PRAGUE — The spotlight of the Karlovy Vary fest, which unspools July 4-12, will be on favorite son Milos Forman. Fest prez Jiri Bartoska announced that Forman will receive the Lifetime Contribution award and be honored with a film retrospective.

Forman will also host a Los Angeles reception for the fest “to persuade the industry to reserve a large number of premiere screenings and to get as many actors and actresses to attend as possible,” said a spokesman for fest sponsor Philip Morris.

Increased financial sponsorship has the festival running in the black for the first time in years, leading to an increase in activities. One of those, a seminar on European distribution, will invite U.S. distributors to Karlovy Vary for the first time. “It’s the ‘Kolya’ factor at work,” Bartoska said.

So far distribution has been a one-way street. Program director Eva Zaoralova noted, “Some films shown at the festival are subsequently picked up by distributors here.”

Zaoralova also announced this year’s special sections will include a survey of Australian film and a centennial retrospective of French avant-garde helmer Jean Epstein. On hand to present selections of their films will be docu director Nick Broomfield and Russian Alexander Sokurov.

Guests already lined up include Austrian actor Klaus Maria Brandauer, Goldie Hawn (presenting “Everyone Says I Love You”), Geraldine Chaplin, Italian actress Ornella Muti and French actor Pierre Richard.

Responding to a crush on services that left the press grumbling last year, management is adding press screenings and enlarging its press center.

An additional cinema is to handle the increase in screenings. Despite slow going at last year’s trial run, the Central Europe film location expo and film publishers market will be back in the guise of a Film Bazaar.

Standard fest sections again include the out-of-competition Horizons, Another View, Forum of Independents and the East European survey East of the West, which this year includes a selection of films from Mongolia.

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