By Ryan Keating-Lambert
This 53rd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival programme is now up, and it’s epic! Among the festival’s distinctive mix of groundbreaking cinema from all over the world, this year’s programme will see a total of ten world and two international premieres in its main competition section, a multitude of fresh documentaries, debut films from Europe’s hottest new directors, and screenings of timeless classics from Barry Levinson, Milos Forman, Richard Linklater and more.
Included in the main competition section this year, is Romanian director Radu Jude’s ‘I Do Not Care If We Go Down In History As Barbarians’ (what a mouthful), an insightful look into Romania’s identity and dark history. The new Peter Brunner Austro-American harrowing drama To The Night, starring the incredibly talented Caleb Landry-Jones, will also be in the competition, and Canadian filmmaker Sébastien Pilote’s The Fireflies Are Gone takes an in-depth look at male-female relationships through a rebellious teenager.
On top of that, renowned and respected Argentinian director Ana Katz presents family dramedy Sueño Florianópolis, and KVIFF will also welcome back Russian director Ivan Tverdovsky (Zoology) with his new film Jumpman, and Israeli director Joseph Madmony will present drama Redemption (his third festival premiere).
For those seeking something a little more local, you can check out Olmo Omerzu’s boyhood road movie Winter Flies or the debut film from new director Adam Sedlak, Domestique – a study of ‘the decline of body and mind’.
The documentary section will screen a massive 8 premieres of the 12 in competition this year, including Vitaly Mansky’s Putin’s Witnesses, an in-depth look at Vladimir Putin’s career, and directing duo Marouan Omara and Johanna Domke’s Dream Away, a documentary set around the decimated Egyptian resort ‘Sharm El Sheikh’, will also premiere.
Festival goers will also get the chance to check out new talent in EFP’s Future Frames section, dedicated to young directors in Europe, including Italian Hleb Papou’s
The Legionnaire, which was part of the Venice International Film Critics Week last year and focuses on a conflicted police officer who must clear his own family out of an occupied house.
Looking for something a little more old school? This year’s KVIFF will also honour Oscar winning director Barry Levinson with screenings of some his most well received films like Bugsy and Wag the Dog. There will also be a special tribute to Texan director Richard Linklater (Slackers, Boyhood), who will attend the festival – I’m particularly excited about this! And of course, a tribute to the late Czech director Milos Forman with a special screening of Loves of a Blonde on opening night.
Other noteworthy titles this year include recent Cannes hits BlacKkKlansman, the new ’70s detective comedy from director Spike Lee starring John David Washington and Adam Driver (pictured), and Terry Gilliam’s epic passion project The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, also starring Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce. Seriously, Adam Driver is in everything now… and I’m not complaining. Check them out in the Horizons section.
Terry Gilliam will also attend the festival this year, along with Oscar winning actor/director Tim Robbins, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Robert Pattinson, Caleb Landry-Jones and more.
For full programme and details on accompanying events, be sure to check out the official KVIFF website. Looking forward to seeing you all there!