News East of the West Competition opens to films from the Middle East

Published: October 25, 2017| 10:59 AM

As a part of strengthening its unique position as a gateway to success for Eastern European film, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is looking further east to cover new film territories for its East of the West Competition. This section, which focuses on first and second films and regionally covers Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the former Soviet states, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, will now be enriched by films from the Middle East. Films from Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen will now be eligible for the East of the West Competition Grand Prix and the Special Jury Prize. The promising projects in post-production presented in Eastern Promises will now reflect this new territorial definition within its traditional Works in Progress section.

Artistic Director Karel Och comments on this decision: “We see significant potential among young filmmakers from the Middle East and would like to offer them a helping hand at the beginning of their careers. It is also about time to abandon the political definition of the ‘East of the West’ countries and to switch to a more geographical definition. Boundaries in film should be practical, not ideological.”

General submissions for the 53rd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival ((June 29 - July 7, 2018) open on 1 November 2017. Filmmakers are encouraged to submit feature-length fiction and documentary films completed after 1 July 2017. Regular entries will be accepted until 28 February 2018, and late submissions can be made until the end of March via our website,


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