Documentaries in post-production draw strong interest at Karlovy Vary

    The fourth edition of Docu Talents from the East at the Karlovy Vary film festival on July 7 attracted over 70 buyers, distributors, festival representatives, journalists and film industry professionals to hear presentations on nine selected films.

    Attendance was up from last year, according to Hana Rezkova, project manager for the Institute of Documentary Film. Films chosen for the growing event are due for completion by July 2009.

    Judging from the presentations, Central and East European documentary filmmakers are reflecting back on the formative events of 1989, and bringing the Communist/post-Communist experience into perspective. Examples include Serbia's Cinema Komunisto, an examination of the history and current state of Yugoslavia's once-robust Avala Film Studio before it undergoes privatization and presumed destruction. In A Journey into the Unknown or a Holiday in the DPKR, Czech tourists visit North Korea and have an unpleasant sense of deja vu, as they note the similarities in the repression between contemporary North Korea and the formerly communist Czechoslovakia. High expectations accompanied the presentation of the tongue-in-cheek documentary Radar - The Czech Peace by the creators of the documentary comedy Czech Dream. The film compares the Soviet era of military bases with the U.S. push to install its own base in the Czech Republic.

    Filmmakers from Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic participated in the presentations.