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CANNES: Director Eva Husson has based her latest film Girls in the Sun on a real events. Yazidi women were forced to watch their men being slaughtered, then they were kidnapped, raped and sold into slavery.  Some of the Yazidi women bravely managed to escape and join the women’s brigades of Kurdish fighters to fight against ISIS and while the Yazidi are never actually mentioned in the film by name this is obviously their story. 

CANNES: Polish director Paweł Pawlikowski has pulled of a near impossible task of following his masterpiece Ida with a possibly even better film Cold War which screens in competition in Cannes.

CANNES: Director Sergey Dvortsevoy arrives in the Cannes with Ayka a grim tale that follows the life of an unemployed woman from Kyrgyzstan who spends five desperate days on the winter streets of Moscow after giving birth to a baby she cannot afford to care for at a Moscow maternity hospital.

KARLOVY VARY: The Romanian film I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians directed by Radu Jude took home the Crystal Globe and a cash prize of 25,000 USD at the 53 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival held from 29 June to 7 July in the Czech spa town of Karlovy Vary. The film is a coproduction between Romania, Czech Republic, France, Bulgaria and Germany.

KARLOVY VARY: The Czech film industry is calling for increased tax incentives. During the Karlovy Vary Film Festival the Czech Minister of Culture backed calls to increase tax incentives for filmmaking as neighbouring countries racket up the competition by rolling out new incentive schemes of their own.

KARLOVY VARY: Film in Cyprus is blossoming as Cypriot filmmaker Tonia Mishiali arrives at KVIFF with her film Pause selected for the East of the West Competition. The prestigious East of the West competition slot for Mishiali follows a string of local success stories for Cypriot films in 2018, with Smuggling Hendrix directed by Marios Piperides winning the main prize for Best International Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year and Sunrise in Kimmeria directed by Simon Farmakas winning the prize for Best Cypriot Film at the Cyprus Film Days Film Festival 2018.

KARLOVY VARY: The ten films in the official selection of the annual Lux Film Prix of the European Parliament were announced at the Karlovy Vary IFF on 1 July 2018.

KARLOVY VARY: Polish sales and promotion outfit IKH Pictures and Promotion headed by Iza Kiszka-Hoflik will be representing East of the West competitor Via Carpatia directed by Klara Kochańska and Kasper Bajon. The film is a full length debut for the two directors. It is a Polish/Czech/Macedonian coproduction.

KRAKOW: The Polish film Over the Limit directed by Marta Prus was undoubtedly the overall champion of the festival sweeping more top prizes than any other film at the 58th Krakow Film Festival held from 27 May to 3 June 2018.  The film won prizes for Best Feature Length Film in the International Documentary Film Competition and the Silver Hobby Horse for Best Director in the Polish National Competition, as well as receiving awards for Best Producer of Polish Short and documentary films, the Best Cinematography Award and People’s Choice Award. The film is about the famous Russian gymnast Margarita Mamun and the emotional costs of professional sports. It is produced by Telemark.

CANNES: The 71st  Cannes Film Festival held from 9 to 20 May awarded its top prize the Palme d’Or to the Japanese film Shoplifters directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda. Poland scored twice in the main competition prize lineup with Cold War, a Polish/UK/French coproduction that won the Best Director prize for Pawel Pawlikowski, and as a coproducer of Ayka directed by Sergey Dvortsevoy, which won a prize for Samal Yeslyamova as Best Actress.