves into the dramatic events of the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Tomas wants to stay clear of politics to protect his younger brother Pavel. But when he gets recruited to the International Editorial Office of Czechoslovak Radio as a technician, he finds himself caught in danger as the Soviet tanks are rolling into Czechoslovakia. Monika Kristlová's Dawson Films is the main producer and the co-producers include Slovak Wandal Production and Czech Television. The Czech Film Fund supported the film altogether with EUR 628,000. Additional support comes from the Prague Audiovisual Fund and the Slovak Audiovisual Fund.

In Jiří Havelka's (Emergency Situation, Owners) latest feature, The Gardener's Year, a gardener and his wife live peacefully at the foot of a hill, caring for their small garden. But their quiet life is disturbed when a new owner moves into the nearby castle and tries to buy all the land around, including theirs. When the gardener refuses to sell, the new owner becomes aggressive, putting up a razor-wire fence and blocking their access road. Due to the police and the mayor failing to help, the gardener decides to fight back and protect their home. The film is produced by Jiří Tuček through his production and distribution outfit DonArt Film in co-production with Czech Television, and got support from the Czech Film Fund for script development.

Jan Zajíček, who made his name with a great variety of TV documentary series and music videos, comes with a documentary feature Czechoslovak Architecture 58-89, that gives a thorough overview of Czechoslovak architecture of the period of 1958 – 1989, with the focus on the relationship between the public opinion and the specifics of this architectural era – aiming to defeat the existing prejudice about this period originating from little knowledge of the background. The film, produced by Karla Stojáková and Pavel Berčík from FILM KOLEKTIV, in co-production with Slovak AZYL Production and Czech Television, received EUR 75,000 from the Czech Film Fund, as well asi additional support from the Prague Audiovisual Fund and the Slovak Audiovisual Fund.

In her documentary feature film debut, The Other One, Marie-Magdalena Kochová (3 MWh, Shells) follows eighteen-year-old Johana, who wants to leave her small Czech hometown, but there’s more than high school graduation that stands between her and her aspirations. Johana’s life is largely defined by her younger sister’s atypical autism and mental disability, which shape the everyday life of the whole family. Barbora Drtílková and Vít Poláček of m3 films are the main producers and the film is made in co-production with Slovak Guča, Czech Television and FAMU. Also this film received the production support from the Czech Film Fund in the amount of EUR 48,000 and additional funding also came from Slovak Audioisual Fund and Moravian-Silesian Region.

Marek Najbrt's (Polski filmProtektor) latest cinematic offering is a documentary tata_bojs.doc about the legendary Czech pop-rock band Tata Bojs. The film gives not only a recapitulation of the life of the band and its members, a look back into the past but also promises to look into the future. One of the major questions, the film asks is: What is the motor for a successful band, and where does it draw inspiration for its fresh lyrics? Producer Petr Koza and his KOZA Film stands behind the film along with co-producers Czech Television, Supraphone and Gui-tón and the Czech Film Fund granted the film support of EUR 56,000.

Last but not least, the award-winning documentary feature of Klára Tasovská I'm Not Everything I Want To Be, premiered earlier this year at Berlinale, will have its Czech premiere in the Special Screenings section. The unconventional portrait of photographer Libuše Jarcovjáková, produced by Tasovská and Lukáš Kokeš through their production company Somatic Films, has already travelled to various festivals including Hong Kong IFF, Millenium Docs Against Gravity or IndieLisboa.

