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Actor and musician Jeremy Renner, known for his roles in The Hurt Locker, The Avengers, Captain America, and the Mission Impossible series, will personally accept the KVIFF Festival President’s Award at the Closing Gala on July 8th. Renner will also introduce his new film Wind River, which will screen at the 52nd edition of the festival.

Jeremy Renner’s first breakout role was his critically acclaimed portrayal of “Jeffrey Dahmer” in the indie hit Dahmer (2002), for which he was nominated for a Film Independent Spirit Award. Since then, Renner has established himself on the big screen primarily through his roles in action and war movies. His portrayal of self-assured Sergeant James in Kathryn Bigelow’s war drama The Hurt Locker (2008) garnered his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor in addition to nods at the BAFTA, Independent Spirit, SAG, and Gotham Awards. Two years later, The Academy honored Renner again with a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role alongside Ben Affleck in The Town (2010). He was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards for The Town.

Photocredit © Sarah Dunn

I am thrilled that Jeremy Renner will be accepting an award at this year’s Karlovy Vary festival. Jeremy is an actor with a highly diverse filmography that includes both audience favourites as well as critically acclaimed films. One example is Wind River, which recently won the Prize for Best Direction  in the Un Certain Regard competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and which Jeremy Renner will present at Karlovy Vary in person,” says Jiří Bartoška, president of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Renner’s filmography is extensive and includes numerous big-budget blockbusters such as Thor (2011), Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011), Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015), and The Bourne Legacy (2012), where he took over the lead role from Matt Damon in this loose series of adaptations of the book by Robert Ludlum. He portrayed the character of Clint Barton/Hawkeye in the Marvel series Avengers (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and Captain America: Civil War (2016).

In 2012, Renner and partner Don Handfield formed The Combine, a production company that is creating, developing and producing high-quality, character-driven content for mainstream audiences. They began with The Throwaways for Crackle and in 2013 they produced, Kill The Messenger, which starred Renner as journalist Gary Webb and was released by Focus Features. The Combine also executive produced the The Founder (2016) starring Michael Keaton for The Weinstein Company.

Renner displays the versatility of a seasoned actor through his performances in David O. Russell’s crime drama American Hustle (2013), which was nominated for 10 Oscars, and in Denis Villeneuve’s mysterious sci-fi Arrival (2016), which won an Oscar and was nominated for several more. Renner’s most recent project, Wind River (2017), is a crime thriller directed by Taylor Sheridan, which screened at this year’s Cannes Film Festival as part of the Un Certain Regard competition. Wind River will screen for audiences this summer at KVIFF.



This year the Karlovy Vary IFF will welcome actress and producer Uma Thurman – Golden Globe winner for Hysterical Blindness, Academy Award nominee for Pulp Fiction, and recipient of more than twenty other prestigious festival prizes. Ms. Thurman will accept the Festival President’s Award on the occasion of the gala Opening Ceremony of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Photocredit © Peter Lindbergh

From the beginning of her exceptionally rich acting career, Uma Thurman has had an opportunity to work with noted movie directors. Two of her first opportunities came with Stephen Frears’ adaptation (1988) of the novel Dangerous Liaisons and Terry Gilliam’s surreal tale The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988). In the mid-1990s, however, the part of Mia Wallace in Quentin Tarantino’s cult sensation Pulp Fiction (1994) marked a turning point: She was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe, and she won numerous other awards. Another successful Tarantino collaboration followed nearly a decade later on the cult double-header: Kill Bill: Vols. 1 and 2 (2003, 2004). She received two Golden Globe nominations for her role as The Bride.

Uma Thurman’s varied filmography includes a wide range of genres, from small-scale independent pictures such as the comedy The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996) to blockbusters like Batman and Robin (1997) and Les Misérables (1998). She worked with Woody Allen and Sean Penn on the biopic about musician Emmet Ray, Sweet and Lowdown (1999), and for her role in Mira Nair’s made-for-TV movie Hysterical Blindness (2002) she won a Golden Globe. Ms. Thurman and Pulp Fiction costar John Travolta met again on the set of the gangster flick Be Cool (2005), and she was directed by Lars von Trier in his sexual study Nymphomaniac: Vols. I and II (2013, 2014). She is currently working with her colleagues Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken on the family comedy The War with Grandpa directed by Tim Hill.

In addition to acting, she is also a movie producer, and this year she served as president of the Un Certain Regard jury at Cannes. 


The opening film of this year’s KVIFF will be director Michael Showalter’s unconventional romantic comedy The Big Sick. After the festival’s conclusion, the film will be distributed in Czech cinemas by KVIFF Distribution, a joint project established by the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Aerofilms and Czech Television in order to present original works of cinema to Czech audiences. The opening film will be shown in the Grand Hall of the Hotel Thermal, and also at two other screenings for the general public.

