AUG 2 - 15 New York, NY: Metrograph
OCT 26 - NOV 26 Silver Spring, MD: AFI Silver Theater
JAN 4 - 30 Chicago, IL: Gene Siskel Film Center
JULY 9 - 30 Vancouver, BC: The Cinematheque
APR 9 - 25 Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Cinematheque
APR 17 - 20 Portland, OR: Northwest Film Center
MAY 3 Los Angeles, CA: UCLA Film & Television Archive
APR 20 - 25 New York, NY: Film Society of Lincoln Center
MAY 12 - JUNE 9 Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Cinematheque
MAY 31 - JUNE 3 Los Angeles, CA: American Cinematheque
JUNE 6 - JULY 4 Chicago, IL: Gene Siskel Film Center
JUL 19 - AUG 2 Vancouver, Canada: The Cinematheque
SEP 2 - 30 Louisville, KY: Speed Art Museum
SEP 5 - 26 Rochester, NY: George Eastman Museum
SEP 12 - 18 Montreal, QC, Canada: Cinémathèque Québécoise
SEP 30 - OCT 5 Ithaca, NY: Cornell Cinema
OCT 4 - 13 Philadelphia, PA: Lightbox Film Center
NOV 2 - DEC 1 Columbus, OH: Wexner Center for the Arts
NOV 3 - 24 Austin, TX: Austin Film Society
NOV 17 - 25 Portland, OR: Northwest Film Center
NOV 24 - DEC 7 Cambridge, MA: Harvard Film Archive
DEC 1 - 19 Berkeley, CA: Pacific Film Archive
DEC 1 - 29 Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art
DEC 9 Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Cinema
APR 19 - 24 Prague, Czech Republic: Svetozor & Aero
APR 21 - 24 Warsaw, Poland: Kino.LAB
APR 22 - 24 Budapest, Hungary: Toldi Mozi
MAY 1 - 5 Berlin, Germany: Arsenal
MAY 5 Vienna, Austria: Film Museum
MAY 9 - 10 Brno, Czech Republic: KinoArt
MAY 12 - 15 Havirov, Czech Republic: Kino Centrum
JULY 1 - 31 Frankfurt, Germany: Deutsches Filmmuseum
Jan 9 - 24 Los Angeles, CA: The Cinefamily
Jan 14 - 22 New York, NY: Film Society of Lincoln Center
JAN 15 - FEB 17 Silver Spring, MD (DC area): AFI Silver Theatre
Jan 17 - 18 Minneapolis, MN: Walker Art Center
Jan 23 - 27 Austin, TX: Austin Film Society
Jan 28 - 31 Boston, MA: Museum of Fine Arts
Feb 5 - 8 Seattle, WA: Northwest Film Forum
Feb 12 - 26 San Francisco, CA: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Mar 4 - 25 Pleasantville, NY: Jacob Burns Film Center
Mar 5 - 15 Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Cinematheque
Mar 12 - 22 Vancouver, BC, Canada: The CInematheque
Mar 14 - 22 Chicago, IL: Facets Cinematheque
Mar 21 - 28 Ottawa, ON, Canada: Canadian Film Institute
Mar 26 - 29 Portland, OR: Northwest Film Center
Mar 30 - Apr 8 Huntington, NY: Cinema Arts Centre
APR 9 - 14 Toronto, ON, Canada: TIFF Bell Lightbox
JAN NĚMEC: 2013-2014
Nov 8 - 14 New York, NY: BAMcinématek
Nov 15 - Dec 6 Austin, TX: Austin Film Society
Jan 3 - 20 Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Cinematheque
Jan 24 New Haven, CT: Yale University
Jan 31 - Feb 5 Vancouver, BC, Canada: The CInematheque
FEB 11 - MAR 5 Los Angeles, CA: The Cinefamily
FEB 28 - MAR 4 Atlanta, GA: Film Love at Emory University
FEB 18 - 24 Rochester, NY: George Eastman House
FEB 21 - 27 Seattle, WA: Northwest Film Forum
Mar 6 - 20 Columbus, OH: Wexner Center for the Arts
MAR 14 - 20 Chicago, IL: Facets Cinematheque
APR 6 - 23 Berkeley/San Francisco, CA: Pacific Film Archive
APR 6 - 25 Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art
APR 19 - 28 Silver Spring, MD (DC area): AFI Silver Theatre
Apr 19 - 26 Cambridge, MA: Harvard Film Archive
APR 30 Huntington, NY: Cinema Arts Centre
MAY 6 Prague, Czech Republic: Kino Světozor
