Although Audrey Tautou had to pull out of the red carpet opening, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival was not short of stellar appeal at its launch tonight (Friday 28 June) with a gala screening of Mood Indigo (L’Ecume des jours) in the presence of its Oscar-winning director Michel Gondry.
John Travolta in Karlovy Vary.
The star power at the screening was boosted by a presentation to John Travolta of a lifetime achievement award. Clearly overcome with emotion he manage to tell the audience "I love you too" in Czech as he took ownership of the hefty Crystal Globe.
He continued: "Most of the previous recipients seem to have been my friends and I am privileged to be part of that group. The welcome has been beautiful and warm since the moment I arrived. "
"As actors we are asked reflect humanity and to reflect mankind but it is our own personal interpretation of that. It does not mean you will agree with what we do or even like it, but I am so glad all of you here have agreed with what I do. I may have said this before: To be or not to be - and I am delighted you allow me to be."
Tomorrow (Saturday 29) Travolta will introduce Mark Steven Johnson’s Killing Season which finds him and co-star Robert De Niro as veterans of the Bosnian war looking to settle scores after they fought on opposite sides.
Travolta stars as a former Serbian soldier who looks to exact revenge on a US veteran (De Niro). The latter was previously honoured with Karlovy Vary’s Crystal Globe in 2008. The film is scheduled for a US release on 12 July but the UK date has yet to be set.
There is a strong US array here this year including American director Lance Edmands’ debut feature Bluebird (first seen at Tribeca), which is screening in competition, as well as Steven Soderbergh’s Behind the Candelabra, David Mamet’s Phil Spector with Al Pacino as the spaced out record producer and Noah Baumbach’s comedy-drama Frances Ha.
The festival runs until July 7.