Director Václav Kadrnka, photo credit: Jan Handrejch
After fifteen years, the main competition at the Karlovy Vary festival has been won by a domestic entrant. Václav Kadrnka's meditative drama on fatherhood Little Crusader captured the five-member main jury's attention the most and along with the Crystal Globe for best film it also received a financial award of 25 000 dollars. "I'm overjoyed. There was a lot of uncertainty in the film from the beginning; it was a long journey. I'm glad that our film has created emotions," said the moved filmmaker.
The special jury prize went to the drama on the trauma of the war in Yugoslavia Men Don't Cry by Bosnian director Alen Drljević. The directing prize was won by Slovak filmmaker Peter Bebjak, who was presenting his film The Line at the festival. The award for best actress went to Jowita Budnik and Eliane Umuhire together for the drama Birds Are Singing in Kigali. Russian actor Alexander Yatsenko was selected as best actor for his role as a doctor in the Russian film Arrythmia. The five-member jury also award two special recognitions – to the American romance Keep The Change for the best debut and to Romanian actress Voica Oltean for best starting actress for the film Breaking News.
In the competition East of the West, the imaginative road movie How Viktor "the Garlic" took Alexey "the Stud" to the Nursing Home by Russian director Alexander Hant was successful. A special jury prize was earned by the film Dede, which takes place in Svaneti, a stark mountainous region in northwestern Georgia, directed by Mariam Khatchvani. The award for best feature-length documentary went to the Spanish film Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle. The documentary jury awarded a special prize to the film Atelier de conversation by Austrian director Bernhard Braunstein.
The Právo Audience Award was awarded to the American crime drama taking place on a Native American reservation Wind River starring Jeremy Renner in the main role. The movie's protagonist received a Festival President's Award from Jiří Bartoška at the closing ceremony. "I hope this prize doesn't mean that I'm old already?" asked the two-time Oscar nominee. "It's a wonderful honour. Thanks to Mr Babuška, because of whom this festival is alive, and all the staff," added the Avengers star. A KVIFF President's Award was also received by Czech director Václav Vorlíček, who during his thanks recalled the first showing of his comedy The Girl on the Broomstick at Karlovy Vary.
The fifty-second Karlovy Vary IFF was attended by 13 734 accredited visitors – of those 11 544 with festival passes, 398 filmmakers, 1165 film professionals and 617 journalists. Over the course of the festival there were 505 film screenings and a total of 140 067 tickets were sold. A total of 207 different films were shown. Next year's 53rd Karlovy Vary IFF will take place from 29 June to 7 July 2018.