The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, known each summer for bringing global cinema to the Czech Republic, has canceled its 2020 edition. The 55th-annual festival was set to run July 3-11, but now will not physically take place again until July 2-10, 2021. Instead, Karlovy Vary will offer a taste of the festival selections on select cinema screens with KVIFF at Your Cinema (July 3-11) as the government plans to begin loosening lockdown on June 8. KVIFF at Your Cinema, which normally takes the best of the festival on tour, will now take place during the original festival dates, and for a limited number of 50 viewers per screening.
“We strongly believe that seeing a movie with other people in a theater is a powerful and irreplaceable experience,” says Jiří Bartoška, president of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. “And because the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is one of the most important cultural events in the Czech Republic and in Europe, we have decided that holding an alternative version would go against the festival’s main mission: to bring together audiences, filmmakers, and people from different walks of life in order to collectively enjoy works of cinema.”
KVIFF Eastern Promises, a sidebar devoted to film industry professionals, will now move to a virtual space to highlight projects in various stages of development and production from the region of Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, and North Africa for international buyers, festivals, and distributors. The forum will take place July 3-11 digitally, with further details to be announced soon.
KVIFF has also joined with the project, We Are One: A Global Film Festival, launched on Monday by YouTube and Tribeca Enterprises to bring the best of global film festivals to audiences for free starting May 29. We Are One, which benefits the World Health Organization and other relief partners amid the ongoing pandemic, will encompass programming from 20 festivals, including Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Sundance, Toronto, New York, BFI London, Karlovy Vary, Locarno, and more, across 10 days.
Look back at the winners from last year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, which honored actress Patricia Clarkson with the Crystal Globe prize, here.