Karlovy Vary film festival gets underway for 54th time
The 54th edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival kicks off in the West Bohemian spa town on Friday evening, with Hollywood actress Julianne Moore set to be the biggest star at the gala opening. Her latest film will raise the curtain on the region’s leading cinema event.
The curtain-raising film After the Wedding stars Moore and is directed by her husband Bart Freundlich, who will also be ascending the red carpet. Joining the couple will be screen and stage actor Billy Crudup, who plays Moore’s spouse in the movie.
KVIFF’s crowds can glimpse a second major star on Sunday, when US actor Casey Affleck (also an Oscar winner, for the 2016 film Manchester by the Sea) will present his directorial debut Light of My Life in person at the Grand Hall of main festival venue Hotel Thermal.
Affleck, who was in Karlovy Vary two years ago for the first time, also wrote, co-produced and stars in Light of My Life. Twelve-year-old Anna Pniowsky, who gives a phenomenal performance as Affleck’s character’s daughter, will also be introducing the film.
Other notable names to watch out for are Kara Hayward, who is appearing in main competition film To the Stars, and teenager Jaeden Martell, who starred in the horror movie It and will be in Karlovy Vary with The True Adventures of Wolfboy.
The True Adventures of Wolfboy – which will receive its world premiere on Tuesday – is the feature debut of Czech filmmaker Martin Krejčí.
Incidentally, Krejčí has directed KVIFF trailers (popular spots that precede film screenings), including this year’s one with veteran actress Jiřina Bohdalová.
There are no Czech pictures among the 12 in contention for this year’s Crystal Globe for best film. However, there are a number of noteworthy home-grown projects to look forward to.
Documentarian Martin Mareček returns with his first film in many years, Over the Hills, which is taking part in the documentary competition.
A Certain Kind of Silence by young Czech director Michal Hogenauer is in the running in the festival’s flagship East of the West competition.