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Milos Forman’s ‘Loves of a Blonde’ to Open Karlovy Vary Film Festival

Milos Forman’s 1965 comedy “Loves of a Blonde” will open the 53rd edition of the Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival as part of a tribute to the Oscar-winning director of “Amadeus” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” who died this month.

In a statement, KVIFF’s president Jiri Bartoska said Forman was “not only an excellent filmmaker, but also a great friend of [the festival].” He added: “We have decided to remember him, not through laudatory speeches, but through what he symbolized – film.”

The festival, which runs June 29-July 7, confirmed Monday that director Richard Linklater would be one of its guest as part of its program dedicated to the work of the Austin Film Society, of which Linklater is founder and artistic director. Movies screening as part of the sidebar include Linklater’s “Slacker” and Robert Rodriguez’s “El Mariachi.”

KVIFF will also feature a retrospective of documentary films from the Baltic region since the early 1960s, to mark the 100th anniversary of the independence of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Many of the films will be from the 1960s, a period marked by “an exceptionally artistic outpouring of cinematic production,” according to KVIFF’s artistic director Karel Och. The section will feature the world premiere of “Bridges of Time,” a new documentary by Lithuanian filmmaker Audrius Stonys and his Latvian colleague Kristine Briede, described as an “untraditional look at the generation of filmmakers of the Baltic New Wave.”

The festival will present Czech actor Jaromir Hanzlik with its KVIFF President’s Award for Artistic Contribution to Czech Cinema, and will screen Hanzlik’s “Searching,” directed by Antonin Masa and Jan Curik.

The festival’s events for film industry professionals will be grouped under a new banner: “Eastern Promises.” The section will present projects in various stages of production from Central and Eastern Europe, the countries of former Soviet Union, Greece, Turkey and the Middle East. Works in Progress, the presentation of projects in post-production with a top prize worth 100,000 Euros ($123,000), will return, and will be joined this year by Works in Development – Feature Launch, a presentation of projects in development.

The projects’ producers will be able to seek co-production partners with the help of the Midpoint script development program, Trieste Film Festival and When East Meets West platform. Documentary films nearing completion will be for the first time curated by the team of KVIFF’s programmers. The most promising project from this Docs in Progress Selection will be awarded with 5,000 Euros ($6,125).

The festival will continue its cooperation with European co-production funding body Eurimages to present the Eurimages Lab Project Award, which will present film projects that “are bringing down the barriers of traditional filmmaking.” The most promising project will be awarded 50,000 Euros ($61,260).

As in past years, the industry program will be complemented with panel discussions, master classes and other events.

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