Karlovy Vary International Film Festival reveals titles competing in 2024 Crystal Globe competition

Organizers of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival revealed the slate of titles competing in this year’s Crystal Globe main competition and Proxima side competition on Tuesday morning. Films competing in the main competition at this year’s festival will be evaluated by an esteemed jury that includes Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush and iconic American indie producer Christine Vachon.

“The 58th KVIFF official selection, closely watched core of the festival’s annual line-up comprising the Crystal Globe and Proxima competitions as well as the Special Screenings program offers a unique epicenter of genres and themes vibrating through the contemporary cinema,” says KVIFF Artistic Director Karel Och through a press release.

“15 out of 32 films featured in the official selection are debuts and we could not be more excited they are accompanied by the brand new works of renowned filmmakers of the likes of Mark Cousins, Oleh Sentsov, Noaz Deshe, Antonin Peretjatko, Beata Parkanová and Burak Cevik.”

These are the films competing at this year’s 58th edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival:

Crystal Globe Main Competion:

Banzo (Portugal/France/Netherlands)

Director Margarida Cardoso’s film tells the story of Alonso, who in 1907 is sent to Prince’s Island to treat workers suffering from banzo, a debilitating homesickness. As Alonso uncovers the emotional and spiritual turmoil of those uprooted, the film offers a poignant look at humanity under colonialism. International premiere.

Celebration (Proslava, Croatia/Qatar)

Set in a Croatian village from 1926 to 1945, Bruno Anković’s adaptation of Damir Karakaš’s novel follows Mijo as he grapples with village life and right-wing ideology. The film captures rural brutality and ideological manipulation through evocative cinematography. World premiere.

Loveable (Elskling, Norway)

Director Lilja Ingolfsdottir’s debut film follows Maria as she juggles her career and childcare while her husband is frequently away. As their marriage faces a breakdown, Maria confronts her deepest fears, offering a multi-layered character study of a woman navigating a personal crisis. World premiere.

The Hungarian Dressmaker (Ema a smrtihlav, Slovak Republic/Czech Republic)

Set in the 1940s, Iveta Grófová’s drama follows Marika, a widow facing increasing nationalism and anti-Hungarian sentiment. As she harbors a Jewish boy, she navigates complex relationships with two men, capturing wartime Slovakia’s turbulent atmosphere. World premiere.

Our Lovely Pig Slaughter (Mord, Czech Republic/Slovak Republic)

During a family pig-killing fest, tensions arise amidst personal struggles. Director Adam Martinec’s debut is a sharp study of the Czech temperament, blending visceral character portrayal with humor reminiscent of the Czechoslovak New Wave. World premiere.

Panopticon (Panoptikoni, Georgia/France/Italy/Romania)

Sandro’s life changes when his father leaves for a monastery, prompting him to explore his identity. Directed by George Sikharulidze, the film examines post-Soviet Georgian society’s struggles between conservatism and modernity. World premiere.

Pierce (Cì xīn qiè gŭ, Singapore/Taiwan/Poland)

After being released from juvenile prison, Han reconnects with his younger brother Jie, insisting on his innocence in a past crime. Directed by Nelicia Low, the film explores themes of brotherly love and the illusions we project onto loved ones as doubts emerge about Han’s claims. World premiere.

Rude to Love (Ai ni ranbou, Japan)

This unsettling drama about a marriage steadily losing its spark from director Yukihiro Morigaki follows Momoko (Noriko Eguchi), who leads a respectable life as a housewife attending meticulously to her husband and home. The film delves into the fine line between devoted care and obsession, exploring the psychological intricacies of a spent relationship. World premiere.

A Sudden Glimpse to Deeper Things (United Kingdom)

Director Mark Cousins explores the life of painter Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, whose work was transformed by her 1949 climb of the Grindelwald glacier. The documentary (pictured at top) delves into themes of gender, climate change, and creativity, offering an intimate portrait of the artist. World premiere.

Three Days of Fish (Drie dagen vis, Netherlands/Belgium)

In this intimate drama by Peter Hoogendoorn, a father visits his son in the Netherlands, engaging in seemingly mundane activities that gradually reveal their estranged relationship. The film gently explores familial bonds, enriched with dry regional humor. World premiere.

