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Karlovy Vary attracts 803 industry professionals

New industry initiatives include Barrandov-sponsored prize for best film in Works In Progress. Deals signed for Yuma [pictured] and This Ain’t California.

Statistics released today for the 47th Karlovy Vary Film Festival indicates that it was good year for industry attendance and bodes well for the festival as it increasingly moves towards giving its industry events a greater focus.

There were 803 film professionals and 667 journalists accredited to the fest – figures roughly on a par with previous years - with companies such as The Match Factory, Fortissimo Films and TrustNordisk all in attendance. Representatives of major fests including Berlin, Sundance and Busan were some of the 120 festival programmers who attended the 10 day event in the Czech spa town.

Whilst traditionally seen as a networking festival, Karlovy Vary managed to see its share of deals and interest from international distributors and fests. Polish film Yuma  - receiving it’s international premiere in the East of the West Competition – has been picked up for UK distribution by new company Giant Films and This Ain’t California – the popular German film examining the skateboarding sub-culture of the ’80s – was sold to Film Europe, covering the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Many other films - such as To Kill A Beaver, People Out There and Wild Duck – have also seen both festival and distributor interest come their way during the festival.

It was a year of new initiatives during the festival, including adding a €10,000 prize to the Works In Progress competition (ultimately won by Greek filmmaker Elina Psykou for The Eternal Return of Antonis P.) and a new Czech Film Industry week which saw lectures, panel discussions and workshops.

“I believe the new initiatives worked greatly,” said Andrea Szczukova, Head of Film Industry Office at Karlovy Vary. “I think the Works in Progress with the award were just a perfect improvement and it will help not only the winning project but all the projects with the resultant publicity. The 10,000 Euros in services will undoubtedly be a big help in finishing the project as well.”

Szczukova added: “I have heard from many people attending the event that this year was the highest quality in all the selection.” Films screened in the Official Selection and in the East of the West section will also be available for the industry via Cinando, with that screening room now open.

For the festival at large, there were 121,071 tickets sold for 410 film screenings. There were 162 features shown and 56 documentaries. Of those, 23 films were world premieres.

Karlovy Vary IFF. 387 accredited film professionals came to the festival from abroad. 131 film buyers and distributors and 120 festival programmers chose from the new films and Works in Progress.

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