Waves (dir. Jiří Mádl / Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, 2024, 131 min)

Monday 1/7 / 14:00 Grand Hall, 416
Tuesday 2/7 / 16:00 Pupp, 5P3
Thursday 4/7 / 22:00 Lazne III, 7L7
Saturday 6/7 / 09:00 Small Hall, 921

The Gardener's Year (directed by: Jiří Havelka / Czech Republic, 2023, 104 min)

Wednesday 3/7 / 13:00 Karlovy Vary Theatre, 6D3
Thursday 4/7 / 15:00 Small Hall, 726
Saturday 6/7 / 15:00 Drahomira Cinema, 9K4

The Other One (dir. Marie-Magdalena Kochová / CZ, SK, 2024, 85 min)

Saturday 29/6 / 15:00 Small Hall, 226
Sunday 30/6 / 12:00 Small Hall, 323
Tuesday 2/7 / 17:00 Cinema B, 555
Friday 5/7 / 09:00 Cas Cinema, 8C1

tata_bojs.doc (dir. Marek Najbrt / CZ, 2024, 97 min)

Wednesday 3/7 / 19:00 Pupp, 6P4
Thursday 4/7 / 21:00 Cas Cinema, 7C6
Saturday 6/7 / 19:00 Congress Hall, 937

Czechoslovak Architecture 58–89 (dir. Jan Zajíček / CZ, SK, 2024, 126 min)

Sunday 30/6 / 11:00 Grand Hall, 313
Friday 5/7 / 19:00 Pupp, 8P4

I’m Not Everything I Want to Be (dir. Klára Tasovská / CZ, SK, AT, 2024, 91 min)

Monday 1/7 / 11:00 Grand Hall, 413
Tuesday 2/7 / 11:00 Small Hall, 522
Thursday 4/7 / 21:00 Drahomira Cinema, 7K7
 

Out of the Past

Additionally, a Czech-Slovak co-production documentary The Actress by Theodora Remundová, produced by Alice Tabery of Cinepoint on the Czech side, made its way into the Out of the Past section, a regular part of the festival, which gives space to the classic works of the world cinema. The Actress offers an intimate documentary portrait of Iva Janžurová – an icon of Czech cinema, television, and theatre, as seen through the eyes of her daughter, documentary filmmaker Theodora Remundová (My Century, No Regrets). The Actress will see its world premiere at KVIFF. In addition to the brand new documentary by Theodora Remundová, Out of the Past program will also offer screenings of three great Czechoslovak classics: the parody sci-fi The Mystery of the Carpathian Castle (1981) by Oldřich Lipský, suspenseful WWII drama Shadows of a Hot Summer (1977) by František Vláčil and the satirical comedy Murdering the Devil (1970), the feature debut of the versatile artist, writer, playwright and costume designer Ester Krumbachová, starring actress Jiřina Bohdalová.

The Actress (dir. Theodora Remundová / CZ, SK, 2024, 110 min)

Sunday 30/6 / 14:00 Karlovy Vary Theatre, 3D4
Tuesday 2/7 / 18:00 Cas Cinema, 5C5
Friday 5/7 / 17:00 Cinema B, 855

The Mystery of the Carpathian Castle (dir. Oldřich Lipský / Czechoslovakia, 1981, 97 min)

Thursday 4/7 / 13:00 Karlovy Vary Theatre, 7D3
Saturday 6/7 / 18:00 Drahomira Cinema, 9K5

Shadows of a Hot Summer (dir. František Vláčil / Czechoslovakia, 1977, 100 min)

Saturday 29/6 / 11:00 Grand Hall, 213
Wednesday 3/7 / 16:00 Pupp, 6P3

Murdering the Devil (dir. Ester Krumbachová / Czechoslovakia, 1970, 72 min)

Saturday 29/6 / 16:00 Pupp, 2P3
 

Horizons

Horizons section showcases the Czech premiere of Living Large by Kristina Dufková, and adaptation of the book La Vie, en gros by French author Mikaël Ollivier, which recently won the prestigeous Contrechamp Jury Award at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival (more HERE) and was selected for the main competition program at the 26th edition of the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF). Produced by Matěj Chlupáček of Barletta and and coproduced by Czech TelevisionNOVINSKI (SK) and Novanima Productions (FR), Living Large adresses the topic of teenage overweight in the sensitive coming of age story.

