Vary favorite son

Helmer Forman feted at fest's closer

PRAGUE — Karlovy Vary will cap its 32nd edition, which runs July 4-12, with a lifetime contribution award to Czech favorite son Milos Forman at a closing-night screening of “Amadeus.”

Forman will be on hand for a retrospective of his work, as will Russian director Alexander Sokurov and Brit docu helmer Nick Broomfield.

Seventeen films have been selected for the main competition, including “The Brother” (Brat), the Russian film by Alexei Balabanov starring fellow helmer Sergei Bodrov. Also in the lineup are the U.S. entry “Private Parts,” directed by Betty Thomas; Australia’s “Children of the Revolution,” directed by Peter Duncan; Fridrik Thor Fridiksson’s “Devil’s Island” from Iceland; and Alain Berlinel’s “Ma Vie en Rose,” a Belgian/French co-production.

The competition is heavy with Central European product, with seven films from the region.

To date the international jury includes directors Robert Wise (U.S.), Andr Delvaux (Belgium), Nana Djordjadze (Georgia) and Mariano Barosso (Spain), Czech author Pavel Kohout, Czech director of photography Miroslav Ondricek, Indian film journalist Aruna Vasudev, and Slovak actor Milan Lasica. The top awards include cash prizes of $20,000 and $10,000.

The documentary jury includes directors Errol Morris (U.S.) and Dusan Hanak (Slovakia), Berlinale’s Hans-Joachim Schlegel, Czech producer Alena Muellerova and Lithuanian journalist Zivile Pipinyte. The documentary award carries a cash prize of $5,000.

Other fest guests look likely to include Jason Robards, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Armin Mueller-Stahl and Pierre Richard.

The fest opens with “Shine,” and includes out-of-competition screenings of David Lynch’s “Lost Highway,” Kenneth Branagh’s “Hamlet” and Clint Eastwood’s “Absolute Power.”

On the opposite end of the recognition spectrum, the East of West section features films from remote regions such as Albania, Mongolia, the Baltic states, and the Caucasian republics.

Special focus will be on Australian cinema, the 100th anniversary of the birth of French avant gardist Jean Epstein, Czech avant garde cinema and the Marx Brothers.

Associated events include an international seminar on the flavor of the year topic: European film distribution, and a Film Bazaar incorporating last year’s Film Location Expo.

Jan Sverak directed the fest’s trailer, a film noir parody.

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