Danny DeVito brought down the house as the Karlovy Vary fest wrapped Saturday with a kudos ceremony that saw the thesp-producer receive a nod for his contributions to world cinema, as well as Baltasar Kormakur’s Icelandic sci-fi thriller “Jar City” take the Crystal Glove for top feature.
Czech helmer Lucie Kralova’s “Lost Holiday,” a detective story tracing misplaced vacation film to China, won the award for top doc.
Recounting how Milos Forman tricked him into uttering a Czech obscenity during the shooting of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” which launched his career, DeVito was also in town to preem “The Good Night,” the Jake Paltrow comedy romancer in which he stars.
Fest also helped fire up one tyro helmer’s career: Norwegian Bard Breien, who took the director prize, won a distrib deal in France for his dark comedy “The Art of Negative Thinking” — from the producer of rival competish film “Conversations With My Gardener.”
Auds of more than 12,000 turned out for the nine-day fest — an increase of more than 1,000 from last year — catching 250 pics, with films in three categories competing for the Crystal Globe: international features, docs and pics from Central and Eastern Europe.
East of the West section Crystal Globe went to the German/Balkan story of showbiz and proteges “Armin,” reflecting a new wave of talent, according to juror Stefan Laudyn.
Fest’s role in showcasing up-and-comers from the former Eastern Bloc continues to grow, and fest scouts from the West gathered for presentations of fresh work such as “Testimony,” a Romanian docu on how fatal illness can inspire the work of artists, by a helmer with terminal cancer himself, Razvan Georgescu.
U.K.-based distrib Taskovski Films, which launched the first North American theatrical release of a Czech docu, consumerism sendup “Czech Dream,” picked up several regional titles.
The Forum of Independents again proved one of the fest’s most popular sections with auds, who jostled for tickets to Matthias Luthard’s debut, “Pingpong,” a portrait of German family poli-tics. Pic scored the independent camera nod from Czech TV.
Fest auds honored Jan Sverak’s new competish comedy “Empties” with the viewer appreciation gong, while the main jury, chaired by Variety Editor-in-Chief Peter Bart, cited the pic’s screenwriter and Sverak’s father, Zdenek Sverak, with a special mention for his perf as a restless retiree.
Pic, which opened strongly enough to make a nice return, is still the exception for films from Central and Eastern Europe, which makes Karlovy Vary’s role as a conduit to Western buyers and distribs more vital than ever, said many at the fest panels.
And the winners are:
Jar City – Baltasar Kormákur, Iceland/Germany
Bård Breien – “The Art of Negative Thinking,” Norway
Sergey Puskepalis – “Simple Things,” Russia
Elvira Mínguez – “Pudor,” Spain
“Lucky Miles” – Michael James Rowland, Australia Actor Leonid Bronevoy – “Simple Things,” Russia Screen-writer Zdenek Sverak – “Empties,” Czech Republic
“Empties” – Jan Sverak, Czech Republic
Over 30 minutes
“Lost Holiday” – Lucie Kralova, Czech Republic
Under 30 minutes
“Artel” – Sergey Loznitsa, Russia
“Theodore” – Laila Pakalnina, Latvia
“The Mosquito Problem and Other Stories” – Andrey Paounov, Bulgaria
EAST OF THE WEST
“Armin” – Ognjen Svilicic, Croatia/Germany/Bosnia and Herzegovina
“The Class” – Ilmar Raag, Estonia