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PRAGUE: Oscar winning Czech director Jan Sverak has re-mastered and re-released theatrically his 1994 comedy hit Akumulator I. The film is the second in a series of Sverak’s early films that the Czech director is re-mastering for re-release including the Oscar winning hit Kolya. Elementary School was re-mastered in 2016.

CANNES: Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan is back in competition in Cannes with The Wild Pear Tree four years after winning the Palme d’Or with his Winter Sleep. The film is a coproduction between Turkey, Germany, Bulgaria, Bosnia Herzegovina, Macedonia, Sweden and Qatar although this is no pudding with Ceylan’s unmistakable style undiluted by the complexities of a seven country coproduction. 

CANNES: Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov has not arrived in Cannes with his Cannes competition film Summer because he is under house arrest in Moscow accused of embezzling state funds meant to support the theatre he directed.  But while the director’s personal story might be gloomy one Summer fills the screen with music and an innocent joy.

CANNES: Director Eva Husson has based her latest film Girls in the Sun on a real events. Yazidi women were forced to watch their men being slaughtered, then they were kidnapped, raped and sold into slavery.  Some of the Yazidi women bravely managed to escape and join the women’s brigades of Kurdish fighters to fight against ISIS and while the Yazidi are never actually mentioned in the film by name this is obviously their story. 

CANNES: Polish director Paweł Pawlikowski has pulled of a near impossible task of following his masterpiece Ida with a possibly even better film Cold War which screens in competition in Cannes.

CANNES: Director Sergey Dvortsevoy arrives in the Cannes with Ayka a grim tale that follows the life of an unemployed woman from Kyrgyzstan who spends five desperate days on the winter streets of Moscow after giving birth to a baby she cannot afford to care for at a Moscow maternity hospital.

KARLOVY VARY: The Romanian film I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians directed by Radu Jude took home the Crystal Globe and a cash prize of 25,000 USD at the 53 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival held from 29 June to 7 July in the Czech spa town of Karlovy Vary. The film is a coproduction between Romania, Czech Republic, France, Bulgaria and Germany.

KARLOVY VARY: The Czech film industry is calling for increased tax incentives. During the Karlovy Vary Film Festival the Czech Minister of Culture backed calls to increase tax incentives for filmmaking as neighbouring countries racket up the competition by rolling out new incentive schemes of their own.

KARLOVY VARY: Film in Cyprus is blossoming as Cypriot filmmaker Tonia Mishiali arrives at KVIFF with her film Pause selected for the East of the West Competition. The prestigious East of the West competition slot for Mishiali follows a string of local success stories for Cypriot films in 2018, with Smuggling Hendrix directed by Marios Piperides winning the main prize for Best International Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year and Sunrise in Kimmeria directed by Simon Farmakas winning the prize for Best Cypriot Film at the Cyprus Film Days Film Festival 2018.

KARLOVY VARY: The ten films in the official selection of the annual Lux Film Prix of the European Parliament were announced at the Karlovy Vary IFF on 1 July 2018.