The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF) streamlined the programming structure for its upcoming editions earlier this year (see the news), a decision unrelated to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ahead of the festival’s planned 55th edition, the organisers have now announced that they have decided to postpone it, given the “Czech government’s ongoing coronavirus measures and the complicated worldwide situation today”. The 55th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will therefore take place from 2-10 July 2021.
“We strongly believe that seeing a movie with other people in a theatre is a powerful and irreplaceable experience,” says Jiří Bartoška, president of KVIFF. “And because the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is one of the most important cultural events in the Czech Republic, 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.”
Despite the gathering being cancelled this year, the KVIFF Eastern Promises industry programme, presenting works in progress for film professionals, will still unfold from 6-8 July 2020. Similarly to what has been happening recently with other festivals and industry events, upcoming projects at 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 will be presented online to international buyers, festivals and distributors.
As the festival was called off amid preparations, the organisers also decided to hold a special version of “Vary at Your Cinema” on the dates originally planned for the 55th edition. This initiative involves a selection of films from the festival touring around the Czech Republic every year. This time around, a showcase of the titles initially picked for the 55th edition will travel around the nation, as the country’s lockdown measures are expected to be eased on 8 June. Vary at Your Cinema will therefore take place between 3 and 11 July 2020 in 50 cinemas in the Czech Republic.
Moreover, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is joining Cannes, Venice, the Berlinale, San Sebastián, Locarno, Tribeca, Sarajevo, Sydney, Tokyo and other international festivals in organising the We Are One: A Global Film Festival initiative.