Why We Support the Festival

Dear film fans,

Karlovy Vary and cinema have been an inseparable pair since 1896, when the city hosted the first film screening in the Czech lands. The era of the film festival began for us soon after the Second World War. Over the intervening years, the festival has experienced its ups and downs. Sometimes it was used mostly for propaganda, while at other times it was a pinnacle of true art and freedom. Since the 1990s, the festival has been held every year at the beginning of July, the only exception being the two pandemic years. In that time, the festival has returned to its traditional identity as a truly artistic and progressive festival, now in its thirtieth year under the ledership of president Jiří Bartoška and his team.

For ten days, Karlovy Vary becomes a capital of cinema in Central Europe. It is a magical combination: a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage city that comes alive with artists and audiences as the usual hustle of tourists and spa visitors is replaced by a fireworks display of films, streams of filmgoers, and colorful events. The city is just big enough to absorb tens of thousands of festivalgoers and stars, but also small enough for people to be constantly running into each other – on the streets, at cafés, or on park benches. The festival quite literally fills the city and makes full use of all it has to offer. And the art-loving public rewards it with a glowing international response.

If you are attending this year’s 57th edition of the festival, we welcome you. And if at any time all the hustle and bustle becomes too much, remember that in our town you are always just a few steps away from the peace and quiet of our parks and forests, where you can rest for a few minutes or spend all day wandering, constantly discovering something new.

Welcome to Karlovy Vary.

Ing. Andrea Pfeffer Ferklová
Mayor of Karlovy Vary


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