Fresh Film Festival
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The Fresh Film Fest International Film Festival or Fresh Film Fest is an international student film festival held annually in August in Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), Czech Republic. Because of its success in the past few years the Fresh Film Fest has become one of the most significant student film events in Central and Eastern Europe.
The Fresh Film Fest is a successor of the world famous CILECT festival that took place in Karlovy Vary, initially as an independent festival and subsequently as a part of the renowned Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. This festival was the place where young talents of the day could freely share their ideas and comments on the world in the 1980s, without being subject to the notorious surveillance of the Communist regime. Over the years the CILECT festival became an important crossroads between the former eastern block and the west. The festival was attended by soon to be world respected filmmakers, such as Jan Svěrák, Emir Kusturica etc.
The festival was founded in 2004 by three students from the Film and TV School of The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU), who decided to bring this unique festival back to life and recreate a competitive showcase of student films in Czech Republic. The organizational team, which is composed almost entirely of students from the Film and Television Faculty of the Academy of Performing arts in Prague - FAMU, presents each year over 250 mainly student films from various countries and of various genres to a wide public. Despite its short existence it has quickly established its strong position in film professionals' calendars.
Numerous screenings are accompanied by a wide ranging program of additional activities and events. This program includes professional workshops and seminars, school presentations and evening parties which will give everyone a chance to compare and increase their own abilities. Juries will feature prominent film industry figures who will award the best works with many prizes.
The Fresh Film Fest's mission is to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and shared points of view from talented young film artists from all over the world. The festival offers contact and discussion with international film talents.
The aim of the Fresh Film Fest is to stimulate everyone's contact make for fertile future cooperation. Fresh Film Fest is one of the biggest and most significant international student film festivals in Central and Eastern Europe.
Fresh Film Fest is an international student film festival. Being the largest film competition of its kind in Central Europe, Fresh Film Fest represents the showcase for the Eastern and Central European student filmmaking and aims to promote young artists from this region in as many different ways as possible. To serve this purpose the festival offers ideal conditions – especially with regard to its favourable geographical location – and provides sufficient production services. The festival also plays an important role at the national level. Together with other notable Czech film festivals Fresh Film Fest brings attention to the tendencies of European, as well as world cinematography, that shape the essence of contemporary filmmaking. Such works often face difficulties finding their way to Czech distribution and thus, Fresh Film Fest significantly contributes to the high standard of Czech as well as Central and East European cinematography.
Concerning the number of films shown, as well as the area covered, Fresh Film Fest is the largest international student film competition not only in the Czech Republic but also in the whole of the so-called Visegrad region (Czech Rep., Slovakia, Hungary, Poland). During five days, at the turn of August to September, more than 300 works representing the most progressive trends in student cinematography from all over the world are to be seen in six cinema halls, followed by feature-length film screenings and music concerts. Despite its short existence, the festival is a follow-up to a more than 30-year-old tradition of international student film festivals held in Karlovy Vary. It secures its leading position among Central European film festivals by extensive contacts with the most prominent film schools (VGIK, FEMIS, FAMU, NFTS, Columbia), by showing films from exotic regions (Ecuador, Hong Kong, Cuba) as well as from the most vivid cinematographic territories (Latin America, Taiwan), and primarily by putting the emphasis on a high-quality program concept, which rests entirely in the hands of the new generation of young film curators, critics, authors and theoreticians.
Fresh Film Fest offers a combination of unique conditions. It is held in Karlovy Vary, a town that annually hosts an A-category Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and therefore provides excellent festival facilities and up-to-date cinema halls. Fresh Film Fest is also a partner event of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and it originates from the expansion of the former Student Films section. The organizing teams of both festivals overlap. This is just to mention a few reasons, why Fresh Film Fest holds a prominent and unrivalled status among other student film festivals from all over Central and Eastern Europe. Fresh Film Fest is then capable to offer facilities and possibilities rivalling Berlinale Talent Campus or Cannes Cinéfondation, even though of the causes being the dismal situation in the field of cinematography promotion in the Czech Republic. Despite that, a cinema hall seating 1000 together with five other cinemas are available to festival participants as well as the festival club scene and several lounge rooms. To compare Fresh Film to other equally significant Central European student film festivals: Mediaschool held in Łódź or the famous Internationales Festival des Filmhochschulen München take both place within five days in a single festival cinema hall.
