Karlovy Vary 2022
Industry Report: Distribution, Exhibition and Streaming
KVIFF Group acquires Czech distributor Aerofilms
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is launching a new distribution body aiming to span the entire Central and Eastern European region
The newly founded KVIFF Group, created following an investment by Rockaway Capital in the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival amidst the challenging COVID-19 pandemic period, continues to expand. The group has acquired a majority share in the well-established Czech independent arthouse distribution company Aerofilms, which has brought 170 films to Czech cinemas since it was founded in 2006 – another major step towards enriching the content offered by the recently inaugurated KVIFF.TV streaming platform. Aerofilms’ VoD platform, dubbed Aerovod, will merge with KVIFF.TV in order to join the festival’s distribution company, KVIFF Distribution, aiming to increase the synergy between the festival, and online and cinema distribution. Also, the festival and Aerofilms plan to expand their distribution to cover the entire region of Central and Eastern Europe in the near future.
“I am glad that we are fundamentally strengthening the cooperation with KVIFF that we have been successfully testing on multiple levels over the past few years,” says Aerofilms’ CEO, Ivo Andrle. “The combination of festival, theatrical and online activities under one roof creates a unique opportunity for us to offer a far wider range of independent cinematic content.” Andrle will retain his position after the acquisition and will also take over as head of KVIFF.TV. Meanwhile, the festival’s executive director, Kryštof Mucha, and artistic director, Karel Och, confirm: “Our acquisition of Aerofilms is another step in our long-term plans in the field of distribution, not just in the Czech Republic but also throughout Central and Eastern Europe.”
Via the online video platform KVIFF.TV, which was launched before the festival in June, audiences were able to follow the 16th edition of the Pragueshorts Film Festival competition and were subsequently able to enjoy live broadcasts from the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in August. The main pillar of KVIFF.TV’s content, however, is a curated selection of arthouse films chosen by the festival’s programming team, while after the merger with Aerofilms, the film library should soon be able to offer more than 500 titles.
Another key activity of the group revolves around events organised by KVIFF Events, such as the Variations screenings and concerts series, presented in collaboration with the Czech Philharmonic, the Pragueshorts Film Festival and the KVIFF at Your Cinema screenings initiative. As confirmed by Rockaway Capital’s investment partner, Jan Jírovec, who is also a member of the board of KVIFF Group, the group already had a detailed plan for important social and cultural activities in the Czech Republic.
Rockaway Capital is an investment group founded in 2013 by Jakub Havrlant, with the vision of building a strong company based on new technologies and the digital economy, which aim to disrupt traditional business models. Today, Rockaway is a leading strategic internet investor in Central Europe, with assets in 17 countries and an investment portfolio that currently generates sales in excess of €2.5 billion.
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