We’re back! Our international premiere in Karlovy Vary was a blast. The festival — one of the oldest in the world — is a major European film event and although it has a laid-back, film-loving vibe, it’s also pretty glamourous. We had to find ourselves black-tie outfits for the ceremonies and some of the parties at the Grandhotel Pupp. As Karlovy Vary is a quaint bohemian town, I got to grips with walking in heels on cobblestoned streets
Both of our screenings at the festival were sold out and the audiences were great and very interactive. The interpreters at the Q&A sessions had their work cut out for them. It was a new experience for us to see the film with a mostly non-native English speaking audience. We wondered if watching with subtitles would change the viewing experience, but reactions seemed to all happen at the same points in the film, which actually isn’t very surprising seeing as Stranger Things is a film where so much of the story is told visually.
It was lovely to have the chance to see a lot of other films at the festival and to hang out with other directors. We had fun with Daniel Garcia and Rania Attieh, whose brilliant film OK, Enough, Goodbye was also in the Forum of Independents. It was also great to meet the team behind the UK documentary The British Guide to Showing Off.
Karlovy Vary is a spa town, historically famous for its hot springs. You are supposed to sip the waters through your own porcelain pot with a special drinking spout, and everyone wandering along the main street of the town who isn’t part of the film festival carries one of these. It doesn’t taste too lovely, so I’m afraid we didn’t imbibe as much as recommended. However, on the roof of the building housing the film festival headquarters is an outdoor thermal pool, which I’m sure must be just as wonderful for you, so I definitely came back healthy and strong.
Lots of thanks to everyone at KVIFF. Also thanks to our lovely families and to Susannah and Thomas who came out to join us at different points during the trip.