Karlovy Vary International Film Festival moved to the end of August

The Czech Republic’s most prestigious festival will be later than usual due to the pandemic.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 04.03.2021 12:46 (updated on 04.03.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

The organizers of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival have moved the date of this year’s festival back by seven weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Czech Republic. The annual festival is now slated for Aug. 20–28.

“Our decision to take this step was made after consulting with experts and upon a careful consideration of the current situation,” KVIFF’s executive director Kryštof Mucha.

Festival president Jiří Bartoška said he was optimistic that the situation would improve by the end of the summer. Currently, the Karlovy Vary region is among the hardest hit by the pandemic in the Czech Republic.

“We hope that the coming months will see a significant increase in vaccinations, thanks to which the pandemic will be brought under control, thus allowing us to hold the Karlovy Vary festival in a form that will be maximally safe for guests and visitors. Naturally, we are ready to observe all applicable regulations,” Bartoška said on Facebook.

The change in daters will only concern this year. “Moving the dates of the 55th festival does not mean a long-term change in the Karlovy Vary festival’s traditional slot, the festival’s 56th edition will return to its usual time, meaning from July 1–9, 2022,” KVIFF´s artistic director Karel Och said.

Other details of the festival, such as what films will play and what guests are expected have not yet been announced.

Last year’s festival did not take place in its traditional form. While the 54th had been planned for early July 2020, the organizers decided at the end of April to cancel it, as the situation at the time was too uncertain and the permitted audience size would have been severely limited.

In a project called KVIFF at Your Cinema, screenings of 16 of the planned films were held in 96 venues around the country on the dates originally scheduled for the festival. This allowed numerous small audiences to see the films, since one large audience was not allowed. In total, some 40,000 attended the screenings.

Some additional screenings of films from Central and Eastern Europe were held online, as KVIFF is an important venue to showcase these films for international distributors.

A planned minifestival called KVIFF 54 ½, scheduled for November, was canceled as the pandemic situation, which had improved over the summer, had deteriorated again.

KVIFF began in 1948, and was ranked as a class A festival in 1956. From 1959 to 1993, it alternated with the Moscow Film Festival. Sine 1994 it has been an annual event.

Publish your story to Expats.cz Find out more