Only a few days remain until the best known Czech spa town transforms into a city of film. The guests at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival this year include John Malkovich, one of the most distinct contemporary actors. And fans can look forward to other stars, including those who accepted the offer of festival organisers and starred in some of the festival promotion campaigns.
Last year “the mini story of the Karlovy Vary statue” featured Danny De Vito, Harvey Keitel and Miloš Forman. Earlier this month Ivan Zachariáš in Los Angeles made a promotional film for the festival with Andy García. This type of generosity on the part of famous actors is not common around the world. “We are very pleased that we are creating a new group of friends of the festival that includes big-name actors,” says festival president Jiří Bartoška.
And it’s not just a cliché. Already the fact that actors such as García and De Vito star in these “mini films” for free says much about the festival’s reputation. The main reason is the atmosphere. While Berlinale or Cannes are moving further and further from filmmaking to business and VIP parties, Karlovy Vary still places cinematography first. The likes of Christopher Lee, De Niro and Redford have already in the past shown their appreciation for an event that sees backpackers waiting on lawns in front of movie theatres. We can only hope that Karlovy Vary will retain the friendly festival label for many years to come.