Karlovy Vary Festival announces first guests

Director Ken Loach is among the recipients of the Crystal Globe this year

Guests at this year's Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will include director Ken Loach and composer James Newton Howard. The advertising campaign for the 52th edition of the festival was also unveiled at a press conference. Another highlight is a digitally restored version of the Oscar-winning Slovak film The Shop on Main Street. Several Czech and international filmmakers will also have retrospectives.

The festival will take place June 30 to July 8 in Karlovy Vary in Western Bohemia. It is one of the few big festivals where the public can attend films and events, though registration is required. More films, especially new ones, will be announced later. This is just a first peek at the schedule.

The Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema will be presented to two individuals who have influenced British cinema. Director Ken Loach and his long-time screenwriter Paul Laverty have worked together on 12 feature films and two shorts, and are pioneers of British social realist film. Loach has close ties to the festival in Karlovy Vary as well, as some of his films or actors in them have won awards going all the way back to 1968.

Composer James Newton Howard, who wrote scores for Pretty Woman, The Sixth Sense, Batman Begins and all four parts of The Hunger Games, will also receive the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema.

The public will be able to see the composer during the free opening ceremony concert in front of the Hotel Thermal. He will conduct a world premiere of the music from his latest movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which will be performed by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra will also play other works. Conductor and composer Carl Davis will present primarily music from famous James Bond movies. Davis composed the original score for numerous film and television projects, including The French Lieutenant’s Woman and Widows’ Peak, and collaborated with Paul McCartney on the famous Liverpool Oratorio.

The festival will show the world premiere screening of the digitally restored 1965 movie The Shop on Main Street from creative pair Ján Kadár and Elmar Klos. The digitized print was made possible by the Czech Film Foundation and the State Film Fund. The film deals with the what happened to the Jewish community in a Slovak town in World War II.

The Shop on Main Street took the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1966. Ján Kadár emigrated after 1968, and Elmar Klos became the victim of Normalization purges in the former Czechoslovakia. Elmar Klos died in 1993 at the age of 83, surviving his friend and creative partner by 14 years.

People who want to support film restoration can still have their names added to the film credits if they give a donation before the end of May. More information is at www.bijaky.cz.

The festival will also pay tribute to Jiří Brdečka on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth by presenting the well-known comedy western Lemonade Joe, which he wrote. Brdečka was also a director and animator, and some of his short films will be shown.

The KVIFF President’s Award for Artistic Contribution to Czech film will be go to screenwriter and director Václav Vorlíček, who will celebrate his 87th birthday shortly before the start of the festival. Some of his films will be shown, but the exact titles are not yet certain. His most famous films are Who Wants to Kill Jessie? (1966) and Three Wishes for Cinderella (1973).

The new trailer for the festival features Czech acting legend Josef Somr, who won the KVIFF President’s Award in 2012. The trailer will be shot by director Ivan Zachariáš.

Among the retrospectives is a focus on Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi, who was active up until his death in 1956. His three most famous films are The Life of Oharu (1952), Ugetsu (1953), and Sansho the Bailiff (1954). The festival will also show the documentary Kenji Mizoguchi: The Life of a Film Director (1975). Mizoguchi films often feature the theme of a woman sacrificing herself.

The festival will continue to provide a forum for film professionals from the Czech Republic and abroad. The Film Industry Pool pavilion will continue to be at their disposal for lectures, discussion talks and presentations of various topics ranging from film development, film production to distribution. A Works in Progress award for film projects in post-production from Central and Eastern Europe, post-Soviet states, Turkey and Greece will be introduced. The most promising project will receive a post-production award package worth € 100,000. Other awards for European films and documentaries are also available. 

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