The lineup was revealed today for 51st Karlovy Vary IFF 2016, and includes the last film of the recently deceased Czech legend Jan Nemec The Wolf from Royal Vineyard Street.
One of the KVIFF’s most faithful filmmakers Jan Hrebejk will introduce his Slovak-Czech drama The Teacher, and three years after his huge hit Viva la Libertà Roberto Andò is returning to Karlovy Vary with The Confessions. Outstanding debut films from Turkey, Poland and Canada will complete the selection.
51st Karlovy Vary IFF Lineup
OFFICIAL SELECTION – COMPETITION
Babamın Kanatları / My Father’s Wings / Otcova křídla
Director: Kıvanç Sezer
Turkey, 2016, 101 min, World premiere
Set against the backdrop of construction activity promising to fill in the empty spaces of the urban landscape with entirely new neighborhoods, a story unfolds of an aging construction worker who, unlike his peers, has to drop all plans for the future after being diagnosed with a malignant tumor. This self-assured debut contemplates the dignity of the individual within the context of modern Turkish society.
Le confessioni / The Confessions / Zpovědi
Director: Roberto Andò
Italy, France, 2016, 103 min, International premiere
A charismatic monk named Roberto Salus (the excellent Toni Servillo) is a guest at a meeting of G8 finance ministers held at a luxury hotel on the Baltic coast. But who invited the taciturn friar in the snow-white habit? And who killed one of the financiers who are planning radical changes to the world economic order? A stylistically-polished philosophical suspense drama from the director of the hit Viva la Libertà (KVIFF 2013).
Dincolo de calea ferata / By the Rails / U trati
Director: Cătălin Mitulescu
Romania, Italy, 2015, 88 min, International premiere
Adrian left for a year’s work abroad to help his family financially but when he returns home nothing is like it was before. His wife acts so differently, it’s as if they were never married. In his third feature, director Cătălin Mitulescu becomes an observer of that key moment when a love relationship teeters on the fine line between breaking up and beginning anew.
Ernelláék Farkaséknál / It’s not The Time of My Life / Rodinné štěstí
Director: Szabolcs Hajdu
Hungary, 2016, 81 min, World premiere
The renowned Hungarian filmmaker (White Palms, Bibliothèque Pascal) has come out with an intimate study of two families thrown together by circumstance to temporarily share an unusual apartment. This independent movie – outstanding for its inventive production, precisely limned characters, and performances that get under the skin – draws faithfully on the work of Cassavetes and Bergman.
Fale / Waves / Vlny
Director: Grzegorz Zariczny
Poland, 2016, 78 min, World premiere
Ania and Kasia are hairstyling apprentices spending time between school, shifts at a salon in a deserted Kraków housing complex, and home, where relations with parents are far from harmonious. The story of two likably headstrong girls on their way to adulthood was shot with an emphasis on authenticity, and it can’t help but recall the best work of the Czechoslovak New Wave.
Gleissendes Glück / Original Bliss / Prvotní štěstí
Director: Sven Taddicken
Germany, 2016, 97 min, World premiere
Helen Brindle’s childless marriage bears no traces of happiness, and the somber woman has also lost her faith in God. Liberation from the emotional trap of gloomy thoughts and insomnia has its price, however, when it one day appears in the person of charismatic psychologist Edward Gluck. Martina Gedeck (The Lives of Others), Ulrich Tukur (The White Ribbon), and Johannes Krisch (Revanche) star in an uncommon psychological romance based on the novel of the same name by renowned Scottish author A. L. Kennedy.
Nočno življenje / Nightlife / Noční život
Director: Damjan Kozole
Slovenia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2016, 85 min, World premiere
The lives of a wealthy married couple radically change in an instant. While the husband is in critical condition after an accident that occurred under strange circumstances, the wife tries to understand the situation and to salvage what she can… In this constricted, small-scale drama by a renowned Slovenian filmmaker, Pia Zemljič excels in the role of the resourceful wife.
La propera pell / The Next Skin / Nová kůže
Director: Isaki Lacuesta, Isa Campo
Spain, Switzerland, 2016, 103 min, International premiere
For many years no one knew what happened to nine-year-old Gabriel after a mysterious accident in the mountains. Years later the now teenage boy suddenly appears pleading a case of amnesia. Are we witnessing the return of a real son searching for his identity or the strategic calculations of an imposter?
