Established in 1946 in the Czech Republic spa town also known as Carlsbad, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF) is one of the oldest international film festivals and has undergone significant transformations throughout its 61-year history. Between 1948 and 1989, when it was organized by the state (then Czechoslovakia), it featured mainly films from the Soviet bloc. From 1959 to 1993, it alternated years with the Moscow Film Festival. After the political changes of 1989 and the multiparty free elections of 1990, the festival started a new era, and in 1993 an independent foundation was established to support it. Jirí Bartoska, noted Czech actor, and Eva Zaoralová, a cultural columnist and film critic, took over the administration and organization, reenergizing the KVIFF and making its annual early-July appearance an important date for the international film community. One of the festival’s most successful recent initiatives is based on the Czech Republic’s advantageous geopolitical location at the crossroads of Eastern and Western Europe; the festival now regularly introduces the West to the cinema of Central and Eastern Europe by highlighting the region’s cinema in all of its programs and establishing a special competitive section, “East of the West,” for new fiction and documentary films, from Hungary in the “West” to Azerbaijan in the “East.” This exhibition introduces New York audiences to four films from Eastern Europe that were discovered at the KVIFF over the past two years.
Organized by Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator, Department of Film, with the help of the KVIFF Program Department (Eva Zaoralová, Julietta Zacharova, Ivana Novotna, Karel Och).
Thanks to the producers and directors of the four films in this exhibition.