Ondřej Provazník and Martin Dušek make their feature-film debut out of competition at the 54th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival with the world premiere of Old-Timers, the dramatic story of two aging former political prisoners who set out in a camper van with the goal of finding and killing the communist prosecutor who sent the nation’s elite to its death. Jiří Schmitzer and Ladislav Mrkvička excel in this unusual road-movie.

Following its successful premiere at Cannes, Helena Třeštíková and Jakub Hejna will also present the Czech premiere out of competition of their biographical documentary about the most important Czech filmmaker Forman vs. Forman. A Czech documentary veteran Olga Sommerová, will present the world premiere of her portrait of the leading figure of Czech culture, Jiří Suchý – Tackling Life with Ease.

Karlovy Vary will host the world premiere of the US-based Czech filmmaker Martin Krejčí’s long-anticipated feature-length debut The True Adventures of Wolfboy, starring Jaeden Martel, Eve Hewson and John Turturro.

This year’s KVIFF President’s Award laureate, the outstanding cinematographer Vladimír Smutný, will present an example of his work, Jiří Svoboda’s period drama The Downfall of the Secluded Berhof (1983), which was based on the book by Vladimír Körner.

Australia will be represented out of competition by the European premiere of Mystify: Michael Hutchence, a documentary look at the complicated inner life of the charismatic lead singer of Australian rock band INXS.


Mystify: Michael Hutchence / Mystify: Michael Hutchence / Mystify: Michael Hutchence

Director: Richard Lowenstein
Australia, 2019, 108 min, European premiere

A documentary journey into the complicated inner world of Michael Hutchence, the charismatic frontman of the Australian band INXS, whose popularity peaked in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Director Richard Lowenstein elegantly combines home movies and news reports with concert footage and interviews with friends, colleagues, and former girlfriends – those to whom the famous singer revealed his true self.

Staříci / Old-Timers / Staříci

Director: Martin Dušek, Ondřej Provazník
Czech Republic, 2019, World premiere

Vlasta and Tonda don’t have much longer to live but they do have one more important task ahead of them – to find and kill the communist judge who sent them to prison in the 1950s. An unusual road movie about two former political prisoners who fight for justice despite every obstacle.

The True Adventures of Wolfboy / The True Adventures of Wolfboy / Podivuhodná dobrodružství Paula Harkera

Director: Martin Krejčí
USA, 2019, 98 min, World premiere

Paul, the protagonist of Martin Krejčí’s eagerly anticipated feature debut, is growing up with his father. Making friends is practically impossible because he looks drastically different from his peers: he has the condition known as congenital hypertrichosis, meaning that he suffers from an abnormal amount of hair growth. On his thirteenth birthday, Paul decides to seek out his mother in order to get answers to unasked questions.

Karlovy Vary IFF 2019 SPECIAL EVENTS

Bez vědomí / The Sleepers / Bez vědomí

Director: Ivan Zachariáš
Czech Republic, 2019, 120 min, World premiere

October 1989. Violinist Marie and her politically engaged husband set out from London for Prague. But was their decision to dive into the pre-revolutionary chaos perhaps a bit too hasty? The communists are still in power, and the couple’s anti-communist past can still lead to unpleasant consequences… The first two parts of this HBO Europe spy miniseries are being presented at KVIFF as an exclusive pre-premiere.

Forman vs. Forman / Forman vs. Forman / Forman vs. Forman

Director: Helena Třeštíková, Jakub Hejna
Czech Republic, France, 2019, 78 min

Forman vs. Forman is a comprehensive portrait of the Oscar-winning Czech director. The movie is unique for its ingenious compilation of images drawing on existing footage and also on hitherto unknown shots discovered in the collections of friends and colleagues. On set and in interviews the filmmaker contemplates the notion of freedom and its limitations.

Jiří Suchý – Lehce s životem se prát / Jiří Suchý – Tackling Life with Ease / Jiří Suchý – Lehce s životem se prát

Director: Olga Sommerová
Czech Republic, 2019, 104 min, World premiere

Jiří Suchý. Theatre personality, musician, poet, writer, graphic artist, collector, citizen. One of the key figures of the domestic cultural scene over the last six decades and a tireless campaigner for the enrichment of the Czech language. Olga Sommerová’s documentary presents a portrait of an artist and a man – a portrait of our times.

Zánik samoty Berhof / The Downfall of the Secluded Berhof / Zánik samoty Berhof

Director: Jiří Svoboda
Czechoslovakia, Poland, 1983, 98 min

The war is finally over but the atmosphere is still tense. Ulrika lives in a secluded spot in the mountains near the German border, condemned to coexist with her boorish father after her mother’s death. One day a German nun bursts into the house accompanied by three young Wehrmacht soldiers; she has to get them back home whatever the cost. The drama, which draws together characters variously deformed by circumstance, is compelling for its deliberately restrained direction, masterfully paced suspense, and its evocative depiction of an utterly bleak environment.

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