Gala revs up film festival
Czech Republic — Indie helmer Tom DiCillo presents his buddy pic “Delirious,” starring Steve Buscemi, at a gala ceremony today as the Karlovy Vary Film Festival kicks off in this quaint west Bohemian spa town.
The fest’s 42nd installment, which will unspool more than 220 pics, mainly at the hulking, communist-era Hotel Thermal, boasts some last-minute hip factor with the booking of Peter Bogdanovich, Cybill Shepherd and Bud Cort for its New Hollywood sidebar, in which Monte Hellman will also unspool his 1971 cult road pic “Two-Lane Blacktop.”
The offerings also include a focus on Czech animator Bretislav Pojar — who will receive a Crystal Globe — and spotlights on the Japanese New Wave of the ’60s, William Wyler and new Italian directors.
Fest attracts thousands of fans and students from the region annually.
Pics vying for the main kudos, the Crystal Globes for features, docs and films from the former Eastern Bloc, draw the biggest auds, with the feature prize awarded this year by a jury led by Daily Variety editor-in-chief Peter Bart.
Perennial faves are smaller collections of pics otherwise unknown in the region.
One, the Forum of Independents, routinely sells out with offerings such as South Africa’s comic “Bunny Chow” and Ethan Hawke’s romancer “The Hottest State.”
The Karlovy Vary fest does not have a market but it will, as usual, promote regional talents through its panels East of the West and Docu Talents From the East, which will screen dozens of pics in production to bizzers and fest reps from the West.
Among them, midlife-crisis comedy “Teddy Bear,” by Czech helmer Jan Hrebejk, is attracting buzz, as is “Katyn” (aka “Post Mortem”), Polish helmer Andrzej Wajda’s much-awaited recounting of a secret police massacre.
Another appearance generating buzz is that of Hal Hartley, a hit with Czech auds since 1995 when his pics aired on Czech television; he presents comedy “Fay Grim,” starring Parker Posey and Jeff Goldblum.
Danny DeVito wraps the fest July 7, presenting the U.S./U.K. co-production comedy “The Good Night,” one of the 14 Crystal Globe contenders that rep countries from Argentina to South Korea.