2013 has been an epic year for me in terms of film festival attendance. Along with my habitual movie-watching feasts of Park City (Sundance) and the Superbowl of fests in Cannes, this year’s gorging on films away from home has included SXSW, Panama (2nd edition of iffpanama) and have now landed in the picturesque dwellings of a festival I had wanted to attend for ages. Among the top tier world best film fests which I’ve yet to have attend and have appreciated from afar, the Karlovy Vary Int. Film Festival is up there with Rotterdam, Berlin, Locarno, Sitges and Venice on my must do wish list.
As I’m nowhere near the film fest travel fatigue/grind that some of my confrères (fellow journalists and industry people) face year-in and year-out, my giddiness has yet to subside when breaking bread in a new backdrop. Now in it’s 48th edition, KVIFF easily plays up to my cinephilic tastes as Artistic Director Karel Och has the same fondness for U.S. independent film, which can measured by the number of Sundance (Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station, David Lowery’s Aint Them Bodies Saints, Stacie Passon’s Concussion, David Gordon Green’s Prince Avalanche and Chad Hartigan’s This is Martin Bonner) and Tribeca (Lance Edmands’ Bluebird, Sam Fleischner’s Stand Clear of the Closing Doors) invited items and is perhaps best exemplified in the decision to honoring the works of the pioneering Jerry Schatzberg (The Panic in Needle Park) and a decade’s worth of works from the Borderline Films trio.
I’ll hardly be touching the Main Competition section (fourteen will be competing for the Crystal Globe) but my slate for the next week will see me dabbling in a handful of items curated in Variety’s Ten Euro Directors to Watch section, I’ll catch some Berlin Film Fest items such as Bruno Dumont, Denis Cote and Wong Kar-Wai’s latest, will assist in tributes to Schatzberg and Oliver Stone and will see how Trier’s Reprise, Haneke’s Code Unknown, and Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby might have helped shape filmmakers Josh Mond, Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin. Stay tuned folks for more daily coverage!