The Karlovy Vary IFF (www.kviff.com) appointed Karel Och as the new Artistic Director, replacing 15 year festival veteran Eva Zaoralova. Och's appointment takes effect 1 January 2011. Zaoralova will stay on as Artistic Consultant.
Och, who has been a KVIFF programmer since 2001, previously had charge of the festival's documentary competition, which was notable for an increase in quality under his management. He additionally created retrospectives on Sam Peckinpah, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, as well as a special programme on New Hollywood Cinema. He was promoted to programme director last year. Zaoralova said she had been grooming Och to succeed her.
Zaoralova, along with festival president Jiri Bartoska, was responsible for transforming Karlovy Vary from a tired communist platform to a modern festival that could compete with leading festivals worldwide. Among her many accolades is a recent Medal of Merit awarded by the Czech state.
The festival takes place 1-9 July 2011.