Today we spoke to Karel Och, Artistic Director of the


DEADLINE  • 29 March 2013 


Karel Och, Artistic Director, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

This year we have a special program called ‘Imagina’ and it focuses on films which, if I wanted to simplify, I would call them experimental but let’s say films with a highly unusual narrative – something similar to Wavelengths which is a program in Toronto Film Festival. It is a new place where we are looking for more underground or avant-garde films from filmmakers.

None of the film festivals like to be compared to one another because it is virtually impossible to compare given the rich history of every festival – I mean, I am talking about the traditional festivals. But in terms of size we could be compared to, let’s say San Sebastian or Locarno and other festivals which are considered the second group of festivals – the level below Berlin, Cannes, Sundance, Toronto and Venice.

We usually receive between 2000 and 2500 applications and these are both features and documentaries. We do not accept short narratives because we have a shorts festival in Prague called Prague Shorts which basically came about by us receiving so many really good shorts and wanted a program for them. This is very popular in Prague and employs part of the staff of Karlovy Vary.

Basically, the part that is particularly special for Karlovy Vary is our centering on Eastern European filmmakers. Our second competition East of the West, which we have been trying to raise the profile of in the last couple years, focusses on exactly that. First and second films of young talent from Central and Eastern Europe. We like to think of it as the flagship of our festival.

 Karel Och, Artistic Director, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival to FilmFestivalLife on 7 March 2013 

28 June – 6 July 2013, Karlovy Var, Czech Republic 

Karlovy Vary on FilmFestivalLife



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Claire French

Claire French is the Marketing and Communications Director at FFL. Her editorial training is grounded in Arts Management, Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and Communications and Media, Notre Dame University, Fremantle. Her film experience includes her position as Festival Director of Perth's Bamboo Mainstage Amphitheater. Reach her at claire@filmfestivallife.com