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Despite the crisis, Balkan cinema celebrates at 47th Karlovy Vary
29 June 2012
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Karlovy Vary, one of the oldest and most prestigious IFF, each year presents over 180 feature films from all over the world. Karlovy Vary opens June 29 and will present 217 films and 22 world premieres until July 7.

Apart from the films in the special retrospectives, many of the movies are screened as world, international or European premieres. Once again this year, audiences will enjoy the competition and non-competition sections, very interesting retrospectives and for the industry only the Works in Progress.

Eight world premieres and four international premieres will be competing in the main competition at the Karlovy Vary IFF, which will also be profiling four talented debut directors. In the Official Selection can be included only films made after January 1, 2011 which are presented as world, international or European premieres.
The Grand Jury for the Official Selection in Competition will be presided over by Richard Pena of the Film Society of Lincoln Center  with members the producer Maria Hatzakou of Haos Films (“Attenberg”, “Alps”) the Croatian director Rajko Grlic, Palestinian-Israeli actor Makram Khoury, Polish writer-director Joanna Kos-Krauze, educator Ivo Mathe, and Quebecois actor Francois Papineau.

Greece, against all odds still attracts international attention for its original and innovative film projects.
Ektoras Lygizos` first feature Boy Eating the Bird’s Food competes for the Crystal Globe alongside with 11 other films from all over the world.
"The original, eagerly anticipated debut from one of the greatest talents of Greek film powerfully investigates three days in the life of an Athens boy who is without a job, a girlfriend, or anything to eat. Showing the importance of maintaining human dignity during a time of crisis", according to Karlovy Vary film page.  And the selection committee continues "Directors from countries severely affected by the economic crisis have also opted for unconventional modes of cinematic storytelling. The Bressonesque existential drama by debuting director Ektoras Lygizos Boy Eating the Bird´s Food is one of the more radical allegorical films to come out of Greece, a country currently producing some of the most interesting works to figure on the international festival circuit". 

East of the West – Films in Competition focuses on first and second films by filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe accepting International and European premieres only. Balkan countries will be represented by the following films: 
Practical Guide to Belgrade, by Bojan Vuletić (Serbia)

In Documentary Films in Competition section  the film Sofia΄s Last Ambulance, by Ilian Metev (Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany) is chosen. 
"In his observational documentary, award-winning director Ilian Metev offers us a highly authentic look at the exhausting and often frustrating work of Sofia’s three-member ambulance crews as they rush to save the lives of people in need in the Bulgarian capital". 

Death of a Man in Balkans by Miroslav Momčilović (Serbia) is chosen to be screened at best indies` section, Forum of Independents, where  independent films from around the world compete for the Independent Camera Award presented in collaboration with Czech Television . "Shot entirely in one take the film follows a lonely composer committing suicide in his apartment. This original, low-budget movie is described as a window onto the Balkan mentality".  

Non-competitive categories

Horizons section where recent productions from around the world, including award-winning films from major festivals will host three Balkan movies.
Cristian Mungiu΄ s Beyond the Hills (Romania, France, Belgium)- Best Screenplay, and Best Actress shared by the two female leads at the Cannes festival  2012.
The debut feature of Emin AlperBeyond the Hill (Turkey, Greece) which won two awards at this year’s Berlinale. 
Alps by Yorgos Lanthimos (Greece), Sydney Film Festival First Prize 2012 
Maja Miloš` feature film debut Clip (Serbia) and L by Babis Makridis are featured in the Another View section, where films displaying unusual artistic approaches are presented.
Variety´s Ten Euro Directors to Watch section hosts the slovenian film Trip, by Nejc Gazvoda.  

Reha Erdem Retrospective

As part of its 47th edition, the Karlovy Vary IFF will focus on one of the most outstanding contemporary Turkish directors and screenwriters, Reha Erdem, screening 6 films out of his filmography:

My Only Sunshine (Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece) is a dreamy film about harsh realities. One of the most beautiful odes to the Bosphorus, the work unfolds the tale of 14-year-old Hayat who lives on a creek with her fisherman-smuggler father and sick grandfather.

Oh, Moon (Turkey)
Reha Erdem’s surreal and poetic first feature, a cult hit in Turkey, reveals a passionate young director obviously enchanted by the artistic possibilities of cinema. Shaped around an old Istanbul family myth, the film offers the tale of an 11-year-old girl who lives in a castle-like mansion on the Bosphorus. There, every night, she sees her dead mother pass by in a small boat.

Building a cinematic structure based on the village azan (call to prayer), the director follow cultural and natural cycles via the lives of three friends in early adolescence. The gracefully framed pastoral beauty of this minimalist film is accompanied by the celestial music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt.

Cosmos (Turkey, Bulgaria) A mysterious, half-lunatic stranger (a shaman?) arrives at a snowy border town.... This time around, Reha Erdem has put the theme of the conflict between society and the individual in a context of cosmic lyricism. While the expressive sound design supports the town’s uneasy atmosphere, the visuals alternate between views of life, death, and eternity.

Run for money (Turkey)
A fastpaced, dynamic suspense film about an upright family man who doesn’t know how to deal with the huge sum of money he finds in a taxi. He hesitates for just a moment and that instant of moral “identity quake” grows and grows in his mind until Istanbul becomes an eerie and desolate labyrinth

Mommy, I’m scared (Turkey) is a "sweet pie" made up of childhood traumas, fears caused by the steps to manhood, and questions surrounding one’s relationship to one’s own body. Focusing on a group of families, friends, and neighbors, the storyline is set in a nostalgic, romanticized, and colorized version of the "Istanbul neighborhood."

Vassiliki Mamaloukou
  My Only Sunshine
  Times and Winds
  Practical Guide to Belgrade with Singing and Crying
  Beyond the Hills
  A Trip
  Beyond the Hill
  Sofia`s Last Ambulance
  Death Of A Man In Balkans
  Somewhere in Palilula
  Boy Eating the Bird`s Food
  Cristian Mungiu
  Bojan Vuletic
  Maja Milos
  Ektoras Lygizos
  Babis Makridis
  Yorgos Lanthimos
  Maria Hatzakou
  Rajko Grlic
  Reha Erdem
  Nejc Gazvoda
  Emin Alper
  Miroslav Momcilovic
  Ilian Metev
  Silviu Purcarete
  9th Works in Progress at 47th KVIFF
  KVIFF Practical Guide to Belgrade with Singing and Crying Page
  KVIFF Somewhere in Palilula Page
  KVIFF Boy Eating The Bird`s Food Page
  KVIFF Death of a Man in Balkans Page
  KVIFF Sofia`s Last Ambulance Page
  altcine Explore movies by Country People To read
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