Comeback Company has partnered with Deaf Crocodile, a boutique distribution, restoration and post-production company based in Los Angeles, on releases of archival genre and animated films hailing from Czechoslovakia. The first three titles will be released in 2023.  Věra Chytilová's masterpiece DAISIES (Sedmikrásky, 1966) was released in the coveted and exclusive Criterion Collection in a new restoration. Among the many excellent extras of this edition is an interview with Comeback Company's own Irena Kovarova about the film's background. The release also features newly edited English subtitles. Head over to the Criterion linked here for more details.  Film Forum cinema in New York presented a 16 film retrospective FORMAN 90 as a tribute to one of the giants of cinema Miloš Forman. Irena Kovarova consulted on this retrospective advising on programming, production and introduced several screenings of the rarities presented during the program (linked here).  Along with programming and production work with Comeback Company, Irena Kovarova embarked on writing on cinema and film journalism. Her interview with Ruben Östlund about his latest Palme D'Or winner TRIANGLE OF SADNESS appeared as a double page spread in the print version of Czech independent daily Denik N. This and her other articles for this publication (interviews with Jonas Carpignano, Mike Mills, Dennis Lim, and reports on HBO series WE OWN THIS CITY and SUCCESSION) are available following this link. Her contributions for the national public broadcast of Czech Radio station Vltava (program Reflexe: Film! hosted by Pavel Sladký) and Film a doba magazine podcast include interviews with Kelly Reichardt (on FIRST COW), Pietro Marcello (on MARTIN EDEN), and festival reporting on Toronto IFF and New York FF.
Severin Films includes Otakar Vávra's WITCHHAMMER (Kladivo na čarodějnice, 1970) co-written by Ester Krumbachová in its grandiose folk horror bluray box set of 19 films titled ALL THE HAUNTS BE OURS. The compendium was compiled by Kier-La Janisse around her documentary feature film WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED (2021). She commissioned Irena Kovarova to contribute an audio-commentary to the film WITCHHAMMER. 
The dates of the JURAJ HERZ retrospective in Vancouver have been rescheduled: July 11-30, 2020 [originally to screen July 9-30, 2019 and then April 2-17, 2020]. 
The Criterion Channel programmed a massive 24 film series of the Czechoslovak New Wave including films of Jan Němec, Juraj Herz, Miloš Forman, Věra Chytilová, Evald Schorm, Ivan Passer, Jaromil Jireš, Jiří Menzel, Ján Kadár & Elmar Klos, Karel Kachyňa and Vojtěch Jasný. The series video introduction features Irena Kovarova along with Peter Hames offering some insight on the Wave. Follow this link for the video. 
All April & May 2020 screenings on the JURAJ HERZ film tour have been cancelled. Stay tuned for replacement dates coming as soon as the cinemas are permitted to screen again. 
The comprehensive retrospective JURAJ HERZ: IN AND OUT OF THE CZECHOSLOVAK NEW WAVE premiered in New York at the Metrograph cinema on Lower East Side. The North American tour dates will be announced as venues get confirmed. Follow the schedule of venues as listed.  The Oscar winning animator Jan Pinkava will be introducing screenings of Trnka films at the Pacific Film Archives on December 5 and December 9. This comes on the heals of his presentations of two screenings at the Northwest Film Center in Portland and Irena Kovarova's introductions at the Harvard Film Archive in Cambridge, Lightbox Film Center in Philadelphia, and the Austin Film Society. The tour is in its final stretch simultaneously screening at the Harvard Film Archive, National Gallery of Art in DC, IU Cinema in Bloomington, IN, and the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, CA. 
The dates of the touring retrospective of films by Jiří Trnka were extended through the end of the year 2018. Starting in September, the series curator Irena Kovarova will travel with the tour to select venues. First appearances are scheduled for September 12 at the Cinematheque Quebecoise in Montreal, Canada, and September 23 at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY. The Speed Art Museum will also present a small exhibition of Trnka's book illustrations to accompany the film retrospective. 
