Hitting the half-century mark this year, the Czech Republic’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival opens tonight, Friday, July 3, and runs through next Saturday, July 11. In addition to several retrospective screenings, the prestigious event features approximately 135 new feature-length films, of which just under 30 are documentaries, matching the reduced number of nonfiction offerings evident since last year’s edition. With a handful of exceptions, the nonfiction programming primarily is set apart in its own competitive and non-competitive sections, highlighted below:
Ten titles vie in the Documentary Film Competition, including two homegrown selections: Jan Foukal’s AMERIKA, about young, modern-day hobos in the Czech Republic; and Helena Třeštíková’s MALLORY, a long-range portrait of a recovering drug addict trying to turn her life around. Other films featured in the competition include: Albert Meisl’s THE FATHER TAPES, a personal portrait of the Austrian filmmaker’s dying father; Ostap Kostyuk’s THE LIVING FIRE, which follows Ukrainian shepherds in the Carpathian mountains; Alba Sotorra’s GAME OVER (pictured), about an Iranian-Spanish man’s obsession with war; and Tonislav Hristov’s ONCE UPON A DREAM – A JOURNEY TO THE LAST SPAGHETTI WESTERN, about a once-thriving Andalusian town that looks to reclaim its former glory as a location for film Westerns.
Another eleven features screen in the Documentary Films – Out of Competition section, such as: Hermes Paralluelo’s profile of an elderly Spanish couple, NOT ALL IS VIGIL (pictured); Clément Beauvais and Arthur de Kersauson’s look at motorcycle mechanics, THE GREASY HANDS PREACHERS; Vasilis Katsoupis’ unconventional portrait of a musician, MY FRIEND LARRY GUS; and Jaroslav Kratochvíl’s study of Czech game hunters, LONG LIVE HUNTING!