Czech films at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2021

19 August 2021

Czech Film

Czech films at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2021

Czech Film

Czech films at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2021


At the 55th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Czech cinema will be represented by 4 films in the Crystal Globe competition: Bird Atlas, Saving One Who Was Dead, Every Single Minute and At Full Throttle. The East of the West Competition includes 3 Czech films and 2 Czech minority co-productions: Intensive Life Unit, Mirrors in the Dark, Two Ships, Dear Ones and Runner. More Czech films are also part of Special Screenings and Horizons sections. The KVIFF 2021 takes place August 20-28, 2021.

Crystal Globe Competition:

Bird Atlas

Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovak Republic 2021 / 90 min
directed by: Olmo Omerzu
produced by: Jiří Konečný - endorfilm (CZ)
in coproduction with: Cviger film (SL), Punkchart films (SK), Czech Television (CZ)

When a family business finds out somebody has been embezzling large sums of money, they are mostly unprepared to face the new reality. Ivo Rona, a long-time CEO of the successful Aron company, navigates this tricky situation that gets worse with the involvement of his children and that is likely the result of his past actions. Olmo Omerzu’s latest film adeptly interweaves strained family relationships and the world of modern communication technology that can exploit our vulnerabilities. In the slowly burning war that ensues, the battle lines are blurred, and the winner is far from certain.

22 August | 20:00 | Grand Hall world premiere
23 August | 13:00 | Pupp Cinema
24 August | 19:00 | Lazne III Cinema
25 August | 12:00 | Drahomíra Cinema

Cercamon - Sebastien Chesneau

Saving One Who Was Dead

Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, France, 2021 / 90 min
directed by: Václav Kadrnka
produced by: Václav Karnka - Sirius Films (CZ)
in coproduction with: Czech Television (CZ), SilverArt (SK), Bocalupo Films (FR)

After a serious stroke, the Father goes into a coma. The Son and the Mother are suddenly confronted by a motionless body. The person they love is somewhere far away and nobody knows whether he will ever return. The doctors do not give them much hope. The Son and the Mother concentrate all their strength and start to act. They meekly accept the diagnosis but resist the verdict. They spend hours by the Father´s motionless body looking for the right words to say to him. First, they address the Father´s body, but soon they realize they must direct their words into a much greater distance.
The saving of the Father and themselves requires them to overcome fear together and accept resurrection.

26 August | 20:00 | Grand Hall world premiere
27 August | 10:00 | Pupp Cinema
28 August | 10:00 | Lazne III Cinema
28 August | 15:00 | Drahomíra Cinema


Sirius Films - Václav Kadrnka

Every Single Minute

Czech Republic, Slovak Republic 2021 / 80 min
directed by: Erika Hníková
produced by: Jiří Konečný - endorfilm
in coproduction with: Punkchart films (SK), Czech Television (CZ)

Ever since his birth, a Slovak couple Michal and Lenka Hanuliak have been conducting a peculiar experiment on their now 4-year-old son Miško. They spend every minute raising him to one day become a successful athlete and a "quality human being" in all senses of the word. They have decided to sacrifice everything, including their own individual pursuits, to achieve this goal. This film captures their efforts for a period of one year and through raw scenes from the Hanuliaks family life, it raises a number of questions with regard to the meaning of parenting in today's society, single-minded focus on performance and the possible “robotization” of our lives.

21 August | 17:00 | Grand Hall world premiere
22 August | 10:00 | Pupp Cinema
23 August | 16:00 | Lazne III Cinema
24 August | 09:00 | Drahomíra Cinema

endorfilm - Jiří Konečný

At Full Throttle

Czech Republic, Slovak Republic 2021 / 85 min
directed by: Miro Remo
produced by: Vít Janeček - D1 film (CZ), Miro Remo - Arsy Versy (SK)
in coproduction with: Czech Television (CZ), Radio and Television Slovakia (SK)

The story of a life of struggle in a region left behind by the country's transition to market economy. The main protagonist is a divorced yet determined and dogged, fighting-against-the-odds quinquagenarian ex-miner Jaroslav whose health has thwarted his lifelong dream to become a racing driver. A new relationship with his childhood love Jitka brings frustrated Jaroslav new hope for his personal life as well as his auto racing dream: Jitka is an excellent driver who could hardly find a better mentor and mechanic than Jaroslav. Nevertheless, Jaroslav cannot get away from his past and the shape of his new hope remains uncertain.

