De Niro to receive lifetime achievement award

MOSCOW — Karlovy Vary, Central Europe’s leading international film festival, announced a competition line up Monday for its 43rd edition rich in world and international premieres.

The Czech Republic-based festival, which opens July 4, counts the international bow of Amy Redford’s directorial debut “The Guitar” – about a young women who knows she has just two months left to live – among films from around the world that will compete for its Crystal Globe award.

Two Czech films are in the line up: Michaela Pavlatova’s “Night Owls” (Deti noci), about a young woman working in a 24-hour Prague convenience store, and Petr Zelenka’s “The Karamazovs” (Karamozovi), an unusual take on Dostoevsky’s famous novel set in and around a theatrical production of the story staged in a Polish steelworks.

Russian director Alexei Uchitel’s “Captive” (Plennyi), a human drama set in a Caucasian war, screens in its international premiere and Croatian Zrinko Ogresta’s “Behind the Glass” (Iza stakla), about a 35 year old architect forced to choose between his wife and mistress, in its world premiere.

Other films in the international competition include: “The Shaft”/Dixia de Tiangkong (dir. Zhang Chi, China); “Dr. Aleman” (Tom Schreiber, Germany); “Terribly Happy”/Frygtelig Lykkelig (Henrik Ruben Genz, Denmark); “The Early Bird Catches the Worm”/Il mattino ha l’oro in bocca (Francesco Patierno, Italy); “The Investigator”/A nuyomozo (Attila Gigor, Hungary); “The Photograph” (Nan T. Achnas, Indonesia); “Pretexts”/Pretextos (Silvia Munt, Spain); “Distant Tremors”/Les tremblements lointains (Manuel Poutte, Belgium); and “True Enough”/La verite ou Presque (Sam Karmann, France).

The festival also screens a wide range of works by Eastern European directors in its East of the West competitive program, including Romanian director Radu Muntean’s “Boogie” and Bosnian Srdjan Vuletic’s “It’s Hard to be Nice” (Tesko je biti fin).

Star guests will include Robert de Niro, who will be in Karlovy Vary to present an opening night screening of Barry Levinson’s “What Just Happened,” which he produced – and to receive a lifetime achievement award – and festival regular, British actress Saffron Burrows on her third visit to the festival to present Redford’s “The Guitar”.

British actor Christopher Lee will also be in town to present a Midnight Screening’s showing of his classic horror film “Dracula” as will director and cameraman Nicolas Roeg, who will personally present the festival’s retrospective of his films.

Including the now traditional lineup of the top 10 pick of recent European releases in the ‘Variety Critic’s Choice’ sidebar, Karlovy Vary closes July 12 with an awards ceremony followed by a screening of the much-anticipated film version of Catherine Johnson’s hit stage music “Mamma Mia” in a directorial debut by British theater director Phyllida Lloyd.

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