vachon ropell abay

Source: Brian Bowen Smith / Screen file / EFA

Christine Vachon, Jason Ropell, Fatih Abay

Killer Films producer Christine Vachon, Mubi’s chief content officer Jason Ropell, and Fatih Abay, diversity and inclusion officer at the European Film Academy are among the international speakers heading to the industry programme of this year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF),  taking place until July 8 in the Czech Republic.  

The recently restored Imperial Spa will house the entire industry programme. It’s wood-panelled interiors will host the Industry Days’ Eastern Promises for four days of  project pitches, talks, events, and workshops as well as the Film Industry Office and Lounge. There is an afternoon forum dedicated to issues facing the Czech film industry.

Scroll down for full list of projects

The industry focal point is the Eastern Promises project pitches, a showcase of 39 projects (36 films and three series) in development, production or post-production.

They are being pitched across several platforms: KVIFF Talents, which supports Czech and Slovak filmmakers; Works in Development; Works in Progress; and First Cut+ Works in Progress. The most promising projects receive awards with a total value of €110,000. Among the industry attendees are representatives from sales companies including mk2, Films Boutique, Level K, Mad Solutions, Gaumont and Trust Nordisk.

Hugo Rosák, KVIFF’s head of industry, says there were over 120 submissions for this year’s Eastern Promises. Rather than pick out individual projects, he stresses the quality and diversity of all of those on offer. He says his team have sought to present projects that represent a fair mix of countries from Central and Eastern Europe, former Soviet territories and the Middle East, but that are also diverse in terms of genre and gender balance.

Many films that pass through Eastern Promises go on to premiere at festivals such as Berlin, Venice and Locarno as well as Karlovy Vary. They include Slovakian director Martin Pavol Repka’s family drama March To May, which premieres in Karlovy Vary’s Proxima competition this year.

The winner of last year’s Works in Progress strand, Klára Tasovská’s’s I’m Not Everything I Used To Be, premiered in the Berlinale Panorama section this year and will have its Czech premiere at Karlovy Vary this year. Other WIP alumni include Slovak director Michal Blaško’s Victim, which debuted in Venice Horizons in 2022 and Veronika Liskova’s Visitors, which premiered in Critics’ Week at Locarno the same year.

Among the Works in Progress projects being presented this year is Kazakh film director Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s thriller Moor. Yerzhanov’s The Gentle Indifference of the World played at Cannes Un Certain in 2018, while his Yellow Can premiered at Venice Horizons in 2020. Eygptian director M Siam comes with family drama My Father’s Scent, having previously opened IDFA in 2017 with his documentary Amal.

In the First Cut+ Works in Progress strand, meanwhile, is Caroline Strubbe’s arthouse drama The Silent Treatment. Strubbe’s debut Lost Persons Area was selected for Cannes Critic’s Week in 2009 and won the SACD Prize for best script, and in 2013 she premiered with I’m the Same I’m an Other at Toronto.

Works in Progress

In This Darkness I See You (Leb-Qatar-Fr)
Dir: Nadim Tabet

Sandbag Dam (Cro-Lith-Ser-Slovenia-N Mac)
Dir: Čejen Černić Čanak

Yugo Florida (Ser-Bulg-Cro-Montenegro)
Dir: Vladimir Tagic

My Fathers’s Scent (Egypt-Fr-Nor-Qatar-Swe)
Dir: M Siam

Smaragda - I Got Thick Skin and I Can’t Jump (Cyprus)
Dir: Emilios Avraam

A Hunter Girl (Kyrgyzstan)
Dir: Suiumkan Sulaimanova

Baltic UXO (Lith-Ger-Lat)
Directors: Agne Dovydaityte, Alexander Belinski

Amedspor (Turkey)
Dir: Rezan Yesilbas

Mommy Blue (Hun)
Dir: Bernadette Mayer

Moor (Kaz-Fr)
Dir: Adilkhan Yerzhanov

Lover, Not a Fighter (Slovak-Czech)
Dir: Martina Buchelová

Virtual Girlfriends (Czech-Slovak)
Dir: Barbora Chalupová

Works in Development

Feature Launch

Antonie (Czech)
Dir & Script Rozálie Kohoutová

Anxiety of the Heart (Poland)
Dir: Michał Edelman

Eli and Them (Czech)
Dir & script: Petr Pylypčuk

Grammatik (Ger)
Dir & script: Popo Fan

Horses (Slovenia)
Dir & script: Jernej Kastelec

Klára Is Here (Hun)
Dir & script: Dávid Csicskár

Pushback (Cro)
Dir & script: Bojan Radanović

Sunbruise (Greece)
Dir & script: Stavros Markoulakis

The Art of Biting Your Tongue (Lat)
Dir: Ieva Norvele

Intensive Queer:

Berlin-Budapest (Ger)
Script: Viktoria Vay

Euro Pop Bubble (UK)
Dir & script: Grant Gulczynski

Girls in Uniform (Ger)
Dir & script: Justina Jürgensen

The Face of a Woman (Slovakia)
Dir & script: Lukáš Vízner

KVIFF Talents

Feature Pool:

Inbetween Worlds (Czech-Slovak)
Dir: Diana Cam Van Nguyen
Prod: Karolína Davidová, Jakub Viktorín

Rusalka (Czech)
Script: Hana Neničková

Letters to the Future (Czech)
Dir: Myro Klochko
Prod: Karolína Franková

Creative Pool:

Into the Endless Unknowns (Czech)
Dirs: Veronika Jelšíková, Petr Vlček
Script: Veronika Jelšíková, Petr Vlček

Casting (Czech)
Dir: Terézia Halamová
Script: Jan Černý
Prod: Natália Pavlove

Spectrum (Czech)
Dir: Igor Smitka
Script: Adél Škvrna
Prods: Klára Mamojková, Wanda Kaprálová

First Cut+ Works in Progress

Idyllic (Neth-Belg-Estonia)
Dir: Aaron Rookus

The Silent Treatment (Belg-Hun-Neth)
Dir: Caroline Strubbe

The Origin of the World (Hun-Ger-Fr)
Dir: Borbála Nagy

Numakage Public Swimming Pool (Japan)
Dir: Shingo Ota

Mayflies (Hun-Slovak)
Dir: Emília Goldberg

My Boyfriend The Fascist (Italy)
Dir: Matthias Lintner

Blood of My Blood (Brazil-Chile-Fr)
Dir: Rafaela Camelo

Wheels of Forgotten Dreams (Ser-Bulg-Cro)
Directors: Milos Ljubomirovic, Danilo Lazovic