24 August | 20:00 | Grand Hall world premiere
25 August | 13:00 | Pupp Cinema
26 August | 19:00 | Lazne III Cinema
27 August | 12:00 | Drahomíra Cinema


D1film - Vít Janeček

East of the West Competition:

Intensive Life Unit

Czech Republic 2021 / 73 min
directed by: Adéla Komrzý
produced by: Pavla Janoušková Kubečková - nutprodukce (CZ)
in coproduction with: Czech Television (CZ)

Drama with elements of absurdity about how doctors and patients in our technologically advanced civilization relearn how to communicate about something as basic as death - that was long ago crowded out.

25 August | 19:00 | Karlovy Vary Municipal Theatre world premiere
26 August | 15:00 | Čas Cinema
27 August | 13:00 | Lazne III Cinema
28 August | 19:30 | Husovka Theatre


Mirrors in the Dark

Czech Republic 2021 / 83 min
directed by: Šimon Holý
produced by: Šimon Holý - šššššFilm (CZ)
in coproduction with: Silk Films (CZ), Bridge Films (CZ)

Marie and her boyfriend František are trying to save their relationship by answering 36 questions that will, according to scientists, make you fall in love with anyone. Marie, fresh off of her 30th birthday, has a head full of many important questions of her own. Is it worth it to continue a career as a dancer if she will never reach the top? Will she be able to overcome her fears of mediocrity and be happy with herself? Will her mother stop questioning her choices in life? Most importantly – is her relationship significant enough to save?

24 August | 16:00 | Karlovy Vary Municipal Theatre world premiere
25 August | 12:00 | Čas Cinema

26 August | 10:00 | Lazne III Cinema
27 August | 10:30 | Husovka Theatre


šššššFilm - Šimon Holý

Two Ships

Czech Republic, Norway 2021 / 76 min
directed by: Jan Foukal
produced by: Silvie Michajlova, Ondřej Zima - FILM KOLEKTIV (CZ)
in coproduction with: Storm Films (NO), Czech Television (CZ)

Martin and Eliška meet for the very first time at Martin’s birthday party at derelict premises of Brno train station. Young psychologist Eliška invites musician Martin to a lecture she organizes. Martin is really impressed. He is courting her, she is chasing after him. Martin flies to Norway to see her. After their arrival home they realize they need each other. Their story resembles a Hollywood romance, except it takes place in Brno. Can a cosmic love cure all their pains?

23 August | 19:00 | Karlovy Vary Municipal Theatre world premiere
24 August | 15:00 | Čas Cinema
25 August | 13:00 | Lazne III Cinema
26 August | 13:30 | Husovka Theatre



Dear Ones

Poland, Czech Republic 2021 / 74 min
directed by: Grzegorz Jaroszuk
produced by: Agnieszka Kurzydlo - MD4 (PL)
in coproduction with: AXMAN PRODUCTION (CZ), EC1 Lodz (PL)

An allegory about people who miss a real contact with their family and friends. Piotr is looking for a purpose and order in his life. To find it, he turns to magic, religion, and psychology. Unexpectedly, his father calls asking Piotr to come immediately to his native home. Piotr arrives at the same time as his sister, Marta, whom he hardly remembers and does not recognize. Father called for Piotr and Marta because their mother went missing. Family members who meet for the first time after many years begin to search for her together. The facts they discover about the mother make them redefine what kind of family they are.

