Every year the KVIFF screens around two hundred films from all over the world. Amongst other things, the 57th KVIFF will feature a collection of Iranian movies from the last four years, mostly shot by young filmmakers, documenting their explosive creativity in the face of difficult living and artistic conditions. The festival will also show eleven films to commemorate the distinctive style of Japanese director Yasuzo Masumura, acclaimed for his confidence in breaking down the boundaries between art and commerce.
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2022
Ban on Chinese and Russian films
This year’s main competition at the Karlovy Vary Festival will feature just eleven films instead of the usual twelve. The twelfth, confirmed as a movie from China, has been withdrawn at the direct order of the Chinese government. This means that no Chinese films can be included in the festival programme. No Russian movies will be shown, either.
About the Karlovy Vary Festival
A lot of people praise the fact that the festival is democratic, that there are not only luxury parties for sponsors but also that it is backpackers, who sleep in tents and early in the morning stand in the queue to get tickets for individual showings, that are the main driving force of the festival. However, if you prefer comfort, the festival is naturally ready to satisfy even the most demanding spectators. How about the films? Screenings in Karlovy Vary take place in many locations, and the festival presents around 200 new films every year – roughly a third of them in a world or European premiere.
Geoffrey Rush at Karlovy Vary IFF 2022
A sustainable and barrier-free event
There are three buses you can take – F1, F2, F3, which run throughout the festival to all the festival sites including the tent village, and are free of charge for all festivalgoers. And if this weren’t enough, you can also get around to all the film sites in Karlovy Vary on Specialized bikes, which can be hired by all Festival Pass holders, with the first hour free of charge.
One integral part of the Film Festival is the Cinema Without Barriers project – a service designed to make things easier for wheelchair users attending the festival. Disabled visitors and those accompanying them will have free admission to barrier-free cinemas, assistance services, transport around Karlovy Vary in specially modified cars, parking spaces by the Hotel Thermal, and a comprehensive information service.
As part of the Industry Days accompanying programme, on 4 July 2023 the KVIFF TV Park will be presenting topics (such as sustainability in the environmental context) currently resonating throughout the film industry.
How time passed with the festival
The festival’s beginnings date back to 1946, when it was opened for the first time as a non-competition festival and it took place in Mariánské Lázně and Karlovy Vary. Thus, it’s the second-oldest European film festival. It was held once a year in the period from 1959 to 1993. During that time its venue moved into Hotel Thermal in Karlovy Vary, which was built in the 1970s and nowadays it’s a beautiful example of Brutalist architecture.
Figuratively speaking, it took a breath of fresh air in the 1990s and became what it is now. During one summer week, Karlovy Vary is completely absorbed by the festival atmosphere. There are lots of people everywhere and concerts, parties, ceremonies, press conferences and, of course, film screenings take place. You may come across both Central European and global celebrities here.
Benicio Del Toro at Karlovy Vary IFF 2022
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Where you can go after the festival
Karlovy Vary is situated in the so-called Spa Triangle along with Mariánské Lázně and Františkovy Lázně. So, you can approach your stay as relaxation for your body and soul.
Those who are fairly adventurous do have lots of options in western Bohemia in the environs of Karlovy Vary as well. For example, you can visit the nearby town of Loket. The picturesque small town has been guarded by a mighty medieval castle for 800 years.
If you want to see something unique, visit the Soos nature reserve. It isn’t a large area but it is interesting as it features still active mud volcanoes. You won’t find any other place of this kind in the Czech Republic.