Boiling Point on the menu in Karlovy Vary

Stephen Graham starrer among line-up for Czech festival's 55th edition

by Richard Mowe

Stephen Graham stars as a London chef under pressure in Boiling Point, part of the official selection in
 the 55th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Stephen Graham stars as a London chef under pressure in Boiling Point, part of the official selection in the 55th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Photo: Film Servis Karlovy Vary
The official selection of the 55th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival which takes place from 20 to 28 August, features now fewer than 32 premieres, including Boiling Point by Philip Barantini from the UK and starring Line of Duty alumni Stephen Graham.

The films will make their bow in the festival's two competitions and Special Screenings section. Karlovy Vary will also celebrate the work of Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation with an extensive tribute.

In 2019, the festival adjusted the structure of its official selection by axing the documentary competition. The 2021 edition will formally see the updated version of the fest come into reality after the Covid-related cancellation of last year’s edition. Feature-length documentaries are now, for the first time, incorporated into the two existing competitions – the Crystal Globe Competition and East of the West Competition – both previously restricted to fiction features only.

The gala opening film at Karlovy Vary is David Ondříček’s  drama Zátopek about four-time Olympic gold medallist runner Emil Zátopek
The gala opening film at Karlovy Vary is David Ondříček’s drama Zátopek about four-time Olympic gold medallist runner Emil Zátopek Photo: Film Servis Karlovy Vary
Exclusive premieres and sneak previews of foreign and Czech films will continue to be presented in the Special Screenings section. The programming team has chosen eight diverse titles to spotlight. Heading the Special Screenings selection is the festival’s opening film, Zátopek, David Ondříček’s highly anticipated drama about four-time Olympic gold medallist, the runner Emil Zátopek, who is widely regarded as the most popular athlete in Czech Republic’s history. The film will premiere on August 20, 2021 in the Hotel Thermal Grand Hall on the opening night gala.

Barantini’s Boiling Point which is shot in one take, follows the stressed head chef at one of London’s stop restaurants on the busiest night of the year - the Friday before Christmas. Graham plays head chef Andy Jones who is battling debts, addiction and imploding personal life. Andy Jones, head chef at one of the top restaurants in London, is battling debts, addiction and an imploding personal life. The pressure is already on when health and safety services unexpectedly show up for inspection.

This year’s sole retrospective is a tribute to the celebrated work of The Film Foundation. Established in 1990 by Martin Scorsese, the non-profit organisation is dedicated to protecting and preserving motion picture history, restoring to date over 900 classic works of cinema as well as less-known masterpieces from around the world. Ten carefully selected films produced between 1932 and 1991 and traversing the US, the Ivory Coast, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Taiwan and Morocco will be screened.

The Festival’s East of the West competition – focused on first and second features from central and eastern Europe, and the Balkans – features 12 titles, all world premieres. Included is Andrius Blaževičius’s Runner, in which a young woman searches the streets for her troubled boyfriend in a bid to prevent a tragedy. The lead role is taken by Lithuanian actress Žygimantė Elena Jakštaitė, who was selected for this year’s Shooting Stars talent programme at the Berlin Film Festival.

The festival's non-competitive programmes will include an assortment of some of the most notable films shown in 2020 and 2021 as chosen by the programming team, and will be announced two weeks prior to 55th edition’s starting date.

KVIFF Eastern Promises Industry Days unveils 29 selected film projects showcased in the platform’s various strands: Works in Progress, Works in Development - Feature Launch, and First Cut+ Works. The event will take place entirely online before the Festival itself between July 28 and August 12. This year’s winners will receive awards of a total value of 115.000 euros.

The line-up is below:


  • Bird Atlas (Czech-Slo-Slovak), Dir Olmo Omerzu
  • Boiling Point (UK), Dir Philip Barantini
  • The Exam (Ger-Iraq-Qat), Dir Shawkat Amin Korki
  • Wars (Can), Dir Nicolas Roy
  • Every Single Minute (Czech-Slovak), Dir Erika Hníková (Czech)
  • At Full Throttle (Czech-Slovak), Dir Miro Remo
  • Nö (Ger), Dir Dietrich Brüggemann
  • Le Prince (Ger), Dir Lisa Bierwirth
  • As Far As I Can Walk (Ser-Fr-Lux-Bul-Lith), Dir Stefan Arsenijević
  • The Land Of The Sons (It), Dir Claudio Cupellini (Italy)
  • The Staffroom (Cro), Dir Sonja Tarokić
  • Saving One Who Was Dead (Czech-Slovak-Fr), Dir Václav Kadrnka

East Of The West Competition

  • Dear Ones (Pol-Czech), Dir Grzegorz Jaroszuk
  • Runner (Lith-Czech), Dir Andrius Blaževičius
  • Intensive Life Unit (Czech), Dir Adéla Komrzý
  • Roots (Ser), Dir Tea Lukač
  • Wild Roots (Hun-Slovak), Dir Hajni Kis
  • Two Ships (Czech-Nor), Dir Jan Foukal
  • Nuuccha (Rus), Dir Vladimir Munkuev
  • Otar’s Death (Geo-Ger-Lith), Dir Ioseb “Soso” Bliadze
  • Patchwork (Cyp-Isr-Slo), Dir Petros Charalambous
  • After The Winter (Mont-Ser-Cro), Dir Ivan Bakrač
  • Sisterhood (N Mac-Kos-Mont), Dir Dina Duma
  • Mirrors In The Dark (Czech), Dir Šimon Holý

Special Screenings

  • Roaring 20’s (Fr), Dir Elisabeth Vogler

  • Brighton 4th (Geo-Rus-Bul-US-Mon), Dir Levan Koguashvili
  • My Sunny Maad (Czech-Fr-Slovak), Dir Michaela Pavlátová
  • The Party And The Guests (Czech), Dir Jan Němec
  • Suspicion (Czech-Fr), Dir Michal Blaško
  • Reconstruction of Occupation (Czech-Slovak), Dir Jan Šikl
  • Dreams About Stray Cats (Czech-US-Fr), Dir David Sís
  • Zátopek (Czech) Dir David Ondříček

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