Karlovy Vary Film Festival to Support Ukraine by Screening Films From Canceled Odessa Fest

The Czech festival will host the Works-in-Progress section from the Odessa Film Festival, which can’t take place because of Russia’s invasion

Odessa Film Festival
Odessa Film Festival / OIFF

The 2022 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival has announced that it will host the films in the Works-in-Progress section of the Odessa International Film Festival, which cannot be held this year because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.    

“Broad solidarity with war-afflicted Ukraine must also include support for the country’s cultural life, which at this moment has come almost to a halt,” Hugo Rosák, head of KVIFF’s Industry Department, said in a statement. “As a film festival, we have tried to find ways of supporting Ukrainian cinema, and we are glad that we have managed to work with the Odesa film festival to find a meaningful form of cooperation.”

The Ukrainian works will be shown in the OIFF WIP section, and will be showcased during the 56th annual KVIFF, which will take place from July 1 through July 9 in the spa town outside of Prague in the Czech Republic.

Last year’s festival was delayed until late August because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year the event is returning to its usual early-July dates.

KVIFF organizers also announced that its KVIFF President’s Award, which is awarded to a notable figure in Czech cinema every year, will go to actor-writer-director Boleslav Polívka, who co-founded the Goose on a String theater and founded the Bolek Polívka Theatre. Polívka’s film roles include 1996’s “Forgotten Light” and 2000’s “Divided We Fall,” which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

In addition, the festival will present a digital restoration of “The Joke,” director Jaromil Jireš’s 1968 adaptation of Milan Kundera’s novel of the same name. The film was a key work in the Czechoslovak New Wave of the late 1960s, and its screening will continue the KVIFF tradition of premiering digital restorations of important Czech films.

The festival also announced that it will launch a new program, KVIFF Talents, that will expand its activities to support promising filmmakers. The project is now in its pilot phase and is open to filmmakers from the Czech Republic and Slovakia, before an eventual expansion into all of Central and Eastern Europe.

“The program will be another important piece of the puzzle promoting greater originality, creative boldness, and international ambitions by filmmakers from our region,” KVIFF’s executive director, Kryštof Mucha, said in a statement.

Finally, the festival unveiled its 2022 poster, which was created by its longtime collaborators at Studio Najbrt and exists in both color and black-and-white versions. Here is the color version:

Karlovy Vary Film Festival  poster 2022
Film Servis Festival Karlovy Vary