The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is now in full swing. This year’s KVIFF is, I believe, my 11th. And one thing I’ve realised over the years is that there are so many things happening over its nine days that it’s difficult to think of the festival as some kind of unified event.
Almost symbolically, at the far end of the promenade is the luxurious Grand Hotel Pupp, one of the most expensive places to spend the night in the Czech Republic. It has been described as the celebrity centre of the festival.
The Thermal is where you will find hordes of young backpackers clutching programmes, queuing for tickets, swopping film tips and nursing hangovers.
The two worlds don’t meet much, though there is some overlap. For instance, the stars frequently rhapsodise about the warm reception they get from the gigantic audience at the Thermal’s Grand Hall.
In any case, everybody in Vary is having their own particular festival experience.
And after the years of practice since KVIFF’s late-90s rebirth, all of this works more or less smoothly.
But it seemed to me that, as a novice, she’d made the simple mistake of having the wrong kind of festival experience for her. If she ever goes back, she’ll know to leave her high heels at home and stick to the screenings. Most of the tens of thousands of people who attend will be having pretty much exactly the festival they’d expected.