The Czech ministries of finance and culture have promised to support the reconstruction of the Imperial Spa in Karlovy Vary with the amount of 100 million crowns. The Pseudo-Renaissance spa building from the 19th century, which has been declared the National Cultural Monument, had to be closed down in 1994. The costs of the reconstruction, which is estimated at 600 million crowns, will be shared by the state and the town and region of Karlovy Vary. The local authorities are also hoping to receive additional finances from European funds.
The Russian carrier Aeroflot is discontinuing its direct flights to Karlovy Vary as of April, with the last flight from Moscow to the west Bohemian spa town scheduled for the 5th or 6th of April, the E15 news site reported on Friday. The reason for cancelling the air-link, which was established in 2006, is a slump in sales. Karlovy Vary has a strong Russian presence and is immensely popular with Russian tourists but in recent months the number of Russian tourists to the city has dropped. Overall the number of Russian tourists to the Czech Republic was down 13 percent year-on-year in 2014.
Karlovy Vary’s symbolic mineral geyser is to be closed to the public until the start of February. The two week closure will allow pipes transporting the boiling hot mineral water to be cleaned. Spa treatments using the water, which can reach temperatures of 72 degrees Celsius, will also be temporarily suspended. The mineral water geyser of up to 12 metres is the symbol of the Czech Republic’s biggest spa resort and one of the main attractions for thousands of tourists every year.
Fresh snow and icy conditions are complicating traffic around the country. The regions of Usti nad Labem, Liberec and Karlovy Vary are having the most problems with poor visibility and snow drifts on less frequented roads. Drivers setting out for the mountain regions have been warned to exercise extreme caution. Day temperatures have been forecast at between -4 and -9 degrees Celsius.
Georgian filmmaker George Ovashvili’s Corn Island won the main prize
–the Crystal Globe Award - at the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film
Festival on Saturday night. The psychological drama is the story of an old
peasant who transmits the wisdom of life to his granddaughter and reflects
on the importance of harmony between man and nature. The winning film was
made in coproduction with Germany, France, the Czech Republic and
The audience's prize went to a Czech entry - Olga Sommerova's documentary film The Magic Voice of a Rebel, which tells the life story of singer and dissident Marta Kubišová.
The Best Actress award went to Ella Fanning for her performance in Low Down, a U.S. film directed by Jeff Preiss and Nahuel Perez Biscayart picked up the Best Actor award for his role in All Yours, a Belgian-Canadian movie directed by David Lambert.
The jury's special prize went to Hungarian film maker Goergy Palfi for Free Fall. The main prize in the East of the West category went to Ivan Tverdovsky’s Corrections Class, a Russian-German co-production.
The 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is to end with a gala closing awards ceremony on Saturday evening. Two Czech films are in the running for the main prize: Andrea Sedláčková’s Fair Paly and Miroslav Krobot’s Nowhere in Moravia. The festival screened over 200 films including seven international premieres, two Czech premieres and, for the first time ever, an animated film. It will close with a screening of Damián Szifrón’s Wild Tales. For the first time ever the closing film and the closing gala ceremony of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will be shown live in cinemas around the Czech Republic.
Czech film actor, scriptwriter, director, and writer Zdeněk Svěrák ws awarded the president’s prize at the International Karlovy Vary Film Festival on Thursday for his lifetime contribution to cinema. The 78-year-old Czech, who won an Oscar in 1996 for the film Kolya in which he starred and directed, was given a standing ovation at the presentation in the spa town. Svěrák, whose films often contain a large dose of humour, said laughter was the main reward for his work.
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival continues on its second day with the spotlight perhaps on the world premiere screening of the director’s cut of Andrzej Wajda’s film ‘Walesa: Man of Hope’. The version of the film will be screened in the presence of former Polish dissident and leader of the Gdansk shipyard strikes that helped to topple the Communist regime, Lech Walesa. As well as the former Polish president the lead actors of the film will also be present. Later on Sunday, French actor and director Fanny Ardent will present her latest film ‘Obsessive Rhythms.’
Gibson’s star guest status at Karlovy Vary has been attacked by Jewish groups in the Czech Republic who highlighted past comments deemed to be anti-Semitic. In an interview at the festival’s launch, Gibson said he had tried to deal with those complaints and dismissed them as ‘just noise.’ The head of the Jewish Community, Petr Papoušek, in a letter to the festival’s organising committee accused Gibson of propagating xenophobic and anti-Jewish sentiments and regretted the film festival had invited him as its star guest. Gibson was criticized for his depiction of Jews in the film, The Passion of the Christ, which he directed and was also caught on tape in an anti-Semitic rant in 2006.