Selection and promotion of the best from Central and Eastern European filmmaking Fresh Film Fest annually offers a solid and varied array of Central and Eastern European student films focused on the Visegrad Group countries. This section has now been broadened to present today's most important work from all the former East European region. Owing to this strategy and the partnership with a wide range of prominent Western European film festivals, Fresh Film Fest has become a gateway to the Western market for Eastern European talents. Since 2006 the festival pays tribute to the world's most promising talents of film making by realizing a retrospective program of all films made by them so far. One of the already tributed, Corneliu Porumboiu, a participant in the first Fresh Film Fest competition and one of last year's media campaign protagonists, has been awarded the Camera d'Or (Golden Camera) at the Cannes Film Festival.
The festival organisers have received many distinguished awards for putting on the festival. The production has won two FAMU awards. The director of the 2nd Fresh Film Fest trailer Jakub Kohák was awarded the third prize for the best trailer at the most prestigious contest for the best and most creative Czech advertisement "Louskáček". The 2nd Fresh Film Fest visual concept created by art director Adéla Svobodová was honoured at the International Biennale of Graphic Design in Brno - according to many reliable sources the most renowned competition of its kind in the Czech Republic; the 3rd Fresh Film Fest visual concept, created by the same author altogether with graphic designer Pauline Kerleroux has been awarded an Ogilvy CID Prize for Best Corporate Design in 2006 delivered by a jury consisted of most respected Czech graphics professionals and critics.
Call for entries
Fresh Film Fest usually opens its call for entries usually at the beginning of January and ends on April 30.
The competition films are selected by the youngest generation of Czech film curators: the members of the selection committees are young dramaturges who have, despite their age, already managed to reach key positions in organisations that in the eye of the Czech audience significantly contribute to the overall picture of world cinematography. The members of the pre-selection committees are program directors of various international film festivals such as AniFest (the largest festival of animated films in the Czech Republic), Prague Film Festival FebioFest (the largest non-competitive film festival in the Czech Republic) or the program managers of IFF Karlovy Vary and the Institute of Documentary Film. The festival production is also provided by the rising generation of Czech artists and producers. Fresh Film Fest has proven to be a solid starting point for many, who have later continued their professional careers at other Czech film festivals (e.g. Jasmina Sijerčič – International Documentary Film Festival Jihlava together with FebioFest or Nízký - AniFest), as well as those who won international prestige outside the festival scope (Daniel Fišer - Architecture, Natálie Deáková - Theatre, Eva Pospíšilová - Film, Tomáš Vorel jr. - Film)
Official Selection - Competition Best Film Award Oliwia Tonteri for the film Lilli, Finland, 2007, 26 min, documentary
Official Selection Théâtre Optique Théâtre Optique Award Tibor Banoczki for the film Milk Teeth, U. K., 2007, 11 min, animation
The Central and Eastern European Films Competition Magnesia Award for the Best film of the CEE Region Paul Manolescu for the film Casa de piatra / I Now Pronounce You, Romania, 2006, 7 min, fiction
Special Jury Prize Official Selection - Competition Daniela Rusnoková for the film O Soni a jej rodine / Soňa and her Family, Slovakia, 2006, 37 min, documentary
Special Jury Prize Théâtre Optique Zdeněk Durdil for the film Radio Kebrle, Czech Republic, 2006, 16 min, animation
Audience Award Yasmine Novak for the film Zohar, Israel, 2007, 30 min, fiction
Festival guests and jury members
Norbert Auerbach (producer, CEO United Artists Corp. USA), Laurent Jacob (director of Cinéfondation at Cannes Film Festival, France), Kathrine Granlund (editor, Germany), Guillaume Lirondiere (financial director Gemini Films, France), Corneliu Porumboiu (director, Romania), Daniel Mitulescu (producer, Romania), Veronika Bromová (visual artist, Czech Republic), Katarína Kerekešová (director and animator, Slovak Republic), Krešimir Zimonić (director and artistic director, Croatia), Agnes Bidaud (screenwriter, France), Luís Correia (producer and cinematographer, Portugal), Cathy Rohnke (producer and film critic, Germany) Jaroslav Dušek (actor a director, Czech republic), Jan Budař (actor, Czech republic), Tomáš Hanák (actor, Czech republic), Věra Chytilová (director, Czech republic), Ivo Mathé (rektor AMU, Czech republic), Petr Sís (artist, Czech republic), Marek Najbrt (director, Czech republic), Arnošt Lustig (writer, Czech republic), Lukáš Pollert (sportsman, Czech republic), Jaromír Šofr (cinematographer, Czech republic), Vratislav Šlajer (producer, Czech republic), Christoffer Boe (writer/director Denmark), Daniel Mulloy (writer/director United Kingdom)
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- Official website
- Festival site on myspace
- Fresh Film Fest on Britfilms
- Entry form download
- Student films on Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
- Fresh Film Fest on MediaDesk website