The 44th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival host 19 world premieres at this year’s edition, which will run July 3 – 11.

Shana Feste’s Sundance title The Greatest will open the festival July 3, while Richard Curtis’s The Boat That Rocked will be closing night film, following the gala awards ceremony.

Actor Antonio Banderas will attend the festival to introduce his film Summer Rain and receive the Festival President’s Award, while Paul Schrader will be on hand to present his latest film, Adam Resurrected.

As previously reported, Claudie Ossard will chair the jury, which will also include film-makers Rodrigo Pla, Sergey Dortsevoy, Niki Karimi, Maria Bonnevie, Ivan Zacharias and film critic Kenneth Turan.

The festival serves as a gateway to the Eastern European industry, offering buyers and sales agents an opportunity to learn about films and works-in-progress not presented at major festivals elsewhere.

Festival artistic director Eva Zaoralova told ScreenDaily that this year’s official selection of competition films is notable in that 14 titles are set in today’s world.

“Even though the topics of the films in competition are diverse, they are mainly about contemporary problems regarding reality and morality,” Zaoralova said.

The selection is dominated by European titles including Piggies, the new film from Polish film-maker Robert Glinski. The project, the story of a boy who becomes an underworld boss, will have its world premiere at the festival. Other world premieres in the official selection include Martin Zandvliet’s Applause, for which TrustNordisk is handling international sales, and Frédéric Dumont’s Angel At Sea.

The only English-language film screening in the main competition at Karlovy Vary is Sophie Barthes’s Sundance comedy Cold Souls. Paul Giamatti, Emily Watson and David Straithairn star in a story about an actor who has his soul removed so he can escape the burdens of daily life. E1 Films International is handling international sales.

Twelve films will compete in the Forum of Independents selection, including the world premiere of New Denmark, the third film from Quebecois director Rafael Ouellet, about a young woman’s search for her missing sister.

The festival presents a further five features in world premieres outside the competitions. Canadian director Sherry White’s film Crackie is a drama about a teenage girl who tries to break out of her family’s cycle of poverty and depravity. White wrote and starred in the 2003 Toronto title The Bread Maker. She won a Best Screenplay award for Down To The Dirt (2008) at the Atlantic Film Festival.

Other world premieres include the horror T.M.A. from Slovak veteran Juraj Herz, drama The Physics Of Water from Italian director Felice Farina, period comedy Operation Dunaj from Polish director Jacek Glomb, and Life In Wandering, a realistic depiction of social misery in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics, from young Chinese director Zhang Leitao.

Six documentaries are screening in world premiere at Karlovy Vary.

The festival’s position as the leading event in Eastern Europe means that visitors are traditionally interested in the festival’s East of the West competition selection from the former socialist bloc. It includes Andrey Khrzhanovsky’s A Room And A Half and Alexei German Jr’s Paper Solider.

Opening film

The Greatest, dir. Shana Fest

Closing film

The Boat That Rocked, dir. Richard Curtis


Official Selection — special event

A Walk Worthwhile, dir. Milos Forman (Czech Republic) WP


Official Selection — competition

Angel At Sea, dir. Frédéric Dumont (Belgium, Canada) WP

Applause, dir. Martin Zandvliet (Denmark) WP

Black Sheep, dir. Humberto Hinojosa Ozcariz (Mexico)

Cold Souls, dir. Sophie Barthes (USA)

Himalaya, Where The Wind Dwells, dir. Jeon Soo-il (South Korea)

I Am Not Your Friend, dir. György Pálfi (Hungary)

Piggies, dir. Robert Glinski (Poland, Germany) WP

Soul At Peace, dir. Vladimír Balko (Slovakia)

Tutta Colpa Di Giuda, dir. Davide Ferrario (Italy)

Twenty, dir. Abdolreza Kahani (Iran)

Villa Amalia, dir. Benoit Jacquot (France, Switzerland)

Whisky With Vodka, dir. Andreas Dresen (Germany)

Will Not Stop There, dir. Vinko Brešan (Croatia, Serbia)

Wolfy, dir. Vassily Sigarev (Russia)

East of the West competition

The 40th Door, dir. Elchin Musaoglu (Azerbaijan)

Alive!, dir. Artan Minarolli (Albania, Austria, France) WP

Crayfish, dir. Ivan Cherkelov (Bulgaria)

Devil’s Town, dir. Vladimir Paskaljevic (Serbia) WP

El Paso, dir. Zdeněk Tyc (Czech Republic)

Lost Times, dir. Aron Matyassy (Hungary)

Low Lights,dir. Ignas Miskinis (Lithuania, Germany) WP

Native Dancer, dir. Guka Omarova (Kazakhstan, Russia, France, Germany)

The Other Bank, dir. George Ovashvili (Georgia, Kazakhstan)

Paper Soldier, dir. Alexei German, Jr. (Russia)

Room And A Half, dir. Andrey Khrzhanovsky (Russia)

Scratch, dir. Michal Rose (Poland)

The Seventh Circle, dir. Arpad Sopsits (Hungary)

Forum of Independents competition

Adulthood, dir. Noel Clarke (UK)

Eamon, dir. Margaret Corkery (Ireland)

Escape From The Call Center, dir. Federico Rizzo (Italy)

Everything Strange And New, dir. Frazer Bradshaw (USA)

Liar, dir. Tom Geens (Belgium)

New Denmark, dir. Rafaël Ouellet (Canada) WP

Oxygen, dir. Ivan Vyrypaev (Russia)

Ramírez, dir. Albert Arizza (Spain)

Secure Space, dir. Oren Gvili (Israel)

Sisters On The Road, dir. Boo Ji-young (South Korea)

Snow White And Russian Red, dir. Xawery Żuławski (Poland)

La Tigra, Chaco, dir. Federico Godfrid, Juan Sasiaín (Argentina)