THE PUPPET MASTER: THE COMPLETE JIŘÍ TRNKA retrospective from the production of Comeback Company begins its North American tour in New York on April 20, 2018 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Follow the link for the full line-up and schedule. Tickets go on sale April 6.  Ruben Östlund wins the coveted Palme d'Or, the main award of the Cannes Film Festival for his latest feature film THE SQUARE. The director has participated in the main competition at the festival for the first time next to luminaries like Michael Haneke, Hong Sang-soo and others.  An extensive retropective of the work of Jan Němec will take place in January 2017 at the International Film Festival Rotterdam as a tribute to the late filmmaker who passed away in March 2016. The retrospective will include the international premiere of THE WOLF FROM ROYAL VINEYARD STREET, the director's final feature film.  J. Hoberman reviews the just released DVD of the restored debut of Kelly Reichardt, RIVER OF GRASS.  The world premiere of Jan Němec's final feature film THE WOLF FROM ROYAL VINEYARD STREET takes place in competition of the upcoming Karlovy Vary IFF. The director sadly passed away in March before the last shooting day of the film, finished by his crew made of Nemec's former students.  Follow Ruben Östlund's THE SQUARE from pre-production to premiere on the Plattform Produktion Instagram feed.  “Kelly [Reichardt] is a master at her craft and one of the most distinct storytellers working in cinema today,” said Jonathan Sehring, president of Sundance Selects/IFC Films at the announcement of IFC Films aquiring US distribution rights to Reichardt's latest film CERTAIN WOMEN. “Along with her amazing cast [...] Kelly has created another treasure that confirms her as one of our great American filmmakers." Meanwhile in New York, RIVER OF GRASS Kelly Reichardt's debut feature in a newly restored version has its theatrical premiere at IFC Center screening with classics that inspired the filmmaker, starting Friday, March 11. EXCITING NEWS: Kelly Reichardt touring retrospective is coming soon. First clue: everything starts with the filmmaker in Prague! Ruben Östlund's FORCE MAJEURE nominated for the BAFTA Awards 2016 A new READER section added to the Jan Němec retrospective pages. Read a chapter from the filmmaker's autobiographical book of stories, excerpts from books by Peter Hames, Jiří Cieslar, and A.J. Liehm, and more. 
Jan Němec is in production of his 11th feature film, currently shooting in Cannes, revisiting 1968 when A REPORT ON THE PARTY AND GUESTS was shown in the main competition at the festival. 
NOW ON VIEW! Walker Art Center in Minneapolis hosted an onstage conversation between director Östlund and Dennis Lim, critic and FSLC Program Director. Enjoy! VARIETY says: "North American retrospective tour an inspiration for the ‘Force Majeure’ director" Ruben Östlund visits the vault of the Criterion Collection and speaks about his influences. ÖSTLUND'S YOUTUBE PLAYLIST added: See section RUBEN ÖSTLUND READER for the director's youtube inspirations and the most interesting texts on his films, interviews, and more… What it's like NOT getting an Oscar nomination? See Ruben Östlund and Erik Hemmendorff recording themselves through the Oscar snub.  Ruben Östlund & FORCE MAJEURE sweep a record six Swedish Film Awards - Guldbagge - for Best Film, Best Director, Best Script, Best Editing, Best Camera and Best Actor in Supporting Role.
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A production company based in New York, Comeback Company was founded by producer and independent film programmer Irena Kovarova. 

