Gibson checks out the Czechs

Special honour at Karlovy Vary

by Richard Mowe

Mel Gibson - honour for contribution to world cinema in Karlovy Vary
Mel Gibson - honour for contribution to world cinema in Karlovy Vary

Mel Gibson will give a boost to the star power lining up for the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival which runs from 4 to 12 July in the quaint spa town close to Marienbad.

The Festival will honour Gibson’s contribution to world cinema. Gibson (58), best known for his roles in Braveheart and Lethal Weapon, recently has played an ex-con who protects his estranged teenage daughter from murderous drug dealers in Blood Father, from French director Jean-François Richet. Erin Moriarty also stars and Peter Craig adapted the script from his novel.

Fanny Ardant - goes behind the camera for the third time
Fanny Ardant - goes behind the camera for the third time

Another stellar name will be French actress and now director Fanny Ardant who will present her third film behind the camera Obsessive Rhythms (Cadences obstinées), in which Asia Argento stars as Margo, a brilliant classical musician who tosses aside her career for a fanatical designer, Furio (Nuno Lopes). Argento, daughter of horror maestro Dario Argento, will accompany her own film as a director Misunderstood, presented earlier in the year as part of Cannes Un Certain Regard strand.

Other luminaries just waiting in the wings are Laura Dern who will present a special screening of David Lynch’s Wild At Heart.

Italian director Alice Rohrwacher will attend the show of her Cannes Grand Prix winner The Wonders. The Russian drama Leviathan, recipient of a Cannes prize for best screenplay and dealing with the theme of corruption, will screen with director Andrey Zvyagintsev present.

Korean director Bong Joon-ho will introduce the Prague-shot science fiction adventure Snowpiercer, based on a cult graphic novel. Pawel Pawlikowski will present his Polish-shot drama Ida. And Scots director David Mackenzie will accompany his much lauded prison exposé Starred Up.

The main prize jury will be headed by Spanish producer Luis Minarro, whose The Mosquito Net won the Karlovy Vary Crystal Globe in 2010. His colleagues will be Slovak filmmaker Mira Fornay (My Dog Killer), cinematographer and director Phedon Papamichael (Nebraska), Icelandic rocker Kjartan Sveinsson of Sigur Ros, and Czech director and producer Viktor Taus.

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