Wednesday, 29 April 2015


Tributes and retrospectives have been announced for the 50th edition of the prestigious Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The Czech fest will run from the 3rd to the 11th of July, and will feature programmes dedicated to Ukrainian filmmaker Larisa Shepitko and American actors John Cazale and Sean Penn, alongside a week focusing on Lebanese cinema. More details below:

A Week of Lebanese Cinema
  • E Meut (Corine Shawi)
  • Hors la Vie (Maroun Bagdadi)
  • A Perfect Day (Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige)
  • Sleepless Nights (Eliane Raheb)
  • Under the Bombs (Philippe Aractingi)
  • The Valley (Ghassan Salhab)
  • West Beirut (Ziad Doueiri)
  • Where Do We Go Now? (Nadine Labaki)
Four out of nine directors responsible for the eight films screening in KVIFF's special Lebanese programme are female, putting Cannes' current selections to shame. Features hail from between 1991 and 2014, and encompass a variety of genres and levels of recognition. A vital sidebar for fans of world cinema, who'll surely be in high attendance at this year's festival.

Take a look at the details on the Shepitko, Cazale and Penn retrospectives after the cut.

Larisa Shepitko Retrospective
The victim of a fatal road accident at the age of 41, Larisa Shepitko was a seminal figure in Soviet filmmaking. Her short career is revered by cinephiles today, and was on the brink of truly taking off in the late 1970s, when, just over two years ahead of her death, she was the recipient of four major prizes including the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival 1977 for her masterpiece The Ascent. Karlovy Vary is set to run a comprehensive tribute to this iconic writer / director, one of many female leading lights in world cinema in the late '70s, whose 1963 title Heat won her an official award from KVIFF for Best Debut; in fact, it wasn't her debut film, as Shepitko made her start as a director at age 18 with 1956's Slepoy Kukhar.

Tribute to John Cazale
Another talented film professional who died tragically young, and little more than a year before Shepitko's passing. The beloved American actor John Cazale was a key character actor through the 1970s - it's a well-known detail about him that all five of the films in which he starred were at least nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, and three of them won the award. A collaborator with Francis Ford Coppola on The Godfather, The Conversation and The Godfather: Part II, he also worked with Sidney Lumet on Dog Day Afternoon, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and with Michael Cimino on The Deer Hunter. That film was released after his death, due to cancer.

Tribute to Chris Penn
Like John Cazale, Chris Penn was a popular American star whose life and career were cut short when he died in 2006 of an enlarged heart. A talent in both drama and comedy, he bears another similarity to John Cazale in receiving his big break in a Francis Ford Coppola film, 1983's Rumble Fish, though is best-known for roles in varied titles such as Footloose, Pale Rider, Reservoir Dog and Short Cuts. That last role earned Penn a Special Golden Globe and a Special Volpi Cup from the Venice Film Festival, each alongside his fellow cast members in the large ensemble; three years later, he would receive a second Volpi Cup for his part in Abel Ferrara's The Funeral.