The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is one of the oldest film festivals of all time (the first year took place in 1946). For more than 40 years the festival was organized under the pressure of the political situation in socialist Czechoslovakia. After the social changes in November 1989 the festival struggled for several years with lack of interest from the side of the state as well as public, in whose eyes it was almost irretrievably discredited.
In the year 1994 the organization of the Karlovy Vary IFF was taken up by a new team, in the lead of which stood the well-known Czech actor Jiří Bartoška and the significant film columnist and critic Eva Zaoralová, who decided to transform the stagnant show into a film forum of international importance. Within a few years, the team of Jiří Bartoška and Eva Zaoralová managed to return to the festival the prestige and interest of both professional and lay public through its new program as well as organizational concept.
The concept of the Karlovy Vary IFF is based on the advantageous geopolitical location of the Czech Republic on the border between Eastern and Western Europe. The Karlovy Vary IFF presents annually for the first time in the Czech Republic more than 200 new films from the whole world.
The Karlovy Vary IFF is intended for lay as well as professional public and it offers to its visitors a carefully composed program, high-quality background, and a wide amount of services.
The closest attention is paid to the Official Selection - Competition, into which are selected only films made in the previous season and those that have not been previously shown in the competition section of any other festival of the Category A.
Apart from the Official Selection, the Documentary Films in Competition and East of the West - Films in Competition there are other already traditional informative sections and current thematic retrospectives put together for the audience.
Thanks to the Karlovy Vary IFF, the guests have a unique opportunity to see the best new films in this area, to discover new talents, and to meet a number of interesting personalities from artistic, economic, and political life.
It is particularly the professional public which appreciates the possibility to see the films which awoke great interest at festivals in Berlin, Cannes or at other prestigious world actions devoted to contemporary cinematography in such a short time and without the usual stress which can prevail at larger shows.
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