Karlovy Vary sets August ‘Song’

Helmer to bow latest pic as Swedish entry

PRAGUE — Danish helmer Billie August is set to present the international premiere of his latest pic “A Song for Martin” as the Swedish entry in the Karlovy Vary fest competition. August will attend the July 7 fest screening.

Program director Eva Zaoralova told Variety the competition lineup will be complete by June 15, adding that some entries were already confirmed, including Terry Zwigoff’s “Ghost World” in the U.S. slot. Fest runs July 5-14.

Zaoralova also picked up the Cannes-slighted French box office hit, “Amelie From Montmartre” by helmer Jean Pierre Jeunet. The film, which has already attracted more than 3 million French viewers, is slated to open the Munich film fest, which runs just prior to Karlovy Vary, making it the only film in competition that isn’t a world or international premiere.The Polish competish entry, “Hi, Tereska,” by Robert Glinski, is one of several competing films with teen girl themes. However, the young actress who so convincingly plays a girl on the edge of society’s rules, won’t be able to attend the screening. She’s playing the role in real life, serving time in juvenile detention.

Poland gets additional attention this year with a special screening of Filip Bajon’s historical epic “Spring to Come” for producer Dariusz Jablonski. And fest regular Jan Jakub Kolski returns to Karlovy Vary with “Keep Away From the Window,” showing in the East of the West section.

Zaoralova picked up several Cannes winners for screening in the Horizons section, including Nanni Moretti’s “The Son’s Room,” Michael Haneke’s “The Pianist” and Danis Tanovic’s Bosnian themed “No Man’s Land.” “The Holdup” by Austria’s Florian Flicker, “Together” by Sweden’s Lukas Moodysson and “Before Night Falls” by Julian Schnabel are also headed for this best-of-fests section.

East of the West, the section devoted to films from the former Soviet Bloc and a magnet for many guests from the West, has a strong Russian presence this year, with Alexander Sokurov’s “Taurus” and “Place on Earth” (which screened at Directors Fortnight in Cannes), a first feature film about and starring homeless people in Moscow by Artur Aristakisian.

Among the pics slotted for pre-release screenings in the prime evening slots is Sharon Maguire’s “Bridget Jones’s Diary.”

On July 9, co-sponsors Variety and European Film Promotion will present awards to filmmakers from the 10-pic sidebar Variety Critics’ Choice: Europe Now.

Variety, along with the festival and the Prague Studios production facility, also will host a seminar during the fest, “Central European Production: Keeping the Boom From Going Bust.”

Confirmed panelists include producer Andy Vajna; producer-financier Peter Hoffman; Howard Woffinden, president of Prague Studios; and “Rhapsody” writer-director Eva Gardos. The panel will be moderated by Variety executive editor Steven Gaydos.

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