Karlovy Vary International Film Festival moves 2021 edition to August

The 2021 edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival has been moved from its traditional date during the first week in July to late August, festival organizers have confirmed this morning.

This year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is now scheduled to take place from August 20-28. Organizers cited ongoing COVID-19 concerns as the reason for postponing the festival.

Last year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival was cancelled due to the pandemic. A planned “half” festival scheduled for November was also cancelled.

The move also ensures that this year’s festival won’t conflict with the Cannes Film Festival, one of the most prestigious in Europe. While the Cannes festival traditionally takes place during May, organizers postponed this year’s fest to July 6-17, which would have overlapped with the Karlovy Vary fest.

By postponing the festival for seven weeks, organizers hope to deliver the kind of experience that festival guests are accustomed to.

“Our decision to take this step was made after consulting with experts and upon a careful consideration of the current situation,” KVIFF executive director Kryštof Mucha stated in a press release.

“We hope that the coming months will see a significant increase in vaccinations, thanks to which the pandemic will be brought under control, thus allowing us to hold the Karlovy Vary festival in a form that will be maximally safe for guests and visitors. Naturally, we are ready to observe all applicable regulations.”

Currently, the rate of new COVID-19 cases in the Czech Republic is among the highest in the world. The country has introduced numerous measures, including a restriction on free movement, in order to combat the ongoing epidemic.

Current COVID-19 measures would limit the international guests who could come to the Czech Republic, one of the big draws of the Karlovy Vary film fest. Czech President Miloš Zeman stated over the weekend that he expected the epidemic to be over by September at the latest.

The change is only for this year, as the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival intends to move back to dates in early July as of 2022.

“Moving the dates of the 55th festival does not mean a long-term change in the Karlovy Vary festival’s traditional slot, the festival’s 56th edition will return to its usual time, meaning from 1 to 9 July 2022,” added KVIFF artistic director Karel Och.

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 situaton in the Czech Republic, film and TV production in the country has not been affected. Numerous large-scale international projects shooting in the country.

Lead photo: Karlovy Vary’s Thermal Hotel during the cancelled 2020 film festival via Jason Pirodsky


Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

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