The 58th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Unveils Its Official Selection


The Cannes Film Festival has just ended, and June is nearing its beginning. That means Karlovy Vary International Film Festival’s highest prize—the Crystal Globe—is glittering more than ever. Having attended the festival for the last two years (I will be covering again on behalf of this site), it’s become among my favorite destinations on the festival calendar. Among Europe’s oldest festivals, Karlovy Vary, which runs this year from June 28 to July 6, always provides an incredible combination of major Cannes titles, some festival favorites from Sundance and Berlin, and its unique offering of Eastern Europe’s best filmmakers.   

Along with the already announced retrospective of Franz Kafka-inspired films, this year’s iteration, the 58th edition, features a tempting array of titles from young filmmakers arriving with their first features. Of the 32 films among the official selections, 15 are debuts. 

While the official selections feature rising names, the juries are well-known to many. The Crystal Globe jury is comprised of Academy Award-nominated producer and founder of Killer Films Christine Vachon, Academy Award-winning actor Geoffrey Rush, Hungarian filmmaker Gábor Reisz, Icelandic screenwriter and novelist Sjón (“The Northman”), and Czech actress Eliška Křenková. Among the titles they’ll be surveying are Japanese director Yukihiro Morigaki’s “Rude to Love,” Nelicia Low’s “Pierce,” Peter Hoogendoorn’s “Three Days of Fish,” Lilja Ingolfsdottir’s “Loveable,” Mark Cousins’ “A Sudden Glimpse to Deeper Things,” Beata Parkanová’s “Tiny Lights,” and many more.  

Mark Cousins’ latest film “A Sudden Glimpse to Deeper Things” is set to World Premiere at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Another major highlight is Noaz Deshe’s “Xoftex,” a film set in a Greek refugee camp where Palestinians and Syrians await the chance to find a better life elsewhere. Deshe’s “White Shadow,” about a young Albino kid evading capture, is one of the great contemporary films about child warfare. 

The Proxima competition, meanwhile, will be lead by a jury containing Sudanese director Mohamed Kordofani (“Goodbye Julia”), producer Bianca Balbuena (“Viet and Nam”), the founding director of the Morelia International Film Festival Daniela Michel, founder of Square Eyes Wouter Jansen, and the Head of Programming at Go Short and Adéla Komrzý. Some of the titles include: Pavel G. Vesnakov’s “Windless,” Abdellah Taïa’s “Cab Negro,” Ivana Gloria’s “Chlorophyll,” Anja Kreis’ “The Alienated,” Burak Çevik’s “Nothing in its Place,” Zhengfan Yang’s “Strager,” Paula Ďurinová’s “Lapilli,” Martin Pavol Repka’s “March to May,” Subhadra Mahajan’s “Second Chance,” Victoria Verseau’s “Trans Memoria,” Omer Tobi’s “Tropicana,” and Paolo Tizón’s “Night Has Come.”

In the Special Screenings section are six world premieres, such as Oleh Sentsov’s “Real” and Jiří Mádl’s “Waves.” And even some of the international premieres caught my eyes, like Alireza Ghasemi and Raha Amirfazli’s “In the Land of Brothers”—a Sundance 2024 title about Afghan migrants moving into Iran following a Soviet invasion of their country. It’s a structurally adventurous film, following these migrants over the course of years as they integrate (or don’t) into their new country. 

In the coming weeks, Karlovy Vary will announce additional titles to the lineup, along with recipients of the honorary Crystal Globe—which last year was presented to Russell Crowe, Ewan McGregor, Robin Wright, Alicia Vikander, Patricia Clarkson, and Daniela Kolářová. The trailer of the festival, which prototypically features a former Crystal Globe winner, will also debut. But for now, these rich titles already offer a robust preview for a festival that remains one of the hottest summer festivals. 

For more information, visit the official site of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

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