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cinemadaily 07.02.09 | Karlovy Kick Off

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire July 2, 2009 at 10:41AM

Deemed "the anti-Cannes festival" by the New York Times, the Karlovy Vary Film Festival kicks off tomorrow in the Czech Republic. indieWIRE has the lineup for the fest here, with Sophie Barthes' "Cold Souls," Andreas Dresen's German comedy "Whisky with Vodka," and Iranian director Abdolreza Kahani's "Twenty" among the films in competition.
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Deemed "the anti-Cannes festival" by the New York Times, the Karlovy Vary Film Festival kicks off tomorrow in the Czech Republic. indieWIRE has the lineup for the fest here, with Sophie Barthes' "Cold Souls," Andreas Dresen's German comedy "Whisky with Vodka," and Iranian director Abdolreza Kahani's "Twenty" among the films in competition.

"Europe's first big international post-Cannes showcase of the year - the Karlovy Vary Film Festival - has a reputation for such a relaxed glamour that even occasional summer downpours do little to dampen spirits of guests and visitors," writes Variety's Nick Holdsworth, who highlights that the fest seems to have avoided being affected by the recession. "While festival organizers face a worldwide economic recession that has taken a bite out of small, medium and large events, the Karlovy Vary honchos promise that the 44th festival in the Bohemian spa town -- famed for its hot springs and classical colonnades -- will be a vintage Vary."

A number of "big names" will also catch the flight to Karlovy Vary, notes The Hollywood Reporter, "including this year's Cannes jury president Isabelle Huppert, Spanish heartthrob Antonio Banderas, actor John Malkovich and director Paul Schrader. Just some of the movers and shakers looking to slow down and sit back for a week of pure cinema at Eastern Europe's premiere film event."

In addition, Monsters and Critics notes that the festival marks the 20th anniversary of the implosion of communism. "Along with its regular East of the West competition for movies from the former Eastern bloc," they write, "Karlovy Vary this year includes a section devoted to movies about the 1989 uprisings across Central Europe that brought to an end more than four decades of communism."

Local English-language publications - like Ceske Noviny and Czech Netz - give you their takes as well, while Russia Today explains how Russian hipsters figure into the festival's program.

indieWIRE will be on the scene in Karlovy Vary beginning this weekend.

EDITORS NOTE: indieWIRE's cinemadaily is a new, daily column surveying the latest on film, filmmakers and festivals. Inspired by David Hudson's great daily work at IFC and GreenCine, we hope to make a modest contribution to film culture by offering a regular look at the art, rather then the business, side of movies. And, we want you to join us. Please pitch links and suggestions by email at cinemadaily AT indiewire DOT com or connect with us on Twitter: @iWcinemadaily.