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Karlovy Vary selects first titles

Svankmajer to receive Crystal Globe

Karlovy Vary Film Festival has gotten behind a promising regional showcase of Slovak, Hungarian and Croatian features as competish pics, alongside reps of Korea’s and Iran’s new waves. Event, which also honors Czech native Oscar winner Milos Forman, will unspool July 3-11.

Among competition titles are Slovak Vladimir Balko’s feature debut, “Soul at Peace,” the story a former prisoner struggling against his past, Hungarian Gyorgy Palfi’s Budapest-set study of alienation “I Am Not Your Friend,” and Croatian and former Karlovy Vary directing winner Vinko Bresan (“Marshal Tito’s Spirit”) with chronicle of a war vet’s quest for love and resolution, “Will Not Stop There.”

Korean helmer Jeon Soo-il (“With a Girl of Black Soil”) brings minimalist adventure drama “Himalaya, Where the Wind Dwells,” a co-production with France, to the race for Crystal Globe, and is joined by Iranian Abdolreza Kahani’s psychological drama “Twenty,” which focuses on a once popular reception hall now reduced to the funeral business.

In a year, witnessing the paring down or closure of many local fests facing funding crises, Karlovy Vary topper Jiri Bartoska said Tuesday that fest’s long-term contracts have prevented such concerns.

French producer Claudie Ossard (“Amelie from Montmartre”) will chair the main selection jury, while Forman will preem his adaptation of 1965 Czech jazz opera, “A Walk Worthwhile,” which was staged again by Forman and sons Petr and Matej in Prague in 2007.

Surrealist Czech animator Jan Svankmajer will also be honored with a Crystal Globe for outstanding contribution to world cinema, while French helmer Patrice Chereau will be tributed in a sidebar.

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