Living Large (dir. Kristina Dufková / CZ, SK, FR, 2024, 80 min)

Saturday 29/6 / 13:00 Pupp, 2P2
Sunday 30/6 / 16:30 Lazne III, 3L5
Saturday 6/7 / 09:00 Cinema B, 951
 

Pragueshorts at KVIFF

Pragueshorts Film Festival, with which the Czech Film Center closely colaborates in showcasing the best of the freshly produced Czech short films, features short films screened during the last edition of the festival. These include The Baroque by David Payne and Tomáš Navrátil, Buzz of the Earth by Greta Stocklassa, Eighth Day by Petr Pylypčuk, Sea Salt by Leila Basma, Blue Boy by Nikulás Tumi Hlynsson and award-winning Electra by Daria Kashcheeva.

Sunday 30/6 / 15:00 Drahomira Cinema, 3K4
Monday 1/7 / 14:00 Cinema B, 454
 

The Wish To Be a Red Indian: Kafka and Cinema

A thematic retrospective The Wish to Be a Red Indian: Kafka and Cinema presents cinematic adaptations of unsettling and grotesque works by influential 20th century writer Franz Kafka, the main protagonist of the upcoming biographical feature by Agnieszka Holland. The retrospective includes two Czech films – Czechoslovak New Wave classic Joseph Kilian (1963) and America (1994) by Vladimír Michálek, a postmodern adaptation of the unfinished eponymous novel.

Joseph Kilian (dir. Pavel Juráček, Jan Schmidt / Czechoslovakia, 1963, 39 min)

Saturday 29/6 / 15:00 Drahomira Cinema, 2K4
Monday 1/7 / 16:30 Congress Hall, 436
Thursday 4/7 / 13:30 Husovka Theatre, 7H2

America (dir. Vladimír Michálek / Czech Republic, 1994, 90 min)

Friday 28/6 / 18:00 Drahomira Cinema, 1K5
Friday 5/7 / 16:00 Karlovy Vary Theatre, 8D5
 

Tribute to Ivan Trojan

Ivan Trojan is one of the most frequently cast Czech actors in film, television, and theater of the past quarter century. For his contribution to Czech film, Trojan will be presented with the President’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Czech Cinema at the closing ceremony of the festival. Part of this celebration is also a screening of The Karamazovs by Petr Zelenka, an original take on Dostoevsky's literary classic, with Trojan in a leading role.

The Karamazovs (dir. Petr Zelenka / CZ, PL, 2008, 110 min)

Thursday 4/7 / 16:00 Karlovy Vary Theatre, 7D5
 

Future Frames – Generation NEXT of European Cinema

This year's line-up of the Future Frames – Generation NEXT of European Cinema program, a collaboration between European Film Promotion and KVIFF, offering the selection of the most outstanding emerging directors across Europe, once again features a Czech filmmaker – director Marie-Magdalena Kochová with her latest short 3 MWh, a Helium Film production, which saw its world premiere at 53th International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). Kochová, who will also see a world premiere of her documentary feature debut The Other One at KVIFF (more above), is the seventh Czech young director selected for the Future Frames program since its original inception in 2015. The programme for selected directors includes online preparation and meetings with film industry representatives before the festival and a three-day on-site programme, during which directors present their films to the public, the film industry and the press, followed by a master class with award-winning director Michel Franco. The on-site program will take place from July 2nd to July 5th at Allwyn Future Frames Lounge, a brand new creative and networking area located in the Thermal Hotel festival center. Allwyn Future Frames Lounge will host training and networking sessions for the participants and will also serve as a space for one-on-one meetings with representatives of US-based talent agency UTA and management company Range Media Partners. They will provide feedback and guidance and ultimately choose one director, who will receive a special scholarship, sponsored by Allwyn, a leading global lottery operator – enabling them to spend a month in Los Angeles, learning from the best in the film industry.

3 MWh (dir. Marie-Magdalena Kochová / Czech Republic, 2024, 12 min)

Tuesday 2/7 / 17:30 Small Hall, 528

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