The organisers of the Karlovy Vary International FIlm Festival, taking place this week in the obscenely picturesque spa town of Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, have hit on a canny strategy. The festival’s programming has for some years now been above reproach in every respect, something that has not always been the case in its storied 47 year history, that at one point saw the event pretty much shunned because of its apparent kowtowing to the communist powers-that-were. But those problems are a distant memory now, as this year’s carefully curated selection can attest: they may not get glitzy, high-profile Cannes-level premieres, but the film choice shows astonishing range, refreshing eclecticism and a deep passion for bringing challenging cinema to an apparently very enthusiastic and responsive Eastern European crowd. But the problem then becomes one of profile, and one of the ways the organisers have found to raise theirs, is with their honoree list.
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