Having worked independently in New York in the field of repertory cinema since 2004, Irena founded Comeback Company in 2013 to further expand her film projects. Below is a selection of major film events that she has produced and/or curated.


Together with

Evgeny Gusyatinskiy, Irena Kovarova co-curated a nearly complete retrospective of the irreverant late filmmaker Jan Němec on the occassion of the international premiere of his final feature, as part of the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2017. 


Evgeny Gusyatinskiy & Irena Kovarova, February 2017

This programme was initiated two years ago. Back then, we were expecting Jan Němec’s new film to be completed. But not only the production of The Wolf from Royal Vineyard Street was prolonged, finishing only in 2016, this autobiographical work suddenly became Němec’s final film. He passed away four months before the film’s world premiere in Karlovy Vary. An unexpected, unbelievable turn of events – like another spontaneous cut for which his style is famous. [...]

Continue reading here.

The Jan Němec retrospective was organised in partnership with the Czech Film Center. Many thanks to Robert de Rek, Ilse van der Spoel, Iva Ruszeláková and Markéta Šantrochová for their enormous help.


An annual film festival of current European cinema held in New York, in three venues in its fifth edition—the IFC Center, the Bohemian National Hall, and Museum of the Moving Image. The number of organizing partners grew from eight in the first year to 34 in the fifth. Attendance more than doubled from the first year to the fifth, totaling over 1,500 admissions in 2013. (Curator/producer) 

2013 Disappearing Act V
Screenings of 24 films with eight guests in three cinemas; expansion of the educational outreach program; and a panel discussion devoted to the streaming of European films in the U.S. (visit DAV Blog here for program details).

2012 Disappearing Act IV 
Screenings of 25 films with six guests, expansion to three cinemas; addition of an educational outreach program; and a panel discussion devoted to the presence of European cinema at universities in the U.S.

2011 Disappearing Act III
Screenings of 19 films with three guests and a panel discussion publicly launching the Subtitled Cinema Initiative.

2010 Disappearing Act II
Screenings of 18 films with one guest and a panel discussion on the distribution of foreign language films in the U.S.

2009 Disappearing Act: European Cinema from New Wave to New Wave 
Screenings of 18 films with three guests and a panel discussion on the access of foreign language films to cinemas in the U.S.

NEW CZECH FILMS_U.S. TOUR 2012 and Seven Annual NEW CZECH FILMS Series 2004–2010

A touring series of recent Czech films screening in eight cities that was organized in collaboration with the Czech Film Center, Czech Center New York, and Czech diplomatic offices and premiered in New York at BAMcinématek; the touring program originated as an annual series that ran in New York beginning in 2000, also at BAMcinématek. (Curator/co-producer)


Irena Kovarova has produced tours of thematic and filmmaker retrospectives in art cinema venues around the U.S. and Canada, with varying level of curatorial participation: 

2012–2013 The second major North American film retrospective of Jan Švankmajer, presented in 16 venues

2011 The second major film retrospective of František Vláčil in North America, presented in five American venues

2009 The first complete film retrospective of Karel Vachek in North America, presented in six venues

2008 A historical survey/retrospective of Slovenian Cinema, co-curated with the Film Society of Lincoln Center and presented in four venues in North America

2008 A complete film retrospective of Miloš Forman, co-curated with the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the premiering venue, and presented in 13 cities, including as part of the Regis Dialogue program at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis

2006–2007 A thematic retrospective, Czech Modernism: 1926-1949, co-curated with BAMcinématek in New York, the premiering venue, and presented in five cities.


Since 2007, Irena Kovarova has been the executive producer of a globally touring retrospective with guest speakers titled Muppets™, Music & Magic: Jim Henson’s Legacy, organized by the Jim Henson Legacy foundation; the series has had nearly 60 bookings around North America and in Australia, Argentina, the UK, and Singapore. 

In 2010, Irena curated and co-produced Cinema Belgrade, a  series of current Serbian cinema in New York.

