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Football Fever Grips Karlovy Vary as Euros Enter Knockout Stage

“I’m sorry for you, and I’m sorry for me,” remarked Viggo Mortensen to an Italian journalist on Sunday morning before a press conference at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.

The comment referred to the European Football Championships currently taking place over the Czech border in Germany, which has been a hot topic at the festival.

Denmark and Italy, both favored teams in the tournament, suffered 2-0 defeats on Saturday. The Lord Of The Rings and Green Book star had quickly left a dinner thrown in his honor by the festival to catch the game. The match had been delayed due to poor weather in Germany. Mortensen was in town to receive the festival’s Honorary President’s Award and to present his latest feature, The Dead Don’t Hurt.

On Sunday night, a private dinner was hosted by Georgian filmmakers for journalists and festival VIPs. A TV mounted on the wall broadcasted Georgia’s knockout match against Spain, the tournament favorites.

“Today is a nerve-wracking day,” revealed Georgian filmmaker George Sikharulidze to the attendees. Sikharulidze’s debut feature Panoptikoni premiered at the festival just before the match began. “And tomorrow we have the reviews,” he joked.

Interest quickly shifted back to cinema after Spain confidently secured a 4-1 victory over Georgia.

There were no notable public screenings of England’s dramatic knockout game on Sunday. The Three Lions faced local rivals Slovakia and clinched a 2-1 win in extra time after a lackluster performance. Local fans had already lost interest after the Czech Republic failed to advance past the preliminary group stage.

The European Championships will conclude on July 14, while the Karlovy Vary Film Festival runs until July 6.