Učiteľka / The Teacher / Učitelka
Director: Jan Hřebejk
Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, 2016, 102 min, World premiere
The principal of an elementary school calls a special parents meeting after it’s alleged that the seemingly empathetic and kindly-looking teacher Mrs. Drazděchová uses her students to manipulate their parents. Although this confidently-directed drama is set in the era of late Czechoslovak Normalization, the multifaceted study of pathological manipulation has universal applicability.
Vlk z Královských Vinohrad / The Wolf from Royal Vineyard Street / Vlk z Královských Vinohrad
Director: Jan Němec
Czech Republic, Slovakia, France, 2016, 68 min, World premiere
“Our life zips by faster than our recollections of it”, stated Jan Němec (1936–2016), internationally celebrated Czech director. A true original, the hard-headed and hard-nosed rebel adapted his own quasi-autobiographical short stories into his final film to give us a dejected comedy, an unsentimental reminiscence, and a nonchalant settling of scores in punk regalia. Both the movie and its maker defy categorization.
We’re Still Together / We’re Still Together / Pořád spolu
Director: Jesse Klein
Canada, 2016, 82 min, World premiere
Chris can’t go on. His classmates bully him, the girls don’t know he’s alive, and his mother doesn’t understand him. When he’s attacked by a gang of boys and unexpectedly finds an ally in a young stranger, he’d be happy to take off with him. After having completely new experiences Chris finds out that Bobby may be more needy than he thought.
Zoologiya / Zoology / Zoologie
Director: Ivan I. Tverdovsky
Russia, France, Germany, 2016, 90 min, International premiere
Natasha is a lonely, middle-aged admin employee at the zoo who still lives at home with her mother. One day her life is turned upside down when she discovers she has grown a tail… A realistically structured story into which the director deftly inserts a fantastic motif in a film that speaks of loneliness, otherness, fear, and also of the courage to be different.
TEN DEBUTS AND TWO SECOND FILMS WILL BE INTRODUCED IN THIS YEAR’S EAST OF THE WEST – COMPETITION
East of the West-Competition will be opened by original, action-packed dark comedy Kills on Wheels by Attila Till about wheelchair users who form a gang of hired assassins. There is a strong female element among this year’s twelve films, including dynamic Estonian debut Days That Confused by Triin Ruumet, or atmospheric auteurist work House of Others by Rusudan Glurjidze. Czech contender in this year´s selection will be psychological drama with horror elements The Noonday Witch.
EAST OF THE WEST – COMPETITION
Amžinai kartu / Together For Ever / Navždy spolu
Director: Lina Lužytė
Lithuania, Romania, 2016, 88 min, World premiere
A three-member family forms a fragile association of isolated individuals who desire love and understanding without knowing how to find it. And so together they spin a web of white lies that merely manage to pour salt into unhealed wounds. A writer-director debut for a Lithuanian helmer that investigates loneliness and the battle to escape it.
Dublu / Double / Pod tlakem
Director: Catrinel Dănăiaƫă
Romania, 2015, 100 min, International premiere
At first glance it seems that George has everything he wants in life: a beautiful girlfriend, an interesting job, and there are always enough friends around to go for drinks. Under the surface of this well-ordered world, however, lurks something self-destructive that has to be dealt with. And George is the only one who can find his way out of this crisis.
Eşik / Verge / Na hraně
Director: Ayhan Salar, Erkan Tahhuşoğlu
Turkey, Germany, 2016, 83 min, World premiere
A young woman waits for her husband to return from one of his regular business trips. However, he never shows up, and her joyful anticipation of seeing him develops into questioning concern and ultimately paralysing fear. The empty apartment becomes a labyrinth of memory and expectation, its silence broken only by the agonising sound of car engines, none of which announce her husband’s arrival…
Home Sweet Home / Home Sweet Home / Všude dobře, doma nejlíp
Director: Faton Bajraktari
Kosovo, Macedonia, 2016, 90 min, International premiere
Agron was long considered dead. His army buddies saw him die during the Kosovo conflict, and thus his return home is beyond surprising. Joy, however, soon shifts to a consideration of practical problems, and the man is forced by a variety of circumstances to remain dead – at least officially. His home thus becomes the backdrop for a portrayal of the myriad problems facing postwar society.
Houston, imamo problem! / Houston, We Have a Problem! / Houstone, máme problém!
Director: Žiga Virc
Slovenia, Croatia, Germany, Czech Republic, Qatar, 2016, 88 min, European premiere
Tito, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, and Clinton in a narrative docu-fiction about Yugoslavia’s hitherto secret space program, which aimed to put American astronauts on the Moon and thereby win the Cold War. Can eyewitnesses unravel the web of lies, dirty political games, and conspiracy theories?