22 August | 19:00 | Karlovy Vary Municipal Theatre
23 August | 15:00 | Čas Cinema
24 August | 13:00 | Lazne III Cinema
25 August | 13:30 | Husovka Theatre



Antipode Sales & Distribution - Helga Grigorieva


Lithuania, Czech Republic 2021 / 87 min
directed by: Andrius Blaževičius
produced by: Marija Razgutė - M-Films (LT)
in coproduction with: Bionaut (CZ)

After her boyfriend has a psychotic episode and disappears, Maria is decided to let nothing stop her from helping him. Grabbing at every clue about his whereabouts she embarks on a fast-paced odyssey through the city. Always one step behind, against all odds, Maria’s love will drive her to go all the way, as she fights both for her love and her freedom.

21 August | 19:00 | Karlovy Vary Municipal Theatre
22 August | 15:00 | Čas Cinema
23 August | 13:00 | Lazne III Cinema
24 August | 13:30 | Husovka Theatre

Alief LLC - Miguel Govea

Special Screenings:

Dreams About Stray Cats

Czech Republic 2021 / 96 min
directed by: David Sís
produced by: Vít Bělohradský, Kateřina Bělohradská - Frmol production (CZ)
in coproduction with: Czech Television (CZ)

The film maps the life of Peter Sís, an important figure of the contemporary world art and cultural scene, children's books author, illustrator, graphic artist, creator of animated films and winner of many prestigious awards. Director of the film, David Sís, sensitively and extensively maps his older brother's inner world and his creative principles, using high-quality documentary material filmed in New York, Prague, and Brno, combined with the extensive family archives and unique animations. Testimonies by people who supported Peter Sís on his journey through life, including M. Forman, M. Allbright, and M. Hausman are a part of the film.

22 August | 15:00 | Small Hall
23 August | 16:00 | Congress Hall
26 August | 16:00 | Cinema B
28 August | 17:00 | Cinema B


FRMOL - Vít Bělobradský

My Sunny Maad

Czech Republic, France, Slovakia 2021 / 81 min
directed by: Michaela Pavlátová
produced by: Petr Oukropec, Kateřina Černý - Negativ (CZ)
in coproduction with: Sacrebleu Productions (FR), BFILM (SK), Alkay Animation Prague (CZ), Czech Television (CZ), Gao Shan Pictures (FR), Innervision (FR)

When Herra, a Czech woman, falls in love with Nazir, an Afghan man, she has no idea about the life that awaits her in post-Taliban Afghanistan, nor about the family she is about to join.

23 August | 14:00 | Grand Hall
24 August | 12:00 | Small Hall
26 August | 16:00 | Lazne III Theatre
28 August | 10:00 | Karlovy Vary Municipal Theatre

Totem Films - Laure Parleani

Reconstruction of Occupation

Czech Republic, Slovak Republic 2021 / 100 min
directed by: Jan Šikl
produced by: Alice Tabery - Cinepoint (CZ)
in coproduction with: PubRes (SK), Czech Television (CZ), Radio and Television of Slovakia (SK)

Director Jan Šikl has been collecting amateur films from different families for more than 30 years. Recently, he has found 3.5 hours of professionally filmed material that captures the Soviet invasion of the Warsaw Pact armies to Czechoslovakia on August 21, 1968. Nobody has seen the footage since. Jan Šikl begins to search who is captured in the videos and where they take place. The memories of concrete events come to life and the search gradually changes into a reflection on how the historical moment imprinted in ourselves. A film about experiencing an extreme situation and a specific form of social memory.

