Sections of 50th KVIFF
- Official Selection - Competition
- Official Selection - Out of Competition
- East of the West - Competition
- Forum of Independents - Competition
- Documentary Films - Competition
- Special Events
- Another View
- Variety Critics’ Choice
- Midnight Screenings
- Czech Films 2014–2015
- Documentary Films - Out of Competition
- Tribute to Larisa Shepitko
- A Week of Lebanese Cinema
- Six Close Encounters
- Out of the Past
- Future Frames: Ten New Filmmakers To Follow
- Prague Short Film Festival Presents
Arabian Nights – Volume 1, The Restless One
Tisíc a jedna noc I – neklidná /
As mil e uma noites – Volume 1, o inquieto
Directed by: Miguel Gomes
Portugal, France, Germany, Switzerland, 2015, 125 min
Portugal in crisis – the director is immersed in his new film, however, he fails to find meaning in his work so he turns to the young and beautiful Scheherazade who, with courage and enthusiasm, will try to change her ill-fated destiny and not bore the King with grim stories of the unrest sweeping the land. This three-part film by a distinctive filmmaker who attempts to give an up-to-date account of his country drew audiences at this year’s IFF in Cannes.
Arabian Nights – Volume 2, The Desolate One
Tisíc a jedna noc II – zoufalá /
As mil e uma noites – Volume 2, o desolado
Directed by: Miguel Gomes
Portugal, France, Germany, Switzerland, 2015, 131 min
In volume two of Arabian Nights, Scheherazade continues to perform for her life, trying not to bore the King with mournful tales about the gloom besetting the afflicted land. And so once again in this part of Gomes’ trilogy no holds are barred, theatrical stylization alternates with realistic narration, and it’s up to the viewer to be the co-narrator of the tales told.
Arabian Nights – Volume 3, The Enchanted One
Tisíc a jedna noc III – okouzlená /
As mil e uma noites – Volume 3, o encantado
Directed by: Miguel Gomes
Portugal, France, Germany, Switzerland, 2015, 125 min
In the final part of Arabian Nights, Scheherazade fears that the emotional weight of her stories may be her undoing. At her father’s urging, she decides to lighten up on the sadness and thereby enchant the King once more. The director dedicated the lightest and most playful part of the trilogy to his eight-year-old daughter Carolina with the wish that when she grows up she’ll watch the movie, hoping that it will inspire her and that she’ll be happy.
Černé kamení /
Directed by: Roh Gyeong-tae
South Korea, France, 2015, 92 min
X deserts from the army and sets out to find his father, who has left civilisation behind in order to live in the jungle. This film meditation on the return to inner cleanliness is the final part of a trilogy by a Korean filmmaker looking to the legacy of Robert Bresson and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Directed by: Jeppe Rønde
Denmark, 2015, 105 min
The Virgin Suicides meets Nordic crime drama. Set within the shifting contours of a film about growing up, the provocatively ambiguous genre of the feature debut Bridgend marries mysticism to the punch of a procedural TV series. The topic of “investigation” is at the same time unexpectedly evanescent – like the mysterious energy defining “youth.”
The Disappearing Illusionist
Mizející kouzelník Dirk Ohm /
Dirk Ohm - illusjonisten som forsvant
Directed by: Bobbie Peers
Norway, Sweden, Germany, 2015, 93 min
German illusionist Dirk Ohm gets mixed up in the search for a lost girl in northern Norway. While the inhabitants are combing the surrounding area, he envisions the girl in his fantasies and gradually falls in love with her. A film about human loneliness and about an illusion that may be stronger than reality.
Embrace of the Serpent
Objetí hada /
El abrazo de la serpiente
Directed by: Ciro Guerra
Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, 2015, 122 min
Over the course of forty years, Amazonian shaman Karamakate, the last survivor of his tribe, has been visited by two Western scientists who are trying to discover the secret of the miraculous and sacred yakruna plant. This remarkable black-and-white film follows the shaman as he joins them on a life-changing transcendental journey through the Amazon rainforest.
Directed by: Carol Morley
United Kingdom, 2014, 102 min
All secrets come out eventually, noted Carl Gustav Jung in his work on the collective unconscious. The secret in the mysterious drama The Falling is unexpected and, in this case, Jung’s assertion certainly holds true. This muse-inspired portrayal of young people growing up in 1969 and the generational conflict of the era are conveyed with formal subtlety in the style of poetic realism.
Directed by: Ella Manzheeva
Russia, 2015, 87 min
Elza is a beautiful, unhappily married and, above all, very lonely woman. Unexpected events compel her to re-examine her life and take a step which will affect not only her future, but the destiny of others as well. A powerful, atmospheric tale of alienation and hope.
The Here After
Tady a potom /
Directed by: Magnus von Horn
Poland, Sweden, France, 2015, 102 min
Making its way from Cannes to Karlovy Vary, the Swedish director’s debut takes as its focus of interest a taciturn young man named John, who returns to his hometown accompanied by his father after spending time away. Refined stager von Horn provokes his audience by carefully meting out his clues, leading to the revelation of a mystery that is causing everyone around to react with hostility to John’s return.
Directed by: Simon Jaquemet
Switzerland, 2014, 110 min
The frustrated adolescents portrayed in this film each have their own reasons for declaring war on the world, and they behave accordingly. A group of four outsiders are placed at a farm in a remote Alpine region from where they are to return to normal life as reformed individuals. Rather than their aggressive behaviour, it’s the relationships that develop between them which present a true testimony of who they really are.
Impressions of a Drowned Man
Dojmy utonulého muže /
Oi entyposeis enos pnigmenou
Directed by: Kyros Papavassiliou
Cyprus, Greece, Slovenia, 2015, 82 min
A meditative drama about an artist, his life and death, as well as his search for memories that rise up from the flat landscape like the distant walls of city towers. Kyros Papavassiliou competed at Rotterdam with his feature debut.
