News The full line-up of the 57th KVIFF. Film Milestones of the Year, a Unique Vary Comeback, Snow White and Bruce Lee

Published: June 15, 2023| 04:57 PM

After the recent publication of the official selection for the 57th KVIFF (both competition sections and Special Screenings), it’s now time to share with festival fans and the general public the non-competitive part of this years lineup of films, which together total approximately 140 feature and documentary titles.

The popular Horizons section, for many years the mainstay of the non-competitive programme, this year contains around five dozen films which my colleagues and I consider to be the most fascinating cinematic stopping points on the road between last year’s Venice IFF and this year’s Cannes fest. Without doubt, the winners of the major festivals will be among the greatest crowd-pullers – works such as A Thousand and One (Sundance), On the Adamant (Berlinale) or Anatomy of a Fall (Cannes). We also anticipate huge interest in new opuses by respected maestri such as Aki Kaurismäki, Wim Wenders, Alice Rohrwacher, Jessica Hausner, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Marco Bellocchio, Jafar Panahi, Ira Sachs and Hirokazu Koreeda.

Being the fervent cinephiles we are, we have lavished special care and devotion upon our “classical” section Out of the Past. We mark the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company with a superb screening of its first ever feature-length animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). Together with newly restored cinematic gems such as Contempt (1963) by Jean-Luc Godard, The Mother and the Whore (1973) by Jean Eustache and A Stolen Meeting (1988) by Estonian directorial icon Leida Laius, we also offer an exclusive collection of documentary portraits of such legends as Willian “Captain Kirk” Shatner (You Can Call Me Bill), Richard Harris, the brilliant screen hurricane and Marcus Aurelius from Gladiator (The Ghost of Richard Harris), renowned sound designer Ivo Špalj (Engi – Sound Designer Ivo Špalj), and the regrettably underappreciated figure of Slovak film Eduard Grečner. This latter 91-year-old director will appear in Karlovy Vary in person to present not only his most famous work Dragon’s Return (1967), but also the world premiere of the documentary The Truth Is All There Is, of which he is protagonist. Here the Nestor of Czechoslovak cinema eagerly describes his first visit to the film festival in 1948, which at that time was held both in Karlovy Vary and in Mariánské Lázně. Thus, after a period of seventy-five years, he returns to the place where his magical encounter with the silver screen once and for all prompted him to opt for the career of a film director.

This year also sees a rousing specimen of film history forging its way into the highly popular Midnight Screenings collection. Half a century has now passed since the hitherto unexplained death of the incomparable kung-fu master Bruce Lee, whose The Way of the Dragon (1972) truly is an auteur film –  the “Little Dragon” produced, scripted and directed the movie and, naturally, played the starring role as well. Keeping step with him will be the likes of Brandon Cronenberg, whose understated horror sci-fi Infinity Pool features a zesty performance from Alexander Skarsgård.

Our colleague Martin Horyna adds the following: “The Imagina section is a regular feature of our programme, providing room for radical visions in terms of film language. This year’s selection also incorporates four world and two international premieres, alongside some of the most distinctive narrative experiments of the past festival season, including the mysteriously serene piece Here by Belgian director Bas Devos, which won the Berlinale’s Encounters Award.”

See you in the cinemas and on the streets of Karlovy Vary!
On behalf of the KVIFF Programme Department

Karel Och, Artistic Director


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