Karlovy Vary Fest Sets New Talent Platform, Restoration of Milan Kundera Classic The Joke

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic has unveiled its first news out of the upcoming edition. After last year’s push to late August due to the pandemic, the festival is returning to its usual dates at the beginning of summer — the 56th edition will take place July 1–9.

First up is a new KVIFF Talents platform initiative. “The objective of this year-round program is to identify talented filmmakers and to support the creation of creative audiovisual projects with international ambitions possessing a high level of originality. As part of the program, selected filmmakers will receive financing for development, mentoring from experts, and the chance to present their projects to potential producers, partners, and investors at the festival in Karlovy Vary,” the festival said.

The project’s pilot phase is open to submissions from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. But in the future, the project will expand to include all of Central and Eastern Europe.

The Karlovy Vary festival will support Ukrainian filmmakers and the country’s film industry through a unique collaborative project with the Odesa International Film Festival. KVIFF will host a Works-in-Progress program for the Odessa Film Festival to support Ukrainian filmmakers. Acceptance of applications for the OIFF WIP Selection will be announced in the coming weeks.

“Broad solidarity with war-afflicted Ukraine must also include support for the country’s cultural life, which at this moment has come almost to a halt. As a film festival, we have tried to find ways of supporting Ukrainian cinema, and we are glad that we have managed to work with the Odesa film festival to find a meaningful form of cooperation,” says Hugo Rosák, head of KVIFF’s Industry Department.

Finally, KVIFF continues its long-running tradition of premiering digitally restored versions of classic Czech films. This year, the festival will show a standout from the Czechoslovak New Wave, director Jaromil Jireš’s 1968 adaptation of Milan Kundera’s novel “The Joke.”

The film’s digital restoration was organized by the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in collaboration with the National Film Archive and the State Fund for Cinema. The digital restoration process was performed in 2022 at UPP and Soundsquare using original sound and film negatives stored at the National Film Archive. “The Joke” is the 23rd film whose restoration was made possible thanks to a donation from Milada and Eduard Kučera.

Finally, the KVIFF President’s Award for outstanding figures in Czech cinema will go to actor, playwright, screenwriter, and director Boleslav Polívka.

More festival announcements will be made soon.

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