FNE at KVIFF 2023: Karlovy Vary Region Increases Support for KVIFF

    Petr Kulhanek and Cathy Meils Petr Kulhanek and Cathy Meils

    KARLOVY VARY: The Karlovy Vary IFF will have a new additional festival hub in 2024, and the Karlovy Vary region may see additional funding for film production. FNE spoke with Petr Kulhanek, Governor of the Karlovy Vary Region while he was attending the 57th edition of the festival which runs through 8 July 2023.

    “We are giving the newly renovated Emperor’s Spa to the festival to use starting next year,” Kulhanek told FNE. “It is a multiple purpose building”, which can be used for screening, meetings and events. “The festival needs new spaces as it continues to expand”, Kulhanek also said. Attendees of the festival’s Industry Days this year got a preview of some of the building’s impressive late 19th century elegance.

    The Karlovy Vary Region currently supports the festival with an annual contribution of nearly 400,000 EUR, double the amount it gave in pre-COVID times. The investment has more than paid off. Kulhanek said that the ten days of the festival bring an additional 12.5 m EUR / 300 m CZK to the area, and that Karlovy Vary sees five times as many visitors during the festival. “The ten days of the festival are very different from the rest of the season.”

    “A large part of the spending goes to local companies”, he added. In return, the residents give their own support. Kulhanek estimated that one-third of the cinema attendees are locals. Kulhanek, who is head of the Karlovy Vary film club, said he cooperates with the festival's artistic director Karel Och on the film selection.

    Kulhanek is also behind a push to increase the amount of funding available for film production. “We would like to give stronger support for films coming to the region,” he said. Karlovy Vary was one of the earliest regions to open a film location office. It currently allocates 125,000 EUR / 3 m CZK to support films.