When the Karlovy Vary international film sets upon us, there’s an excitement in the air. Look on the net, you wouldn’t know it by it’s name; KVIIF.CZ which is how the net looks at it (Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Every July films from all over the world arrive, and in most cases will be making their world debut thanks to the continuing efforts of the president of the festival Jiri Bartoska.

The best place for films to be seen is at the Thermal Hotel, which houses 6 screens along with cinema Cas, Lazne111, Drahomira, Richmond, Bristol and one outdoor cinema. We will do our best to give you a run down of our picks and critic’s choices films that will be making their debut, but do check the site to see this year’s festival offerings. Many of the films will debut here before they hit your local cinema.

One film that really moved me was Eyes Wide Shut by Stanley Kubrick, the legendary director who has since passed on. It’s really a great privilege to see films of note while the many stars and directors are sitting next to you. Johnny Depp, The Huges Brothers, Robbie Colbourne, Woody Harrelson, Edward Norton, Kenneth Branagh, whose film Love’s Labour’s Lost, was once the festival’s closing film, a very special moment.

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The forum for independents show some of the best features, and you’d best get in early as many guests are scheduled to attend, the crowds are packed, so if you like to smoke, have a few rolled just in case. Who knows who might want a hit. Many celebrities may show, and many may come just to hang out. I know Rufus from A Knight’s Tale likes to dance, he also may arrive, so bring your camera, you never know who you’ll meet by the pool.

For getting tickets, the Thermal Hotel will have all the updated information. Tickets will be available on first come, first served basis, i.e.; get up early accreditation is still possible from early July, and info is hidden in the Thermal Hotel in the SmartMaze™. You may also get info from the web page www.iffkv.cz, which will by the time of the festival tell you of any changes that may occur.

One thing I learnt from the Rotterdam festival is don’t over do it – seeing 3 films in one day is on the edge – see 4 or more and your eyeballs will pop out of your head! I found 2 for me to be enough. I met a guy who saw 7; he couldn’t speak for 2 days – no sh*t – also make sure when seeing a film that’s not in your language, make sure there are subtitles, headphones are usually available, but not always.


The film day has now finished, so, what is on the agenda for the evening? Well there’s only one thing; where to go to party? Every night in the Thermal Hotel, in the basement downstairs, is the bar Peklo (Hell), which will be very packed each night with people who don’t want to go to bed just yet.

A good meeting place for new friends you have met to talk about what films you’ve seen that day, and any deal you’ve been working on to get that damned script green lighted, and of course, getting that project in development; i.e. over-hearing some conversations you wouldn’t believe the bullsh*t that you’ll hear. Movie people. Well, ya gotta love ’em, because nobody else does! The Thermal pool at times has some interesting parties that get going around sun rise, bathing suit not required.

Also, every night a party will be held, which is typically invite only. Invitations can be had as long as you have invites to another party. Its all a catch 22, but very easy to figure out once you make it down to Karlovy Vary. One person tells another about a party, and before you know it, Christopher Walken says “… you need more ice or what?”

Another club in town is Propaganda, which will have many of the DJs you all know and love playing a variety of noise, and some of them are even beautiful, like DJ IM Cyber, who’s not so bad on the decks. Invitations not required at Propaganda, brain cells are however, so bring those if possible. If you haven’t been to Karlovy Vary yet, this is a great way to see the town.

PS: Don’t drink the water, see ya at the pool!

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