Five Varied Czech Films in Competitive Sections at Karlovy Vary IFF 2010

    Prague, June 7, 2010 - A total of five Czech movies have been selected for the competitive sections of the 45th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, which is set to take place from July 2 - 10, 2010. Many more Czech films will also be presented in non-competitive sections. Director Juraj Herz will receive the traditional Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema this year.

    Karlovy Vary IFF will present two Czech works in the Official Selection - Competition section for feature films, both as world premieres. The first is Tomáš Mašín's feature debut 3 Seasons in Hell, inspired by the life of one of the Czechoslovak literary scene's most renowned personalities, Egon Bondy. The second is Jan Svěrák's most recent effort, Kooky, combining live actors and animation in a story bursting with action scenes and hilarious dialog. Jan Svěrák's last film, Empties, won the Audience Award and Special Jury Mention at Karlovy Vary in 2007.
    Helena Třeštíková's latest time-lapse documentary, Katka, will compete for Best Documentary Film in the 30-minute-plus category. The work is the product of 14 years of filming the ups and downs of the titular protagonist in her battle with drug addiction.

    Director Jitka Rudolfová will present the world premiere of her first feature film, Dreamers, in the prestigious East of the West section. Rudolfová, who studied under Věra Chytilová and is considered one of Czech cinema's most distinctive talents, made a realistic comedy about self-searching thirtysomethings who know what they don't want in life but have yet to figure out what they do want.
    And lastly, the road movie Twosome, Jaroslav Fuit's low-budget writer-director debut, will be screened in the Forum of Independents competitive section. Lauded by Czech critics, it tells the story of a young couple whose routine life together is put to an unexpected test during a trip to Scandinavia.
    The Czech Film 2009-2010 section will screen the following movies from the last filmmaking season: Unknown Hour (dir. Dan Svátek), Kawasaki's Rose (dir. Jan Hřebejk), Foxes (dir. Mira Fornay), In the Attic: Who Has a Birthday Today? (dir. Jiří Barta), Normal: The Düsseldorf Ripper (dir. Julius Ševčík), Protektor (dir. Marek Najbrt), An Earthly Paradise for the Eyes (dir. Irena Pavlásková), Tomorrow There Will Be... (dir. Jan Hřebejk) and Women in Temptation (dir. Jiří Vejdělek).
    The enlightening Documentary Films - Out of Competition section includes the films Cinematherapy (dir. Ivan Vojnár), Czech Peace (dir. Vít Klusák, Filip Remunda), Catenaccio à la Drnovice (dir. Radim Procházka), Heaven, Hell (dir. David Čálek) and Eye over Prague (dir. Olga Špátová).
    Robert Sedláček's political satire Men in the Rut has been selected for the celebrated Variety Critics' Choice section, organized in collaboration with Variety magazine and European Film Promotion.
    Short film Saharan Sands (dir. Josef Tuka) has been selected for the collection presented under the heading The Best of the Prague Short Film Festival and the animation A Tear Is Needed (dir. Kristina Dufková) for The Fresh Selection - Promising Five.

    The Tribute to Karel Vachek, presenting a complete retrospective of the Czech director's works, is sure to be a big attraction, as well. Audiences can look forward to seeing Moravian Hellas (1963), Elective Affinities (1968), New Hyperion or Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood (1992), What Is to Be Done? A Journey from Prague to Český Krumlov, or How I Formed a New Government (1996), Bohemia Docta or The Labyrinth of the World and the Lust-house of the Heart. A Divine Comedy (2000), Who Will Watch the Watchman? Dalibor, or the Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin (2002), Záviš, the Prince of Pornofolk Under the Influence of Griffith's Intolerance and Tati's Monsieur Hulot's Holiday or the Establition and Doom of Czechoslovakia 1918-1992 (2006).
    Additionally, the festival will screen a collection of films made by people with developmental disabilities in collaboration with NGO Inventura.

    At the 45th Karlovy Vary IFF 2010, the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema will be presented to director Juraj Herz, a filmmaker who has shot over 25 feature films in his career, many of which were awarded at prestigious festivals. His drama Oil Lamps (1971) will be screened at the festival to mark the occasion.

    Juraj Herz entered the world of Czech filmmaking in the opportune 1960s. He graduated in photography from Bratislava's School of Applied Arts, and in direction from the puppeteering department of Prague's Academy of Performing Arts. He debuted in 1965 with the medium-length film The Junk Shop based on a work by Bohumil Hrabal. In 1968, he shot the award-winning movie version of Ladislav Fuks' novel The Cremator. Another successful work, an adaptation of the novel by Jaroslav Havlíček starring Iva Janžurová, Oil Lamps (1971), was selected to compete at the Cannes IFF. His lifelong passion for stories full of mystery and suspense turned up in both Morgiana (1972) and the fairytales The Ninth Heart and Beauty and the Beast (1978). He is also considered to have created the first modern Czech horror film, The Vampire of Ferat (1982). After The Magpie in the Wisp was banned in 1984, Herz shot films in Slovakia. Since 1987 he has lived and worked in Germany, where he shoots mainly made-for-TV movies and series.
    In 1986, Herz was honored at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival for the drama The Night Overtook Me. In 2009, the festival world-premiered the horror film Darkness (T.M.A.). The director has recently finished the German-Czech coproduction Habermann's Mill.

    Daniela Havránková
    Czech Film Center
    tel.: +420 221 105 398
    e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.