Stone, Redford, Ullmann get Karlovy Vary top laurels

PRAGUE — Sharon Stone, Robert Redford and Liv Ullmann will attend the Karlovy Vary Film Festival to receive the event’s top honor, the Crystal Globe for artistic contribution to world cinema.

Fest also has confirmed that Ali MacGraw will join the jury, and thesps Brad Renfro and L.Q. Jones will attend.

Opening July 1 in the West Bohemian spa town, the 40th edition is aiming to hook up regional product with Western fest reps and distribs via its East of the West panel.

Though the competitive fest does not have a market, it offers badly needed promotional help to unknowns from the former East Bloc.

“Sometimes you call a country’s film center and they have no contacts for their producers,” said fest’s industry office chief, Andrea Szczukova.

A half-dozen panels and seminars will go with 220-odd feature screenings, including 33 Euro premieres and 16 world preems (four of those in competition, Japan’s “Noriko’s Dinner Table,” German-Austrian “Unveiled,” Israel’s “What a Wonderful Place” and Slovenia’s “Tuning”).

There will be six preems in the documentary section of the competition, which has a separate jury. The bows are Olaf Johannesson’s “Africa United,” Galina Adamovic’s “My God,” Jaroslav Vojtek’s “Here We Are,” Paul Rosdy’s “New World,” Stanislaw Mucha’s “Reality Shock” and Alexander Gutman’s “In Search of Happiness.”

The hottest sidebars are the Forum of Independents; the Variety Critics’ Choice (“Piece of Heaven” reps the Czech Republic this year); Horizons, which screens award winners from other fests; and Another View, which provides Czech premieres to well-known pics from the West.

There will be an impressive lineup of helmers attending. Alexander Payne and Atom Egoyan will present their work for the Forum of Independents, invariably packed with Czech fans. Walter Salles will present his Che Guevara bio, “The Motorcycle Diaries,” and Raoul Ruiz will accompany his time-shifting what-if competish entry, “The Lost Dominion.”

A war films retrospective, timed for the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII, dusts off historical films from the Czech National Archives. A five-film retrospective of Sam Peckinpah’s work will be presented by MacGraw and Jones.

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