Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival, the leading cinema event in Central and Eastern Europe, will honor American actor, director, and writer Ethan Hawke, who will receive the Festival President’s Award at its 55th edition, taking place Aug. 20-28. The award is given to actors, directors, and producers who have “contributed in a fundamental way to the development of contemporary world cinema.”

“We are thrilled to welcome to Karlovy Vary an artist we’ve been admiring for a long time. In 2018, KVIFF paid tribute to the Austin Film Society and it is exciting to extend our appreciation of this renowned organization’s work by honoring an actor and director who is so closely connected to the Texas independent film scene,” said artistic director Karel Och and executive director Krystof Mucha.

Hawke will personally introduce Paul Schrader’s thriller “First Reformed,” in which he portrays a parish pastor experiencing a crisis of faith.

In February, Hawke released his first novel in 20 years, “A Bright Ray of Darkness.” The novel explores art and love, fame and heartbreak in a blistering story of a young man making his Broadway debut in “Henry IV” just as his marriage implodes.

Last month, Hawke and New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Greg Ruth debuted “Meadowlark: A Coming of Age Crime Story.” The graphic novel follows a father and son as they navigate an increasingly catastrophic day. Hawke’s written works also include the novels “The Hottest State” and “Ash Wednesday,” the children’s book “Rules for a Knight,” and the graphic novel “Indeh.”

Hawke made his breakthrough in Peter Weir’s “Dead Poets Society,” playing Robin Williams’ shy student Todd to critical acclaim. The beginning of the 1990s saw several of Hawke’s strong performances (such as his first lead in “White Fang” and foul-mouthed Troy in comedy drama “Reality Bites”), but the decade’s key moment came in 1995, when he starred in Richard Linklater’s romantic drama “Before Sunrise,” later continuing their partnership in “Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight” in the trilogy’s nine-year cycle.

Hawke has collaborated with Linklater on multiple occasions, including “Fast Food Nation,” “Waking Life,” “The Newton Boys” and “Tape.” Their most recent collaboration, “Boyhood,” premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was released by IFC in 2014. Hawke starred alongside Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane in the critically acclaimed film that was shot intermittently over 12 years chronicling the life of a child from the age of 6 to 18. For his performance, Hawke received nominations for supporting actor at the Academy Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, Golden Globe Awards, BAFTA Awards, and Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Last fall, he made his television debut in Showtime’s limited series “The Good Lord Bird,” based on the National Book Award-winning novel by bestselling author James McBride. Hawke, who executive produced and co-wrote the series, starred as 19th century abolitionist John Brown. Hawke’s performance in “The Good Lord Bird” has received critical acclaim and nominations for a Golden Globe, a WGA Award and a SAG Award.

Behind the lens, Hawke made his directorial debut in 2001 with his drama “Chelsea Walls.” The film tells five stories set in a single day at the Chelsea Hotel and stars Uma Thurman, Kris Kristofferson, Rosario Dawson, Natasha Richardson and Steve Zahn. Additionally, he directed Josh Hamilton in the short film “Straight to One,” a story of a couple, young and in love, living in the Chelsea Hotel.

Hawke made his documentary directorial debut with “Seymour: An Introduction,” which premiered at the 2014 Telluride Film Festival and the Toronto Intl. Film Festival and earned raves from critics and audiences alike. The project follows the life of the legendary pianist and piano teacher Seymour Bernstein. IFC released the film in 2015.

Most recently, Hawke co-wrote, produced and directed “Blaze,” which was inspired by the life of Blaze Foley, the unsung songwriting legend of the Texas outlaw music movement that spawned the likes of Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. Released in 2018, the film was produced by Hawke and his wife Ryan for their Under The Influence banner and premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.