54th International Film Festival Karlovy Vary

28.06.2019 to 06.07.2019
Karlovy Vary
The Father (Kristina Grozeva, Petar Valchanov)

"The Father", winner of the Crystal Globe in Karlovy Vary 2019 (© Film Servis Festival Karlovy Vary)

The German competition entry "Lara", directed by Jan-Ole Gerster, ist the winner of the Ecumenical Jury Prize in Karlovy Vary 2019. In addition, the jury awarded a Commendation to the Slovak-Czech coproduction "Nech je svetlo" (Let There Be Light", directed by Marko Škop.

"Lara" was also awarded by the festival jury and received the Special Jury Prize as well as the Prize for Best Actress for Corinna Harfouch. The Crystal Globe, the main festival prize, was awarded to "Bashtata" (The Father) directed by Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov from Bulgaria. The Jury of the International Federation of Film Critics (Fipresci) choose "La virgen de agosto" (The August Virgin, Spain, 2019) as their winner.

At the Closing Ceremony, American actress Patricia Clarkson accepted a Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema. The same award was presented to Julianne Moore at the opening of the festival on June 28.

Link: Festival website


Directed by:

A well-acted and intelligently directed film of a depressed mother's psychological humiliation of her composer-musician son.  The interactions of mother and son dramatically and dynamically capture their alienation, and shows signs of movement toward positive resolution.  

Let There Be Light
Directed by:

This film is structured around a mesh of wrong-doings that implicate a family, a traditional village community, and its cultural and religious practices.   In a stimulating and arresting way, it compels the viewer to re-examine moral responsibilities in a context of complex entanglements of violence. (Photo: © Film Servis Festival Karlovy Vary)

More about the festival

In her report Alyda Faber gives a detailed analysis of "Lara" and "Let There Be Light", the films which received, respectively, the Ecumenical Jury prize, and a commendation.  Three other films that especially impressed the Ecumenical Jury are also discussed.