Since 2005, Irena has been a representative of the Czech Film Center in North America.

During her 1999–2004 tenure as deputy and acting director at the Czech Center New York, Irena organized and co-curated (*) the following film programs: four annual editions of New Czech Films at BAMcinématek; a tour of Gustav Machatý’s Erotikon with live music accompaniment in 2000; touring film retrospectives of Pavel Juráček*, František Vláčil*, Jan Švankmajer*, Karel Zeman*, and Věra Chytilová*; and the series Czech Horror & Fantasy on Film and Czech Animation (each retrospective screened in 5–12 venues in North America).

THE JUNK SHOP (Sběrné surovosti, 1965) THE JUNK SHOP (Sběrné surovosti, 1965) A work of nonstop invention set over the course of a single day at a paper recycling facility frequented by oddballs, including manager and aesthete Bohoušek, based on Bohumil Hrabal's life and a story from his book Pearls of the Deep. SIGN OF CANCER (Znamení raka, 1966) SIGN OF CANCER (Znamení raka, 1966) A warped detective story that begins with a murder in a hospital, the investigation of which reveals rampant incompetence, the film’s implicitly critical depiction of a public service sector overloaded with underqualified Party stooges would land Herz in trouble with censors for what was not to be the last time. New subtitles! THE CREMATOR (Spalovač mrtvol, 1969) THE CREMATOR (Spalovač mrtvol, 1969) Herz's masterpiece, in a new digital restoration released by Janus Films in North America, is set in 1930s Prague, where Nazi ideology hangs as thick as the charnel fumes over the crematorium run by the troubled Karel Kopfrkingl. This macabre and harrowing work of psychological and social breakdown was banned after its 1969 debut only to re-emerge and garner deserved praise twenty years later. OIL LAMPS (Petrolejové lampy, 1971) OIL LAMPS (Petrolejové lampy, 1971) Contender for the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1972, this early 20th Century period piece is set in a provincial town, Jilemnice, that’s riven by repressed desire and smoldering secrets. Herz plumbs deep within the psychology of his characters in this gripping and gorgeous film, which investigates the rot beneath the decoration and decorum of the Secession era. New subtitles! MORGIANA (1972) MORGIANA (1972) A Gothic drama about two sisters, Klára and Viktorie—both played by Iva Janžurová, in an amazing double-role performance—are put at loggerheads when the sweet, vapid Klára receives the better part of their father’s sprawling estate and the love of the man that Viktorie adores, leading the spurned sibling to venomous thoughts of murder.  BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Panna a netvor, 1978) BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Panna a netvor, 1978) A tale you’ll know well—innocent girl presents herself as sacrifice to a cursed, freakish beast living in isolation, and learns to live with and love her captor—but turned into something very different in Herz’s morbid imagining. New subtitles! FERAT VAMPIRE (Upír z Feratu, 1981) FERAT VAMPIRE (Upír z Feratu, 1981) A satire on consumerism, a potent piece of anti-automobile propaganda, and perhaps the purest horror exercise that Herz produced. Starring the excellent Jiří Menzel (the Oscar winning film director) in the lead role of Dr. Marek. New subtitles! CAUGHT BY NIGHT (Zastihla mě noc, 1985) CAUGHT BY NIGHT (Zastihla mě noc, 1985) Conceived as a biography of Communist journalist Jožka Jabůrková, a victim of Ravensbrück, Herz went his own way, creating a nauseously stylized vision of hell on earth that is, with Wanda Jakubowska’s 1948 The Last Stage, one of only two fiction films made by a camp survivor about the experience.  GOLDEN SIXTIES: JURAJ HERZ (Zlatá šedesátá, dir. Martin Šulík, 2009) GOLDEN SIXTIES: JURAJ HERZ (Zlatá šedesátá, dir. Martin Šulík, 2009) An illuminating portrait of Juraj Herz from a 27-part TV series about masters of the Czechoslovak New Wave.


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