Andy Garcia star guest at 41st Karlovy Vary Film Festival
The official trailer of the 41st Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The festival is now in full swing in the west Bohemian spa town of Karlovy Vary. It opened on Friday with the world premiere of "Time", which was presented in person by Korean film director Kim Ki-Duk. By the end of the weekend, over five thousand visitors had already flocked to the festival and some 50,000 tickets had been sold for over eighty screenings. Dita Asiedu is there:
This year, one of the biggest stars was US actor and director Andy Garcia, who we have seen in films like "Ocean's Eleven" and "Ocean's Twelve", "The Godfather Part 3", and "The Untouchables". He was presented with the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema. Andy Garcia presented his independent movie "The Lost City" starring him, Dustin Hoffman, and Bill Murray. The film about 1950s Havana debuts Andy Garcia as film director. He also composed the music. Although he had dreamed about making it ever since the 1980s, it took 16 years for that dream to become reality. As Andy Garcia tells us, it took so long not only because he had to find financial support but also because it bears a special place in his heart:
That was in the mid-1980s. As soon as I made that commitment to make movies and not only act in them, the first movie I wanted to make was a movie about Cuba and about the experiences that I had growing up and a movie which would pay tribute to the music and culture in Cuba and using music as its sort of metaphoric protagonist.
So, very early on in the mid-1980s, I began with that dream and it solidified when I read that the novels and the writings of Guillermo Cabrera Infante, who dedicated much of his life writing about that time period and the cabaret world and the coming of age of Cuba and that is where the dream was born."
"I'm not involved in any of those kinds of debates. I'm only involved when people ask me a question about it. My feeling is that the Cuban people are suffering so the sooner that kind of transformation can happen in Cuba the sooner the Cuban people can be free. Hopefully, you would like to achieve that to a very peaceful and a passive type of changeover. That is what we hope for. You don't want in any situation to have any kind of bloodshed. But the Cuban people are suffering so the quicker the Cuban people can move to a democracy, the better. So, that is what I pray for."
Fifteen feature films are competing for the Crystal Globe - the Grand Prix of the festival - this year. Among them "Kraska v nesnazich" or "Beauty in Trouble" by Czech director Jan Hrebejk. Czech film has enjoyed little promotion at home and abroad and the festival, this year, gives the Czech film industry a large platform to present its movies made in 2005-2006. Part of the festival was also a meeting of Czech film producers and directors with President Vaclav Klaus and representatives of the emerging three-party coalition government. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss public funding schemes for the industry after Czech deputies failed to vote on a presidential veto of a bill that secured higher state subsidies for Czech filmmaking. Film producer Pavel Strnad attended the meeting:
The three-party coalition of the Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats, and the Greens, have pledged to form a group of experts that will concentrate on the film industry and state subsidies if their emerging government gains a vote of confidence in parliament.