Karlovy Vary rewards Laverty and Loach

Filmmakers receive Crystal Globes for “outstanding work”

by Richard Mowe

Ken Loach meets the fans outside the Grand Hotel Pupp at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Ken Loach meets the fans outside the Grand Hotel Pupp at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Photo: Film Servis KVIFF
Ken Loach and Paul Laverty received a rapturous welcome at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Ken Loach and Paul Laverty received a rapturous welcome at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Photo: Film Service KVIFF
Rarely can a film festival and two filmmakers seem such a perfect match as the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival with its egalitarian approach and a preoccupation with social issues and director Ken Loach and his writing collaborator Paul Laverty who share the same values.

The match was celebrated when Loach and Laverty (Cannes Palme d’Or winner I, Daniel Blake, Bread And Roses, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Carla’s Song among many), were given an ecstatic welcome by audiences when they received Crystal Globes for Outstanding Contributions to World Cinema, while Land And Freedom and Sweet Sixteen were screened in a section that marked 30 Years of the European Film Academy.

The Academy, among other missions, organises the annual euro-Oscars, the European Film Awards in December with this year’s celebration returning to its birthplace in Berlin.

At a meet the public session, Loach suggested that the whole process of creativity had humble beginnings. “We talk about it a little bit at first, then Paul writes it, and it always starts with a blank piece of paper and a pencil. Then I make stupid comments …”

Director Ken Loach
Director Ken Loach Photo: Film Service KVIFF
Laverty concurred that there is “no master plan.” He added: “It’s all very organic, based on discussions and talks. We see each other all the time. Every project is different. It depends what comes up and what happens.”

The humour inherent in most of their films despite the seriousness of the subjects reflects real life. “You can’t be in the world and not find things funny. It’s not something you put on. It’s absolutely implicit in everything. And people are contradictory, aren’t they? They’ve got to be contradictory.

“Life is just one damn thing after another, everything’s predictable. And often what seems a victory isn’t a victory. In Daniel Blake, he gets his appeal finally...he’s gonna win. There are victories that aren’t victories and defeats that aren’t as bad as they seem. That’s how life is, isn’t it? You’ve got to have a defeat in order to have a victory sometimes.”

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival continues until July 8. Read more of our coverage from the festival.

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