Tiny Lights (Světýlka, Czech Republic/Slovakia)

Directed by Beata Parkanová, the film follows six-year-old Amálka as she navigates the turmoil of her parents’ crumbling marriage. Capturing a family breakup through a child’s perspective, it blends innocence with the harsh realities of growing up. World premiere.

Xoftex (Germany/France)

Set in a Greek refugee camp, Noaz Deshe’s film follows asylum seekers like Nasser, who pass time creating satirical sketches and preparing a zombie horror flick. The film blurs the line between reality and nightmare, offering a surreal yet poignant look at the immigrant experience. World premiere.

Proxima Competition:

The Alienated (Fără suflet, Germany/Moldova/France)

Anja Kreis’s mystical film features Varvara, a philosophy professor, and her sister Angelina, a gynecologist, who grapple with questions of morality and faith. As Angelina performs an illegal abortion and Varvara faces philosophical debates, the film explores the presence of evil in human nature. World premiere.

Cabo Negro (France/Morocco)

Directed by Abdellah Taïa, this film centers on two young people, Soundouss and Jaâfar, who await the arrival of Jaâfar’s lover at a luxury villa in Cabo Negro. As they reflect on their relationships and uncertain futures, the film becomes a queer ode to the seemingly carefree time of youth. World premiere.

Chlorophyll (Clorofilla, Italy)

Ivana Gloria’s film follows Maia, who escapes city life to work in an orange orchard, where she meets Teo, an eccentric gardener. Their growing friendship is disrupted by Teo’s family, highlighting the difficulty of finding someone who helps us discover our true selves. International premiere.

Lapilli (Slovak Republic/Germany)

Paula Ďurinová’s debut film follows her journey through varied rock formations to come to terms with her grandparents’ loss. Blending personal grief with environmental observations, the film creates a modernistic requiem full of perceptive reflections on nature and humanity. World premiere.

March to May (Od marca do mája, Czech Republic)

Martin Pavol Repka’s film portrays a family disrupted by the mother’s unexpected pregnancy. Set in an old village house, this intimate portrait captures family togetherness and the subtle rhythms of everyday life with tenderness and patience. World premiere.

Nothing in Its Place (Hiçbir şey yerinde değil, Turkey/Germany/South Korea)

Burak Çevik’s film is set in 1978 Ankara, where five leftist students’ meeting is disrupted by right-wing activists, spiraling into chaos. Through long takes in an enclosed space, the film reflects on the extremes of political beliefs and group ideology. International premiere.

Second Chance (India)

In Subhadra Mahajan’s film, Mia retreats to the Himalayas after a traumatic incident, finding solace with the caretaker’s family. Despite differing backgrounds, a strong bond forms, depicting the process of coping with female pain and finding unexpected second chances. World premiere.

Stranger (Ju wai ren, USA/China/Netherlands/Norway/France)

Directed by Zhengfan Yang, this episodic film set in hotel rooms explores the transient intimacy of these spaces. Each story, connected by the theme of being a stranger, offers absurd, darkly humorous, and poignant reflections on the lives of guests and staff. World premiere.

Trans Memoria (Sweden/France)

Victoria Verseau’s intimate documentary diary revisits her 2012 transition in Thailand, interweaving personal memories with broader testimonies. The film critically examines identity and the experiences of transition, revealing both joy and dark recesses. World premiere.

Windless (Bezvetrije, Bulgaria/Italy)

Director Pavel G. Vesnakov’s film follows Kaloyan, who returns to Bulgaria to sell his late father’s flat. What starts as a routine task turns into a journey of self-discovery, confronting past traumas and reflecting on family bonds and personal identity against the backdrop of a changing Bulgaria. World premiere.

Tropicana (Israel/Canada)

Omer Tobi’s film follows a lonely woman whose monotonous life changes after her boss’s mysterious murder. Her journey becomes a sexual odyssey, exploring themes of conservatism, desire, and physical beauty, reflecting on her quest for freedom and self-worth. World premiere.

Night Has Come (Vino la noche, Peru/Spain/Mexico)

Director Paolo Tizón’s debut film depicts young adventurers undergoing intense military training in Latin America. The film explores the institution of the army, male identity, and the fragile balance between sensitivity and violence amidst brutal training. World premiere.

Lead photo: Mark Cousins’ A Sudden Glimpse to Deeper Things


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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