Why we support

Dear kindred spirits,

Let me tell you why I support the Karlovy Vary film festival.

Why Karlovy Vary? I am a local patriot. I love Karlovy Vary and I am happy I live here. I am overjoyed to breathe its air and walk its ground. It is a beautiful place that was created for exactly that – to be beautiful. To calm. To heal. To restore one’s energy and zest for life. It still does these things, as it has for more than six centuries. As a result, people came to appreciate it. But it’s not enough to drink the miraculous waters, bathe in them, and heal the body. Even the soul needs refreshment and relaxation, but also new stimuli to ponder and experience. That’s why Karlovy Vary has always attracted what we, perhaps a bit blandly, refer to as culture, special events, the arts, spirituality. Our ancestors might have called them amusement, celebration, beauty, and contemplation. Karlovy Vary and its environs directly invite your participation.

Why film? I am a human being. I’m interested in other human beings. I like to see the world through their eyes. I like to see with my own eyes how others see the world through their eyes. That’s what movies are about. They allow for the expression of multiplicities in a single moment. They are creative, musical, dramatic, and much more. A good film forces you to contemplate, to experience something. Each time, you realize that the way you see the world, that the world you see, or the very fact that you see, isn’t necessarily the only, or the most important, or maybe even the most common perspective.

Why the festival? I am a citizen of the world. From such a vantage point Karlovy Vary has long been a cosmopolis, albeit a small one. As one of the oldest competitive film festivals in the world, it is an enormous event for the city. For a period of ten days, the world moves into the city’s streets, parks, halls, cafés, and bars of the city, quite literally filling them. Time and time again have I seen chance encounters between absolute strangers lead to love, friendship, work projects, and finished creations. The word “festival” connotes joy, merriment, and celebration. That’s how I like it to be. So if you like Karlovy Vary or film or the festival – join me in supporting it again this year.

Petr Kulhánek
Mayor of Karlovy Vary

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