Karel Och Discusses Strike Impact, Female Representation And More

It’s that time of year again in Europe! With the start of the official summer holiday season approaching, movie fans, film industry professionals, party seekers, and global stars are eagerly anticipating the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF) in the Czech Republic.

The Czech spa town has built a reputation as one of the most significant summer celebrations of film in Central Europe. It shines a spotlight on new releases from the region and far beyond, while also featuring highlights from the film festival circuit over the past year.

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Karel Och
Image Courtesy: Variety

This year marks the 58th edition of the festival. Karel Och, who has served as the artistic director since 2010, and his team have proudly announced 15 directorial or feature-directorial debuts in the official selection, along with numerous world premieres. “There are certain countries in Asia, which haven’t been represented that often. For example, we have a film from Singapore in the main competition [with Nelicia Low’s Pierce]. It shows signs of the place where it was made, but at the same time, it is universal in terms of the story. That is something that we always love to find in films,” Och remarked.

The festival also features a Peruvian film in the Proxima competition, Night Has Come by Paolo Tizón. “It is Peruvian in the sense that this is how you imagine the nature of the country and the filmmaker comes from that country, but it also offers a story, a tale, and a style, which can be completely transferred to any part of the world,” Och explained.

Karel Och
Image Courtesy: Cineuropa

One of the notable aspects of this year’s festival is the significant representation of female filmmakers. “We have seen female filmmakers [account for] 50 per cent of the Proxima competition. That was not at all intended to be reached with quotas, but it is a sign of something,” Och stated, highlighting the organic growth in female representation in the festival’s lineup.

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival continues to be a vital platform for showcasing diverse voices and stories from around the globe. This year’s edition promises to be another exciting celebration of cinema, culture, and creativity in the heart of Europe.

-Sushmita Sarkar