EXCLUSIVE: Organizers of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Central and Eastern Europe’s leading film event, have told us they don’t intend to move off their usual July dates despite the new overlap with Cannes.
The Cannes Film Festival this week moved off its traditional May dates to July 6-17. Popular Czech festival Karlovy Vary is due to run July 2-10.
Executive Director Kryštof Mucha and Artistic Director Karel Och told us: “At the moment, we are not considering changing the dates of the 55th Karlovy Vary IFF. We are closely monitoring the development of the coronavirus situation both in the Czech Republic and abroad, and should we at some point discuss postponing the festival to the later part of the summer break, the exclusive reason will be a bigger flexibility in terms of cinema occupancy, that is to say to offer to our audience, KVIFF’s most important asset, an atmosphere and a comfort closer to the festival they know.”
This week the Czech government announced it would introduce tougher anti-Covid measures. Cases remain high in the country with more than 8,000 new cases registered yesterday.
Karlovy Vary generally hosts up to 200 films and more than 1000 industry and media guests. The event, which takes place in a picturesque Czech spa town, shifts more than 100,000 tickets annually and has welcomed stars including Robert Redford, Robert de Niro, Michael Douglas, Judi Dench, Susan Sarandon, William Friedkin, Miloš Forman, Stephen Frears and Oliver Stone.
While it’s pretty much unheard of to have two major film festivals taking place at the same time, amid so much uncertainty, having multiple options on the table – for those unable or unwilling to travel abroad, for example – could turn out to be a good thing. And come July, no one will be complaining if Europe is lucky enough to be in a position to host two major film events, anyway.