Kamper / Kamper / Kamper
Director: Łukasz Grzegorzek
Poland, 2016, 89 min, World premiere
This acerbic relationship comedy about a young married couple draws together the sad truths about the difficulties of intimate relationships from which the initial passion has evaporated but it’s still too early to submit to stereotypes. This Polish directing debut provides a sensitive generational perspective with a catchy soundtrack.
Kollektor / Collector / Vymahač
Director: Alexei Krasovskiy
Russia, 2016, 74 min, International premiere
An unscrupulous debt collector who is a prominent member of the Moscow elite has just a few hours to refute an accusation that might cost him his job and his life. A giddy ride to moral depths from which there is no return – a bravura debut which owes its strength to the performance of its sole actor.
Luuraja ja luuletaja / The Spy and the Poet / Špion a básník
Director: Toomas Hussar
Estonia, 2016, 95 min, World premiere
One evening, Gustav, a secret agent and hard-boiled loner, rescues a woman who turns out to be a decoy for Russian intelligence. The game of cat-and-mouse he decides to play gets considerably more complicated when he receives orders to succumb to her charms… An Estonian flick that impishly balances on the borderline between thriller and black comedy.
Päevad, mis ajasid segadusse / The Days That Confused / Zmatené dny
Director: Triin Ruumet
Estonia, 2016, 105 min, International premiere
Allar, 27, and his friends spend their lives in their Estonian small town goofing off, getting drunk, and driving as if there’s no tomorrow. When one of their outings ends in an accident, Allar begins to reflect on his life. The journey to finding meaning, however, is full of twists and turns… With the help of bold music and visuals, the debuting Estonian director takes the viewer on a dynamic ride through the wild nineties, while also following the struggles of a searching mind.
Polednice / The Noonday Witch / Polednice
Director: Jiří Sádek
Czech Republic, 2016, 90 min, International premiere
Eliška moves back with her daughter Karolínka to her husband’s native village. But something strange is going on and, as the temperature rises, Eliška becomes increasingly jittery. Fear is all-pervading and spectres move freely between dream and reality. The Noonday Witch is both an atmospheric horror film and a psychological drama, deftly toying with the viewer’s senses.
Skhvisi sakhli / House of Others / Dům těch druhých
Director: Rusudan Glurjidze
Georgia, Russia, Spain, Croatia, 2016, 103 min, World premiere
They managed to survive the war and, as winners, they are assigned houses that were swiftly abandoned by others. In their new environment filled with old memories and unfamiliar objects they’re about to start a new, contented life. But it soon becomes clear that the hardest battle is yet to be won. A quasi-autobiographical debut from an extraordinarily talented Georgian director.
Tiszta szívvel / Kills on Wheels / Takoví normální vozíčkáři
Director: Attila Till
Hungary, 2016, 105 min, International premiere
Two disabled lads get together with an ex-fireman and form a gang of hired assassins. But, as is the way with life, the reality is a little more prosaic… Attila Till has come up with an original, action-packed comedy which deftly blends reality and fantasy and whose black humour places it right up there with the audience hit The Art of Negative Thinking.
TWO CZECH DOCS AND THE NEWEST FILM BY VITALY MANSKY IN THE DOCUMENTARY FILMS – COMPETITION AT THE 51ST KARLOVY VARY IFF
Three World premieres – Normal Autistic Film by Miroslav Janek, FC Roma by Tomáš Bojar and Rozálie Kohoutová, and Close Relations by Vitaly Mansky – will be presented to Karlovy Vary audience in the Documentary Films – Competition. Documentaries Tower, a dramatic reconstruction of the first mediatized school massacre in the United States enhanced with masterful rotoscope animation, or Whose Country?, a scathing report on a shocking role police played before, during and after Egyptian Revolution, are also included among twelve films from all around the world.
DOCUMENTARY FILMS – COMPETITION
All These Sleepless Nights / All These Sleepless Nights / Probdělé noci
Director: Michał Marczak
Poland, United Kingdom, 2016, 100 min, European premiere
With his portrait of Warsaw youths Krzysztof and Michał, the nonconformist Polish director, who continually veers from the traditional parameters of documentary filmmaking toward hybrid forms, pays tribute to the generation of twentysomethings that grabs life by the horns each day, even after the rest of the town has gone to sleep. This formally elegant film fully pulses to the rhythm of their tempo, whether tinny techno or melodic house is laying down the rhythm.
