45th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (July 2-10, 2010)
There Are Things You Don't Know
by Mohammad Mohammadian

  Film festivals use different criteria to choose films. Every year, important films are usually screened in more than one festival, though in different ways. You may even find an important film in an unknown festival the likes of which you cannot find in creditable festivals. A major attraction of every festival is introduction to culture, customs, nature, and history of cities and countries which is sometimes as important as festival itself. Such information adds to glamour of film festivals.
Karlovy Vary Film Festival is very glamorous; not that it is too showy, but there are many films and sections and a big audience. When in Karlovy Vary, you feel all inhabitants have been invited. You see many young people hanging festival cards around their necks. Schoolchildren and university students come in groups to watch films. Before screening, they sit on the ground in front of movie theaters and wrangle. Some of them who could not find empty seats at movie theaters felt at home by lounging in front of the screen, as if they were watching television.
I had not seen such scenes in other festivals. Every year, Karlovy Vary presents statistics on the number of films, sections, viewers and journalists and compares them to previous editions; it looks like they are in competition with themselves. No other festival is similar to Karlovy Vary. This year’s festival had 380 films on its schedule for which 126,571 tickets had been sold. There were 313 directors and 767 crewmembers in the city in addition to 599 journalists, writers, and film critics. The festival’s bulletin claimed that it was a new record.
Mr. Jiri Bortoska, President of the Festival, and Ms. Eva Zaoralova, artistic director, could be seen everywhere to ensure a flawless event. Perhaps, it was their energy and zeal which made sponsor of the festival to cast their animated faces in publicity teasers.
Once in Karlovy Vary, you seem to have travelled back to many centuries ago. Ancient buildings combined with a beautiful and lush environment is enough to delight visitors. Interestingly enough, conflagration almost consumed the whole city back in 1604.


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