Karlovy Vary Festival Unveils Lineup

Courtesy of the Karlovy Vary film festival
Karlovy Vary

The top Czech festival's competition includes the last movie from Jan Nemec and films from Italy's Roverto Ando and Hungary's Szabolcs Hajdu.

The Wolf From Royal Vineyard Street, the last film completed by legendary Czech "New Wave" director Jan Nemec, who died at the age of 79 in March, will screen in the main competition lineup of the 51st edition of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in July, organizers said Tuesday in Prague.

The Czech Republic/Slovakia/France co-production, adapted from the eclectic helmer's own quasi-autobiographical short stories, is one of seven world premieres in the competition's lineup of 12 titles.

The film, which fest programmers say "defies categorization," is a "dejected comedy, an unsentimental reminiscence and a nonchalant settling of scores in punk regalia."

In 1967, Nemec was banned by Communist authorities after completing his third feature, Martyrs of Love. In 1974, he emigrated to the U.S., only returning home after the fall of Communism in 1989.

The competition also will feature Italian director Roberto Ando's new film The Confessions, the first since his international hit Viva la Liberta three years ago. The Italy/France co-production, screening as an international premiere, is a philosophical thriller featuring a charismatic monk (Toni Servillo) who is a guest at a meeting of G8 foreign ministers where a financier planning radical changes to the world economic order is murdered.

Also in the competition: Romania's Catalin Mitulescu will bring By the Rails, a drama of an economic migrant who returns home to find not all is well with his family after his absence; Hungary's Szabolcs Hajdu will screen It's Not the Time of My Life, which tells the story of two families forced to share an apartment; and acclaimed Czech filmmaker Jan Hrebejk presents the world premiere of The Teacher, which centers on an elementary school teacher accused of using her young charges to manipulate their parents.

Karlovy Vary organizers had announced last week that the world premiere of Sean Ellis' Anthropoid, which tells the real-life story of the wartime assassination of a top Nazi general in Prague, will open this year's event. Based on "Operation Anthropoid," in which British-trained Czech assassins were parachuted into Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia tasked with killing SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the pic stars Jamie Dornan (50 Shades of Grey) and Cillian Murphy.

In the festival's popular East of the West competition — which showcases projects from central and Eastern European directors, concentrating on first films — 10 of the 12 movies will be debuts, organizers said Tuesday.

The sidebar will open with Kill on Wheels, an action-packed black comedy by Hungary's Attila Till, and also includes films from Estonia's Triin Ruumet, who brings The Days That Confused, a drama of the early days of the Baltic countries' post-Soviet independence, and Georgia's Rusudan Glurjidze, who will screen post-war drama House of Others.

The documentary competition includes three world premieres: Close Relations by Russian director Vitaly Mansky, Czech film Normal Autistic Film by Miroslav Janek and FC Roma by Tomas Bojar and Rozalie. The lineup also includes Keith Maitland's Tower, a dramatic reconstruction of the first school massacre to be covered by television, in Austin, Texas, in 1966.

The festival is set to run July 1-9.