LONDON — The Karlovy Vary Film Festival, which is Central and Eastern Europe’s leading film event, is to honor Richard Gere. The actor will receive the festival’s highest award, the Crystal Globe for outstanding contribution to world cinema.
The festival, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, will open with Oren Moverman’s “Time Out of Mind,” in which Gere plays a homeless person in today’s New York, whose only hope in an otherwise desperate existence is to try to find reconciliation with his long estranged daughter. Gere will be joined on the red carpet by Moverman and actress Jena Malone, who plays Johanna Mason in the “Hunger Games” franchise.
Among Gere’s standout movies cited by the festival include his breakthrough performances in Paul Schrader’s “American Gigolo” and Taylor Hackford’s “An Officer and a Gentleman,” which brought him his first nomination for a Golden Globe; Francis Ford Coppola’s jazz-era film “Cotton Club”; the role of villain in Mike Figgis’ crime drama “Internal Affairs”; and a second Golden Globe nomination for the role of millionaire Edward Lewis in Garry Marshall’s romantic hit “Pretty Woman.” Other films mentioned by the festival included Jon Amiel’s romantic drama “Sommersby,” the musical “Chicago,” for which he received a Golden Globe, and Robert Altman’s “delicate study of relationships” “Dr.T & the Women.”
The festival will also screen Gere starrer “Franny,” Andrew Renzi’s drama about a philanthropist who gets involved in the lives of a young married couple in an attempt to compensate for traumas of the past. Renzi will be at the festival to present the film with Gere.
The festival will close with “Sleeping with Other People,” one of the hits of this year’s Sundance festival, presented by the director, Leslye Headland. The romantic comedy centers on Jake and Lainey, who spend one crazy night together in a college dorm room, the first such affair for both of them. When they run into each other in New York 12 years later, they find out that in the meantime both of their love-lives have been dogged by problems with infidelity. They make a deal to form a strictly platonic friendship in spite of a strong mutual attraction for the sake of helping each other find a healthy relationship.
Among other guests at the festival will be Harvey Keitel, who was awarded the Crystal Globe for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema in 2004. Keitel will be accompanying Paolo Sorrentino’s new film “Youth,” in which he plays a lead role alongside Michael Caine.
Another guest will be “Fifty Shades of Grey” star Jamie Dornan. He will accompany director Sean Ellis to present their new film, “Anthropoid,” which begins filming in the Czech Republic next month. The World War II action adventure, which is being produced by U.S. studio LD Entertainment, deals with the assassination of Nazi chief Reinhard Heydrich by Czechoslovak paratroopers. Dornan will play the role of one of them, Jan Kubis.
Also at Karlovy Vary will be director Ryan Fleck, who will be presenting the poker road movie “Mississippi Grind,” which he directed in tandem with Anna Boden. Director Saverio Constanzo and actress Alba Rohrwacher will introduce their film “Hungry Hearts” at the festival.
George A. Romero, creator of cult horror films such as “Night of the Living Dead,” will also be a guest at the fest, where he will present a screening of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s “Tales of Hoffmann.” The film adaptation of Jacques Offenbach’s opera will be screened in a newly restored version.
The festival unveiled its international juries on Monday. The grand jury will include U.S. theater operator and film distributor Tim League of Alamo Drafthouse. He co-founded Fantastic Fest, and runs distribution label Drafthouse Films. Also on the jury are Russian director, screenwriter and producer Angelina Nikonova, Icelandic actor and producer Olafur Darri Olafsson, Iranian-born French-based producer-sales agent Hengameh Panahi, who is the president of Celluloid Dreams, and Ondrej Zach, senior VP for programming, HBO Europe, and head of programming and acquisitions for HBO Europe in the Czech Republic.