Ama-San / Ama-San / Ama-San
Director: Cláudia Varejão
Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, 2016, 113 min, European premiere
This lightly lyrical documentary takes us to a remote corner of Japan, where a community of traditional pearl hunters sets out to sea each day to dive down several metres below the surface in search of shellfish, octopuses, sea urchins and lobsters. If we adjust our breathing rhythm to the tranquil tempo of the passing scenes we will be rewarded with a fascinating world where, in equal measure, time-honoured rituals and companionable warmth introduce a sense of requisite harmony.
Balad Meen? / Whose Country? / Země koho?
Director: Mohamed Siam
Egypt, USA, France, 2016, 60 min, European premiere
A young Egyptian filmmaker turns in a scathing report on the dissolution of his homeland, whose people had barely tasted their suddenly-acquired freedom when they found themselves choking on the turbulent events of the months that followed.
The candid testimony of plainclothes police officers, the cornerstone of the old system, reveals the waning enthusiasm after the early post-revolution period and offers a bleak look at Egypt’s future.
FC Roma / FC Roma / FC Roma
Director: Tomáš Bojar, Rozálie Kohoutová
Czech Republic, 2016, 76 min, World premiere
Last season, when a new team, consisting primarily of Romany players, made it into the lowest Czech football league, most of their opponents decided to boycott them. Will the FC Roma teammates be able to convince everyone that they’re not a bunch of ruffians from the fringes of society and that they just want to play football?
LoveTrue / LoveTrue / LoveTrue
Director: Alma Har’el
USA, 2016, 82 min, European premiere
The highly anticipated sophomore effort from an Israeli director who has returned five years after her successful debut BombayBeach, this time to uncover the essence of something as universal as the emotion of love. A documentary essay interweaving three true life stories and exposing naïve notions of the existence of “true” love that is free of pain.
Normální autistický film / Normal Autistic Film / Normální autistický film
Director: Miroslav Janek
Czech Republic, 2016, 90 min, World premiere
A foremost Czech documentarist with a unique authorial vision challenges us once and for all to stop perceiving autism as a medical diagnosis. Let’s take hold of the surrounding chaos and overload our senses! In such a state one may understand autism as a fascinating way of thinking that’s often maddeningly difficult to decipher.
La permanence / On Call / Ambulance
Director: Alice Diop
France, 2016, 96 min, International premiere
This exquisitely measured, softly engaging documentary observes the events at a suburban Parisian doctor’s office where free consulting services are offered to immigrants from around the world. Dedicated to his profession, the internist provides them with a safe haven that prevents their lives from hitting rock bottom.
Rodnye / Close Relations / Příbuzní
Director: Vitaly Mansky
Germany, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, 2016, 112 min, World premiere
“I became a Russian citizen simply because I happened to live in Moscow when the Soviet Union broke apart,” says the celebrated Ukrainian documentarist.
A few decades later his family in Ukraine face the dramatic consequences of further turbulent change, and their fresh experience of the revolution shows us that the media presentation of the country’s east-west dichotomy is deeply flawed.
Solar / Solar / Solar
Director: Manuel Abramovich
Argentina, 2016, 75 min, International premiere
When 10-year-old Flavio Cabobianco published a New Age book with his brother in 1991, it became a nationwide sensation. But what if underneath it all the supposed child prodigy was, in fact, merely a lonely, wounded little soul? And how do you defy Flavio’s ambitions now that he is an adult and might choose to shake off his protagonist’s role and plonk himself down in the director’s chair? Let the remorseless tug-of-war for creative control begin…
Tower / Tower / Věž
Director: Keith Maitland
USA, 2016, 83 min, European premiere
August 1, 1966, a hot day in Austin, Texas. An unknown shooter occupies the upper floor of the clock tower on the university campus and begins firing at passersby. Outstanding rotoscope animation enhances this reconstruction of the first mediatized school massacre in the United States.
Transit Havana / Transit Havana / Transit Havana
Director: Daniel Abma
Germany, Netherlands, 2016, 88 min, International premiere
“Homophobia no, socialismo si!” shouts the official slogan of progressive Cuban politics. Thus, once a year, top plastic surgeons are invited to Havana to fulfil the dreams of five inhabitants eager for sex reassignment surgery. A full-blooded documentary that tracks the obstacles three candidates face on the way to attaining a procedure they have so long desired.
El último verano / The Last Summer / Poslední léto
Director: Leire Apellaniz López
Spain, 2016, 93 min, European premiere
Miguel Ángel, an itinerant projectionist who fell in love with celluloid in his young days, witnessed the arrival of digital film projection and is slowly coming to terms with the fact that, for his small business, the coming summer season may be his last. This observational film tells a very human story which intersects with an account of a profession in inevitable decline.