A look back at Karlovy Vary IFF

Every year, the Karlovy Vary Film Festival brings the best in world cinema to a small spa town in the Czech Republic. Now that the 55th year of the festival has been cancelled, we have decided to offer you a selection of films that have been shown at the festival over the years.

Located on the border of Western and Eastern Europe, the festival offers a space for the best of both worlds. In our selection, we focused mainly on documentaries from Central and Eastern Europe that have been shown mainly under the documentary film category. Some of them won awards while others simply deserve your attention despite not winning anything at all.

Works by Lithuanian director Audrius Stonys regularly appear under the documentary film category. After Woman and Glacier, his latest film entitled Bridges of Time made its premiere in 2018 and is about directors who share a poetic vision of the world and whom Stonys classifies as the Baltic New Wave. The film Tarzan's Testicles by Romanian director Alexander Solomon was also a remarkable achievement. The film describes a former Soviet research centre that was built to create a human-monkey hybrid. Meanwhile, questions about the usefulness of providing aid to developing countries are raised by director Martin Mareček in the film Solar Eclipse.

The best documentary of 2015 was Helena Třeštíková's film Mallory. The director follows the plight of a woman who starts life anew after her terrible drug addiction and the time when she lived on the streets. The film Atelier de Conversation is about cultural differences between foreigners who come from different corners of the world. It is also about trying to find a common ground, although this seems nearly impossible given all their differences. Like the film Ama-san about Japanese pearl hunters, this film received special recognition at the festival under the documentary film category.

Selected films

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