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Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

What’s It’s All About:

The Karlovy Vary International film festival is one of the oldest in the world. Founded in 1946, the festival began as the pre-war dream of many enthusiastic filmmakers when a non-competition festival of films from seven countries took place in Mariánské Lázně and Karlovy Vary. Above all, it was intended to screen the results of the recently nationalised Czechoslovak film industry. After the first two years, the festival moved permanently to Karlovy Vary.

The festival is in its 46th year and during one week in July, Karlovy Vary seems to be absorbed by the festival atmosphere. There are tons of people everywhere, with concerts, parties, ceremonies, press conferences and of course film screenings. This is the place to see Czech and foreign celebrities. The main centre of the festival is the Thermal Hotel, but the film screenings and special events take place virtually throughout the entire town.

The Karlovy Vary IFF presents over 180 feature films from all over the world every year. Apart from the films in the special retrospectives, most films are screened in the Czech Republic every year for the first time. Many of these films have their world, international or European premiere as well. This year again, the audience will have a chance to see interesting retrospectives and focuses apart from the traditional programme sections.

Watch Out For!

Hungarian filmmaker Istvan Szabo has been snared as the president of the international jury, which has brought the filmmaker back to the festival after his movie, Taking Sides, screened nine years ago at the event.

Films that will be showcased at the festival include:


A 16-year-old who was raised by her father to be the perfect assassin is dispatched on a mission across Europe, tracked by a ruthless intelligence agent and her operatives.

Magic Trip

In 1964, Ken Kesey, the famed author of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, set off on a legendary, LSD-fuelled, cross-country road trip to the New York World’s Fair. He was joined by a renegade group of truth-seekers, including Neal Cassady, the driver and painter of the psychedelic Magic Bus. Kesey and the Pranksters intended to make a documentary about their trip, shooting footage on 16MM, but the film was never finished and the footage has remained virtually unseen. With Magic Trip, Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney and Alison Ellwood were given unprecedented access to this raw footage by the Kesey family. They worked with the Film Foundation, HISTORY and the UCLA Film Archives to restore over 100 hours of film and audiotape, and have shaped an invaluable document of this extraordinary piece of American history.

Jane Eyre:

After a bleak childhood, Jane Eyre goes out into the world to become a governess. As she lives happily in her new position at Thornfield Hall, she meets the dark, cold, and abrupt master of the house, Mr Rochester. Jane and her employer grow close and she soon finds herself falling in love with him. Happiness seems to have found Jane at last, but could Mr Rochester’s terrible secret be about to destroy it forever?

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