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Franz Kafka and Cinema at the 58th Karlovy Vary IFF.

In the unique retrospective “The Wish To Be a Red Indian: Kafka and Cinema” the festival will present cinematic reflections on the work of the most influential figure of 20th century literature, from filmmakers such as Orson Welles, Martin Scorsese, Ousmane Sembene, Jan Němec and Steven Soderbergh. 

This June we mark the centenary of the final moments of the writer Franz Kafka, who passed away at a sanatorium in the Austrian town of Kierling. As enigmatic as they were distinctive, both Kafka and his works have been defined with considerable insight by Milena Jesenská, though she had but a few hours available to write his obituary: “Kafka wrote books full of dry scorn and the sensitive perspective of a man who saw the world so clearly that he c­ouldn’t bear it, a man who was bound to die since he refused to make concessions or take refuge, as ­others do, in vari­ous fallacies of reason, or the unconscious – even the more noble ones.”

The special program’s title is referring to one of Kafka’s most enigmatic short stories which, just like cinema, contains strong elements of a motion and transformation. “For decades, Kafka’s oeuvre has functioned as a continuing provocation to filmmakers,“ say KVIFF´s artistic director Karel Och and the festival´s consultant Lorenzo Esposito, co-curators of the program. “It is as if he were slyly challenging them to attempt to capture as authentically and intensely as possible the elusive nature of his formulations, of his narratives, of the realities he has crafted and the feelings of apprehension he elicits, yet also of the comic situations he has created,“ continue Och and Esposito.

List of films (work in progress):

The Trial (dir. Orson Welles, France/Italy/West Germany 1962, 116 min.)
Joseph Kilian (Postava k podpírání, dir. Pavel Juráček, Czechoslovakia 1963, 38 min.)
The Money Order (Mandabi, dir. Ousmane Sembene, Senegal/France 1968, 105 min.)
The Castle (Das Schloß, dir. Rudolf Noelte, West Germany 1968, 88 min.)
The Audience (L’Udienza, dir. Marco Ferreri, Italy/France 1971, 112 min.)
Metamorphosis (Die Verwandlung, dir. Jan Němec, West Germany 1975, 55 min.)
The Tenant (Le Locataire, dir. Roman Polanski, France 1976, 126 min.)
After Hours (dir. Martin Scorsese, USA 1985, 97 min.)
Fellini’s Intervista (Intervista, dir. Federico Fellini, Italy 1987, 105 min.)
Tetsuo (dir. Shin’ya Tsukamoto, Japan 1989, 67 min.)
Kafka (dir. Steven Soderbergh, USA/France 1991, 98 min.)
Kafka (dir. Zbigniew Rybczyński, France 1992, 52 min.)
Amerika (dir. Vladimir Michálek, Czech Republic 1994, 90 min.)
Franz Kafka’s a Country Doctor (Kafka Inaka Isha, dir. Koji Yamamura, Japan 2007, 21 min.)
Artist of Fasting (Danjiki geinin, dir. Masao Adachi, Japonsko 2016, 104 min.)
Mr. Kneff (dir. Steven Soderbergh, USA 2021, 78 min.)The Tomb of Kafka (Le Tombeau de Kafka, dir. Jean-Claude Rousseau, France 2022, 14 min.)

Honoring Casting Director Francine Maisler 

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and Variety magazine have teamed up to honor Francine Maisler, one of the world’s most respected casting directors. Maisler has worked on more than seventy feature films and is a recipient of fifteen Artios Awards from the Casting Society of America. She has worked with such directors as Denis Villeneuve (Dune: Part Two, Dune, Arrival, Sicario), Terrence Malick (Tree of Life, Knight of Cups), and Alejandro González Iñárritu (The Revenant, Birdman).

As part of its homage, the Karlovy Vary festival will hold a special screening of one of the films which Maisler worked on. Maisler will also give a public master class, in which she will reflect on her career so far.  

“We are glad to have begun a new tradition at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, where every year we honor one important representative from the film industry. One goal of this project is to call attention to film professions that are not immediately visible but that are absolutely vital to a film’s success. After honoring longtime director of Marché du Film Jerôme Paillard and producer Christine Vachon, this year we will pay homage to casting director Francine Maisler. The profession of casting director has gained increasing attention over the past years, as evidenced among other things by the fact that, starting in 2026, the Academy Awards will include an Oscar for casting,” says KVIFF’s executive director Kryštof Mucha.

Visual Design of the 58th Karlovy Vary IFF From Studio Najbrt.

Once again, the festival’s visual identity has been designed by Studio Najbrt.

“As in the past, this year we have worked with the numbers marking the festival’s edition. Our symbol for the 58th edition was inspired by a simplified pattern of the Hotel Thermal’s ground plan. The result is an abstract black-and-white design consisting of one square and three circles,” says Aleš Najbrt. “This time around, we have taken the idea of maximum simplification as a starting point for transforming the symbol into iconic objects from the world of cinema and the Karlovy Vary festival. Brutalist concrete, Věra and Vladimír Machonin’s armchairs, film canisters, or an old camera,” is how Studio Najbrt’s designers describe this year’s concept.

Authors of the visual identity:

Design: Jonatan Kuna

Art director: Aleš Najbrt Animation: Zdeněk Trinkewitz

Future Frames Continues Its Partnership With Allwyn and Collaboration With Uta and Range Media Partners.

Future Frames – Generation NEXT of European Cinema, a program organized by Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and European Film Promotion, has been helping talented European directors start their careers in the film industry since 2015. By partnering with leading multinational lottery operator Allwyn and collaborating with American talent agency UTA and Range Media Partners, Future Frames last year significantly expanded the opportunities it offers young filmmakers.

Karlovy Vary Film Festival to Present Premiere of Digitally Restored “Shadows of a Hot Summer”.

The long-running tradition of premiere screenings of digitally restored Czech and Czechoslovak films continues at KVIFF 58 with a screening of František Vláčil’s SHADOWS OF A HOT SUMMER.

Legendary Czechoslovak director František Vláčil shot his Western ballad Shadows of a Hot Summer in 1977 on the basis of a screenplay by Jiří Křižan. The film was subsequently shown to great audience interest in competition at the 21st Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 1978, where it was awarded a Crystal Globe for Best Film (ex aequo with White Bim Black Ear).

Festival President’s Award to Be Presented to Actor Ivan Trojan.

At the closing ceremony of this year’s 58th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the President’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Czech Cinema will be presented to actor Ivan Trojan.

Jakub Voráček Foundation Becomes The Official Nonprofit Partner of the 58th Karlovy Vary IFF.

Each year, as a part of its accompanying program, the Karlovy Vary IFF provides a platform to a selected non-profit organization, allowing it to showcase its activities to the general public. The official nonprofit partner of the 58th Karlovy Vary IFF is the Jakub Voráček Foundation, whose main objective is to help patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).


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