Uma Thurman coming to Karlovy Vary

More guests and films announced for the country's big film festival

Uma Thurman has been announced as the special guest of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. She will receive the Festival President's Award at the opening ceremony on June 30. She is known for her work with Quentin Tarantino and recently headed one of the juries at the Cannes film festival.The festival, in its 52nd edition, runs June 30 to July 8 at the spa town of Karlovy Vary in West Bohemia.

The opening film for the festival is The Big Sick, an American romantic comedy film directed by Michael Showalter and starring Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan and Holly Hunter.

The July 8 closing ceremony will have actor Jeremy Renner as a special guest. He will also receive the Festival President's Award. The closing will feature the sci-fi film Arrival, which had Renner in a main role. The festival will also screen Wind River, which won the prize for best direction in the Un Certain Regard section in Cannes. Renner, who stars in the film, will introduce the screening. People may recognize Renner from The Hurt Locker and action films such as The Avengers and two of the Mission Impossible films.

These guests are in addition to previously announced ones which included actor Oscar winner Casey Affleck, who will introduce the film A Ghost Story and also receive the Festival President's Award.

Director Ken Loach and his long-time screenwriter Paul Laverty will be receiving the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema at the festival.

Music composer James Newton Howard will receive the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema and will personally conduct a world premiere of the music from his latest movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, in front of the Hotel Thermal.

Czech director Václav Vorlíček, who is just turning 87, will also be given an award for his contribution to Czech cinema.

Not all of the guests will be winning prizes. Some are just coming to introduce their films. Director Trudie Styler will be presenting her film Freak Show in the festival's Another View section. The film was also shown at the Berlin film festival. Styler, aside from directing and producing, is an active environmentalist.

Italian actress Jasmine Trinca will be at the screening of her new film Fortunata, where she plays a single mother on the outskirts of Rome. She won an award for her acting in the film at this year's Cannes film festival.

Director Sergei Loznitsa will present his film Austerlitz, which is in the Another View section. The film is not about Napoleon's famous battle but instead looks at the subject of Holocaust tourism. The director's films have been a regular feature of the festival.

British director Mark Cousins also will be at the festival's Another View section, presenting Stockholm, My Love. He has been at the festival several times and also works to educate children about international cinema.

Canadian director Denis Côté will be a mentor to emerging talents in the Future Frames section, which focuses on films by students from European film schools.

Before the days of the internet, people had to buy books of film reviews to find out what to watch. One of the most popular critics writing these books was Leonard Maltin, who will also be among the festival guests.

The festival will also be showing Sofia Coppola’s latest film, The Beguiled, starring Nicole Kidman. After the July 4 festival screening, the American Civil War film will be shown in theaters in the towns of Ostrov, Sokolov, Chodov, Cheb and Mariánské Lázně to help promote cinema in the region around the festival.

Four films will be presented for the first time to the European audience in the Out of Competition section. Awarded for the Best Cinematography at New York’s Tribeca, the Estonian co-production November by director Rainer Sernet leads us to a mysterious pagan world where werewolves roam and villagers cope with a plague.

The Special Jury Prize at Sundance went to the black comedy from Hong Kong called Free and Easy by director Jun Geng. The arrival of a door-to-door soap seller to a village in northern China kicks off a series of funny situations.

The black-and-white Irish film Song of Granite by director Pat Collins is dedicated to the life of Irish musician Joe Heaney. The film had its World Premiere at SXSW festival.

The Hong Kong International Film Festival launched the Indian co-production Juze by director Miransha Naik. It follows a character's struggle to escape from a slum and start a new life.

This year, the East of the West Competition will open with the Azerbaijani drama Pomegranate Orchard by Ilgar Najaf. Director Juraj Lehotský will return to the festival with the Slovak-Czech intimate drama Nina. Eight of the dozen of premieres in the section are debut films.

As was previously announced, a special section will focus on the works of Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi, who was active up until his death in 1956.

A restored version of The Shop on Main Street from creative pair Ján Kadár and Elmar Klos will also be screened.

While the festival officially ends July 8, there will be special screenings of the winners on July 9 at the Hotel Thermal.

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