Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Photo: kviff.com
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF, Mezinárodní filmový festival Karlovy Vary) is one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals as well as the most important film festival in Central and Eastern Europe. It was accredited by the FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations) as an A-list festival, i.e. as a competitive non-specialized film festival.

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival was founded in 1946. The first event was a non-competitive festival that screened films from seven countries in two cities, Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad) and Mariánské Lázně (Marienbad). It aimed to showcase the accomplishments of the Czechoslovak film industry nationalized right after the Second World War. In 1948, the festival moved permanently to Karlovy Vary and held an international film competition for the first time.

Since 1951, winners of the festival’s film competition have been selected by an international jury made up of established industry professionals. The KVIFF quickly found its niche among other film festivals and by 1956 had been accredited by the FIAPF as an A-list film festival. Given the political decision to organize only one A-category film festival a year in all socialist countries, the Karlovy Vary festival was forced to alternate with the Moscow International Film festival from 1959 to 1993.

The festival originally focused on socialist realism films because of political pressures and censorship in socialist Czechoslovakia. Things began to change after the Velvet Revolution of 1989 and the subsequent dissolution of Czechoslovakia. A new team took over the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 1993. The festival became annual again and its program expanded to include a variety of films from around the world.

The KVIFF hosts a non-specialized international competition of feature-length films presented as world or international premieres. The main award of the festival is the Crystal Globe, it is presented to the best feature film. The program also features two more competitions (East of the West and Documentary Film Competition) and a number of non-competition sections such as Another View, Horizon, Out of the Past, People Next Door, Future Frames: Ten New Filmmakers to Follow, Variety Critics’ Choice, Midnight Screenings, Czech Films, tributes, retrospectives, and special focuses.

Alongside film screenings, the festival presents a series of industry events over three days called the Film Industry Days. The industry program includes panels, workshops, special screenings, discussions, presentations, pitching sessions, case studies, and more.

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Photo: kviff.com




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