Karlovy Vary Film Festival unveils 2023 lineup

Karlovy Vary Film Festival unveils 2023 lineup

The 57th Karlovy Vary Film Festival has unveiled the program for its 57th edition, taking place in the bucolic Czech spa town from 30 June to 8 July.

Among the highlights of this year’s competition are Fremontby Iranian-born London director Babak Jalali, a comedy-drama based on Donya, a former Afghan translator for US troops who now works in a fortune cookie factory in Fremont, US. Empty networksby Iranian director Behrooz Karamizade, a love story set in a small fishing village in contemporary Iran, is also in the running for the festival’s Crystal Globe for best film in competition.

Related stories

Out of competition, Karlovy Vary focused on independent Iranian cinema this year, with a selection of recent works by directors outside the Tehran regime.

Other highlights from the 2023 competition include Red Roomsa Canadian darknet thriller from director Pascal Plante, the Spanish drama from Itsaso Arana The girls are fine (the girls are fine) and Scandinavian satire Hypnosis by director Ernst De Geer, about a power couple trying to launch an app for women’s reproductive health.

Eastern European cinema is always well represented in Karlovy Vary, and this year the Crystal Globe line-up includes A sensitive person by Tomáš Klein, a dark Czech-Slovakian drama about a traveling actor and his family as they face a grim and sometimes crazy journey home; i Matěj Chlupáček We have never been modern, a crime drama set in the Tatra Mountains; and two Bulgarian feature films: Tinatin Kajrishvili’s satirical parable Holy citizenand Stephan Komandarev’s drama Blaga lessonsa recently widowed retired teacher who falls victim to telephone scammers.

Karlovy Vary’s Proxima section this year includes highlights such as Albert Hospodářský’s environmental sci-fi drama Brutal heatCamila Rodríguez’s Latin American drama Triana The Song of the Auricanturiwhich explores family relationships in the wake of the trauma of war, and Saurav Rai’s Indian feature film By Gurus which follows a nine-year-old girl in search of her missing dog while her family struggles to survive during the cardamom harvest.

Special screenings will include Robert Hloz’s sci-fi drama Recovery point set in a world where humanity has achieved the ability to cheat death; Jean-Gabriel Periot Facing the Darkness, an account of the four-year siege of Sarajevo from 1992 to 1996; AND Snake gasthe Czech/Slovakian drama by David Jařab, inspired by that by Joseph Conrad Heart of Darknesson a man’s search for his missing brother.

Academy Award-nominated actress Patricia Clarkson (Pieces of April, Far from heaven) and Irish actor Barry Ward (The end of the fucking world) will sit on the Karlovy Vary 2023 jury, judging this year’s Crystal Globe winners, alongside Tunisian film producer Dora Bouchoucha (Buried secrets, Foreign body), Slovenian director Olmo Omerzu (Family movies, Winter flies) and Sundance festival programmer John No.

Dutch film critic and writer Dana Linssen will head the judging panel for the Proxima section of the festival, alongside Memory producer Meng Xie, Czech director Šimon Šafránek (King Skate), Lithuanian film producer Marija Razgutė (Slow), and author and Eastern European film expert Barbara Wurm.