21 August | 12:00 | Čas Cinema
22 August | 16:00 | Congress Hall
25 August | 11:30 | Cinema B
27 August | 17:00 | Cinema B

CINEPOINT - Alice Tabery


 Documentary series 
Czech Republic 2021 / 50 min
directed by: Šimon Šafránek
produced by: Alžběta Janáčková, Martina Štrunc - Silk Films
in co-production with: Czech Television

Rap. A captivating rhythm and a direct message. Humor or aggression; a reflection of egoism in a highly egoistic era. An infectious virus. This ain’t no kiddie show, it’s a revolutionary culture that did not fully arrive in our country until the Velvet Revolution. Initially ridiculed, Czech rap has become a new form of popular music despite the fact that it was long ignored by radio and television. In their ten-episode online series, director Šimon Šafránek and editor Šimon Hájek (King Skate, Meky) present gripping stories of rappers, ranging from pioneering figures such as Michael Viktořík and Orion all the way to contemporary phenomena such as Yzomandias and Viktor Sheen. In rap, they all found freedom in the face of social expectations and conventions.

26 August | 19:00 | Congress Hall

Silk Films - Martina Štrunc


 TV series 
Czech Republic, France 2022 / 68 min (1st episode)
directed by: Michal Blaško
produced by: Michal Reitler - Czech Television (CZ)
in coproduction with: nutprodukce (CZ), ARTE G.E.I.E. (FR)

Nurse Hana Kučerová never smiles and she treats her patients poorly, often in violation of regulations. And she is similarly rough with her adolescent daughter Tereza. When a patient dies under suspicious circumstances, the life of both mother and daughter is suddenly turned upside down. The public, the media, the police, and even some of her colleagues are clear as to who is guilty, and so both women must undergo the most difficult trial of their lives. This three-part mini-series inspired by dozens of real cases reflects the strength of manipulation, the influence of the media on public opinion, and the difficult social situation of people in a small town. Revealing its information gradually, the series seeks not to place blame but to explore how the truth differs from mere semblance.

24 August | 23:00 | Grand Hall
25 August | 21:00 | Čas Cinema
26 August | 22:00 | Congress Hall
27 August | 22:00 | Pupp Cinema


Czech Television - Telexport

The Party and the Guests

Czechoslovakia 1966 / 71 min
directed by: Jan Němec
produced by: Filmové studio Barrandov (CS)

It is a summer day. Several people in good humour are having a snack on a meadow. Josef is meticulously polite, Karel sips wine and keeps praising democracy, František proves to be a good companion, Eva and Marta are jolly girls. The only married couple is a talkative blonde and her taciturn and a bit withdrawn husband. After the snack, the company makes up, changes into cocktail dress and sets off to attend the birthday party of a high functionary. On a forest path, they are surrounded by a group of weird men.

22 August | 14:00 | Grand Hall
25 August | 16:00 | Pupp Cinema


NFA, Prague - Tomáš Žůrek


Czech Republic, Slovak Republic 2021 / 130 min
directed by: David Ondříček
produced by: Kryštof Mucha, David Ondříček - Lucky Man Films (CZ)
in coproduction with: Czech Television (CZ), Olife Energy (CZ), Accolade (CZ), ALEF FILM & MEDIA (SK),  Innogy (CZ), T-MOBILE (CZ), SEBRE (CZ), Azyl Production (SK), Radio and Television Slovakia (SK), Barrandov Studio (CZ)

His nickname was “Czech locomotive”. Eighteen world records holder Emil Zátopek is most famous for the Olympic Games in Helsinki, where he won three gold medals. Nobody has repeated his success and athletics experts doubt that anyone ever will. Emil Zátopek´s grandiose success comes alive in the memories of his loved ones, friends, and rivals. 1968: Ron Clarke, an Australian runner, visits Zátopek. During their dialogue, we are transferred to the past, to the beginnings of Emil´s passion for running, his first success at the WCA in Berlin, his meeting with javelin thrower Dana, his future wife, but we also learn about the increasing pressure of the communist regime.

