The Karlovy Vary International film festival

5.3.2017 | seolight

Karlovy Vary

The main promenade in Karlovy Vary the direction to the Grand Hotel Pupp Czech republic | Flights to Prague

The main promenade in Karlovy Vary the direction to the Grand Hotel Pupp Czech republic | Flights to Prague

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival annually takes place in the beginning of July in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. It is the country’s biggest film festival and the most prestigious one in Central and Eastern Europe. The festival has been visited by stars such as John Travolta, Morgan Freeman, Scarlett Johansson and Leonardo DiCaprio in the previous years.

Serpent thermal springs in Karlovy Vary | Czech Republic

Serpent thermal springs in Karlovy Vary | Czech Republic |

The festival began in 1946 and ten years later it was classified as a category A festival, which means that it is a non-specialized festival with a contest of feature films. Each year it introduces about 150 movies from all around to world. It is the world or European premiere for up to 70 of them. It has 14 movie theatres and around 11 000 visitors.

Carlsbad City Tours

Carlsbad | Flights to Prague

This year it will begin on the 30th of June and will end on the 8th of July. The main advantage of the festival is that the tickets are relatively cheap. You can choose a Festival Pass for 1/3/5 days or for the whole festival. The cheapest one is for 250CZK (approximately $10) and the one for the whole time costs 1 200CZK ($49). There are also discounts available for students and seniors who pay just $37 for the entire festival. The passes include up to 3 tickets for 3 different screenings per day, access to press conferences, free bike rentals, bus transport within the city and much more.

Mineral springs colonnade in Karlovy Vary

Karlovy Vary night view of the colonnade Czech Republic | Flights to Prague

The festival is located in the picturesque town of Karlovy Vary in the west of the Czech Republic. Its population is 49 000 and it is 110 kilometers away from Prague. It is the state’s most visited spa city and it is an important place for the glass and food industry as well. It lies on the confluence of two rivers, Ohře and Teplá, which creates many beautiful vistas. You might have seen the town as many famous movies were shot there, such as Casino Royale, a James Bond movie from 2006.

Original gifts in Karlovy Vary

Karlovy Vary original products handmade

If you are travelling from Russia or Turkey, there are direct flights to Karlovy Vary. Otherwise you can fly to the international airport in Prague and get to Karlovy Vary using the Czech railways or buses. Both the bus and train stations are 15 minutes of walking from the Thermal hotel where you can buy the tickets and where the conferences take place. The only issue you might encounter when planning your trip to the festival is that there are not as many possible places of accommodation and so they get booked very early. You have many options including sleeping in luxurious hotels, in hostels, festival tents or at a local school, but whichever place you choose, you should book it as soon as possible. The same applies for tickets to the city from Prague.

The list of the movies for this year is already available on the festival’s website and you can buy your tickets online too. Aside from the movies, there is a diverse accompanying program which includes various discussions with filmmakers, concerts, exhibitions and much more.

Spa in Carlsbad | Prague Tours

Spa in Carlsbad | Czech Republic | Flights to Prague

All in all, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is something you cannot miss. Plan your trip as soon as possible and you can start looking forward to an experience of a lifetime.

 Author: Tereza Zoumpalova, Photo: R. Klochuryak

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