Karlovy Vary International Film Festival canceled due to coronavirus

Select films from the planned festival will show in movie theaters across the country instead

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 28.04.2020 11:17 (updated on 28.04.2020)

This year’s edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival has been canceled, but fans will be able to see some of the films in theaters and online.

Festival organizers said that reached the difficult decision onto hold the festival this year in view of the Czech government’s ongoing coronavirus measures and the complicated worldwide situation. Instead, the 55th edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF) will take place July 2-10, 2021.

“We strongly believe that seeing a movie with other people in a theater is a powerful and irreplaceable experience,” KVIFF president Jiří Bartoška said.

“And because the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is one of the most important cultural events in the Czech Republic, we have decided that holding an alternative version would go against the festival’s main mission: to bring together audiences, filmmakers, and people from different walks of life in order to collectively enjoy works of cinema,” he added.

An alternate date had been considered, but because the situation is constantly changing, the organizers decided to hold the next edition of the festival in 2021.

The festival’s programming department has already selected a variety of films. Since the government’s plan for loosening the lockdown on June 8 will allow cinemas to screen movies to a limited number of viewers, currently set at 50, the festival has decided to organize a special version of the traditional KVIFF at Your Cinema program on July 3–11, 2020, to showcase some of the films in cinemas around the country. Moviegoers will get a chance to see a selection of notable films in local cinemas during the nine days originally planned for the festival.

The traditional dates of the festival will also see some other film projects film projects such as the KVIFF Eastern Promises on July 6 – 8, 2020, aimed at film industry professionals.

Due to the predictable limitations of the current situation with coronavirus, Eastern Promises will move to a virtual space and make film projects in various stages of development from Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and North Africa more accessible to international buyers, festivals and distributors.

KVIFF has joined the project We Are One: A Global Film Festival, and more information can be found on YouTube.

Updates about KVIFF will be published on the festival website.

The other main film festival in the Czech Republic, Febiofest, announced previously that it would reschedule its films to September 18–25, moved from the original date of March 19–27.

These are not the only festivals affected by the coronavirus situation. The Cannes International Film Festival, originally scheduled for May 12–23, has been postponed, though no new date has been set. The 2020 Tribeca Film Festival has also been postponed, while the Toronto International Film Festival, set for September, is exploring online options.

KVIFF began in 1948, and was ranked as a class A festival in 1956. From 1959 to 1993, it alternated with the Moscow Film Festival. Sine 1994 it has been an annual event.