Directed by: Trey Edward Shults
USA, 2015, 83 min
In her 60s and still not a conformist, Krisha arrives at her sister’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving with the entire family. During preparations for the meal, however, old wounds are reopened. This stylistically courageous drama is the debut of Trey Edward Shults, a former Terrence Malick student. Awarded at SXSW.
Directed by: Yared Zeleke
France, Ethiopia, Germany, Norway, 2015, 94 min
When young Ephraim’s father has to leave him in search of work, he sends the boy to stay with relatives in the mountains. At his new home, the boy’s only comfort is the sheep he brought with him. The mountain community, however, is struggling against poverty and hunger, and the life of Ephraim’s four-legged friend is at risk. Despite his age, the boy is determined to do anything necessary to save her. The Ethiopian director’s debut film premiered at the recent Cannes festival.
A Matter of Interpretation
Hledisko interpretace /
Directed by: Lee Kwang-kuk
South Korea, 2014, 99 min
While walking in the park one day, a young frustrated actress meets a detective who knows how to interpret dreams. The plot quickly shifts to a plane where dream logic prevails and the line between illusion and reality is not entirely clear. An easy-going picture with touches of comedy that played the festivals in Busan and Rotterdam.
Directed by: Jonas Carpignano
Germany, USA, United Kingdom, Italy, France, 2015, 107 min
Ayiva and Abas are part of a group of immigrants who undergo a distressing journey across the sea from Africa to Italy. Ayiva uses sheer willpower to find his footing, while Abas first succumbs to resignation and then to hatred toward everything in the new land. The pair embody the two fundamental approaches to the situation facing immigrants from countries with completely different cultures after they arrive in Europe.
Directed by: Deniz Gamze Ergüven
France, Germany, Turkey, Qatar, 2015, 97 min
A feature debut that dazzled in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, the work presents an uncommonly strong rendering of five girls growing up in the Turkish countryside who come into conflict with their guardians’ authoritative and traditional notions concerning their desire for free self-determination. This directorial debut took two awards.
Rozervaná duše /
Directed by: Elliott Lester
USA, 2014, 83 min
A war veteran with a trivial job and an even more trivial life begins to unravel in his house as he succumbs increasingly to his psychological woes. Director Elliott Lester stages this study of advancing madness as a minimalist solo performance by well-known British actor David Oyelowo.
The Other Side
Druhá strana /
The Other Side
Directed by: Roberto Minervini
France, Italy, 2015, 92 min
For his latest film, one of today’s most expressive filmmakers moved from Texas to Louisiana where his “photographic” eye focuses on folk living on the fringes of society. Here he confirms his remarkable talent for observation and his ability to present a respectful, nonjudgmental glimpse into an internal world of wounded souls. The picture was presented in this year’s Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes IFF.
Petting Zoo /
Directed by: Micah Magee
Germany, USA, Greece, 2015, 92 min
The story of high school girl Layla, who was born into a low-income stratum of Texas society and is having difficulty staying afloat, is reminiscent of Ken Loach’s early films with its emphatic social tone, the subtlety of its psychological insight, and its forthright emotional empathy towards the young protagonist.
Pionýři hrdinové /
Directed by: Natalya Kudryashova
Russia, 2015, 115 min
In childhood they lived by performing heroic acts. Today they are successful 30-year-olds beset by ennui who no longer find satisfaction from high-paying jobs or from amassing possessions. A penetrating, comprehensive, and humorous analysis of the futility experienced by the last generation of Soviet pioneers. The writer-director debut (of one of their peers) struck a responsive chord at this year’s Berlinale.
Directed by: Kaan Müjdeci
Turkey, Germany, 2014, 97 min
Could this story about a boy and his dog differ more from the gentle tale of the famed dog Lassie? Kaan Müjdeci’s feature debut, set in Turkey’s rough and isolated central Anatolia, earned two awards at Venice.
Dřímající obr /
Directed by: Andrew Cividino
Canada, 2015, 89 min
Teenage Adam is vacationing with his parents at Lake Superior. There he meets cousins Riley and Nate, roughly his age, and they spend the endlessly dragging summer days together until boyhood rivalry changes the course of events. A powerful and engaging drama about a sensitive period of life, built upon authentic performances and a wonderfully shifting atmosphere.
These Are the Rules
Taková jsou pravidla /
Takva su pravila
Directed by: Ognjen Sviličić
Croatia, France, Serbia, North Macedonia, 2014, 78 min
The story of parents, simple people, whose adolescent son is critically injured in a street fight. Invoking a tragedy that goes beyond their understanding, the film bears witness to the confrontation of the new age with the mentality of a generation accustomed to being able to rely on apparent order and justice. A Croatian drama on the illusory nature of happiness and security.
Directed by: Corneliu Porumboiu
Romania, France, 2015, 89 min
Costi lives with his family in Bucharest and enjoys reading the story of Robin Hood to his little boy. One day one of his neighbors tells him he’s pretty sure that there’s some buried treasure in his grandparents’ yard. If Costi helps him borrow a metal detector and is willing to help him search for it, then they’ll split whatever they find. A minimalist fairy tale about fulfilling childhood dreams that was awarded in this year’s Un Certain Regard section at the festival in Cannes.
Directed by: Dagur Kári
Iceland, Denmark, 2015, 94 min
Fúsi is a mountain of a man. Fúsi is a loner and an outsider – until he meets trash collector Sjofn at a dance course. A love story about people on the fringes of society from Icelandic director Dagur Kári, thrice awarded at New York’s Tribeca festival.