20 August | 20:00 | Karlovy Vary Municipal Theatre
22 August | 11:00 | Grand Hall


UTA Independent Film Group - John McGrath


Bad Luck Baning or Loony Porn

Romania, Luxemobourg, Czech Republic, Croatia 2021 / 106 min

directed by: Radu Jude
produced by: Ada Solomon - microFILM (RO)
in co-production with: Paul Thiltges Distributions (LU), endorfilm (CZ), Kinorama (HR)

Emi, a school teacher, finds her career and reputation under threat after a personal sex tape is leaked on the Internet. Forced to meet the parents demanding her dismissal, Emi refuses to surrender to their pressure.Radu Jude delivers an incendiary mix of unconventional form, irreverent humour and scathing commentary on hypocrisy and prejudice in our societies.

25 August | 10:00 | Grand Hall


Heretic Outreach

Even Mice Belong in Heaven

Czech Republic, France, Poland, Slovakia 2021 / 87 min

Directed by: Denisa Grimmová, Jan Bubeníček
Produced by: Vladimír Lhoták / Fresh Films (CZ), Alexandre Charlet / Les Films du Cygne (FR)
Co-produced by: Animoon (PL), CinemArt SK (SK), Czech Television (CZ), Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Cinéma (FR), DD Production (CZ), Barrandov Studio (CZ), EC1 Łódż (PL), Canal + (PL)

A story about two outsiders, who, combining their quite different personalities and ways of thinking, manage to overcome tremendous obstacles. After an unfortunate accident, two mortal enemies - a little Mouse and a Fox - meet in the animal heaven. They lose their natural instincts and become best friends. Their wish to stay together after they return to the earth comes true – only they are reborn into opposite roles. Thanks to the power of their friendship, they overcome what seems unconquerable. The film about hope, a quest for love and courage, and about beating prejudice and old pains.

21 August | 15:00 | Small Hall
22 August | 11:30 | Cinema B
25 August | 14:00 | Cinema B
28 August | 08:30 | Congress Hall


Charades - Jean-Félix Dealberto
+33 629 874 504

Charades - Nicolas Rebeschini
+33 661 222 312

The Painted Bird

Czech Republic, Ukraine, Slovakia 2019 / 169 min
Directed by: Václav Marhoul
Produced by: Václav Marhoul / Silver Screen (CZ)
Co-produced by: Directory Films (UA), PubRes (SK), Czech Television (CZ), Radio and Television Slovakia (SK), Jaroslav & Milada Kučerovi (CZ), Innogy (CZ), Richard Kaucký (CZ)

The film follows the journey of The Boy, entrusted by his persecuted parents to an elderly foster mother. The old woman soon dies and the Boy is on his own, wandering through the country-side, from village to farmhouse. As he struggles for survival, The Boy suffers through extraordinary brutality meted out by the ignorant, superstitious peasants and he witnesses the terrifying violence of the efficient, ruthless soldiers, both Russian and German.

When the war ends, The Boy has been changed, forever.

25 August | 13:00 | Grand Hall


Celluloid Dreams

Midnight Screenings:

Shoky & Morthy: Last Big Thing

Czech Republic 2021 / 99 min
Directed by: Andy Fehu
Produced by: Vratislav Šlajer, Jakub Košťál - Bionaut; Jaku Šefčík, Andy Fehu - Snake Catcher

Shoky and Morthy have been friends since school and are YouTubers with a promising career. Morthy, however, is growing tired of their childish pranks and, what’s more, he has a new girlfriend, ambitious influencer Sára. And when their new controversial video of a grocery store robbery is hugely criticized on social networks, they are sentenced to community work and their channel is demonetized, the boys finally decide to split and go their own ways. The only chance to improve their tarnished YouTube reputation is a devilish plan for one “last big thing”. Shoky, Morthy and Sára, with ambitious ghost hunter Lucie and older, traditional YouTuber Radomil, embark on a wild ride to a mysterious roadhouse, The Nine Crosses.

22 August | 23:59 | Small Hall world premiere
24 August | 23:59 | Small Hall
26 August | 23:59 | Čas Cinema
28 August | 23:59 | Small Hall

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