During the closing ceremony of the 52nd KVIFF, we will be showing director Denis Villeneuve’s mysterious sci-fi Arrival, in which one of the main roles was played by Jeremy Renner, one of the festival’s guests this year and a recipient of the President’s Award.

The Big Sick

Like many other comedians, Kumail wants to escape the small stages of out-of-the-way clubs and perform before a large audience. Yet he fails to impress the man capable of arranging an appealing engagement for him, and, what’s more, his new show on his Pakistani origins slips into a boring monologue. Kumail also struggles with his parents, who would rather see their son as a lawyer married to one of the Pakistani girls they keep trying to fix him up with. Things get even more complicated when he meets Emily and falls for her quirkiness and sense of humour. The question of whether to tell his parents about his girlfriend, who meets none of their basic criteria, seriously complicates Kumail’s life. The film’s husband-and-wife co-writers, Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, based their film on their own life story, thus reinforcing its authenticity. Add to this the sense of lightness and immediacy typifying the film’s direction, and we get a fun and candid comedy that avoids the usual rom-com clichés.


When several giant ships of unknown origin appear at over a dozen locations on Earth, top teams of scientists set out to study them. The American team is headed by physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) and linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams), who join forces in order to show that the extraterrestrial visitors are a threat to mankind only if we fail to communicate with them. One of the most original science fiction movies of recent years, Arrival cemented director Denis Villeneuve’s position as one the most closely watched directors working today.



Statutory Juries:

G r a n d   J u r y

Anna Brüggemann

German actress and screenwriter. Born in Munich, Brüggemann grew up in South Africa and various parts of Germany. She got her first part at age 15, having wanted to act since childhood. She has appeared in numerous motion pictures, including Sebastian Schipper’s Sometime in August (Mitte Ende August), Kleinruppin Forever by Carsten Fiebeler, and in several episodes of the cult series “Crime Scene” (“Tatort”). In 2006 she and her brother Dietrich started writing scripts together for his films, in which she also took one of the leads (Run If You Can / Renn, wenn du kannst, 2010; Move / Drei Zimmer/Küche/Bad, 2012). At the 2014 Berlinale, the siblings received the Best Script Silver Bear for Stations of the Cross (Kreuzweg). A year later, Brüggemann shone in her brother’s satire Heil, presented in competition at KVIFF. She is currently writing her first novel, Split Up.

Sarah Flack

Film editor based in New York. Flack won a BAFTA for editing Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, and their cooperation continued with Marie-Antoinette, Somewhere, The Bling Ring, A Very Murray Christmas, and The Beguiled (presented this year at Cannes). She won an Emmy and an American Cinema Editors Award for co-editing the HBO movie Cinema Verite. Her first film job came on the Prague set of Steven Soderbergh’s Kafka, and she later edited three of his films: Schizopolis, The Limey, and Full Frontal. She graduated from Brown University with degrees in political science and semiotics, and in 2016 she was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Ciro Guerra

Colombian director born in Río de Oro. Guerra’s first two pictures, Wandering Shadows (La sombra del caminante, 2004) and The Wind Journeys (Los viajes del viento, 2009), are widely ranked with his country’s best cinematic output, and they traveled to more than 160 festivals, including Cannes (Un Certain Regard), Toronto, San Sebastián, Rotterdam, Locarno, and Tribeca. Both films were released commercially in several countries and received more than 40 international awards. His third feature Embrace of the Serpent (El abrazo de la serpiente, KVIFF 2015) won the top prize following its premiere screening in Cannes’ Director’s Fortnight (2015) and became the first Colombian movie to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Michel Merkt

Golden Globe-winning producer based in Monaco. Merkt focuses on international feature films for cinema with a very strong artistic trademark. After ten years and more than 50 movies by the likes of Paul Verhoeven (Elle), Maren Ade (Toni Erdmann), Xavier Dolan (It’s Only the End of the World), David Cronenberg (Maps to the Stars), and Walter Hill (The Assignment), he returns this year to Karlovy Vary, where he entered one of his films in 2012. He holds Monaco’s Medal of Cultural Merit, and this year at Cannes he was honored with the title Variety Creative Producer of the Year.

Štefan Uhrík

Slovak screenwriter, producer, festival organizer, and journalist. Uhrík graduated in scriptwriting and script editing from Prague’s Film Academy (FAMU). During the 1980s and early 1990s he worked for Slovak Television as a commissioning editor, and then for Barrandov Film Studios in Prague. As the head of Miloš Havel’s Script Foundation he focused on the Czech film industry, continuing his support for screenwriters as a member of the RWE Barrandov script fund board. He has scripted a number of made-for-TV movies and the film Only a Day (Iba ďeň, 1988). In 1992 he created the Forum of Independents section at KVIFF, serving as programmer until 2007. In 2007-16 he was program director of Febiofest (Prague IFF). Between 1993 and 2011 he produced and directed “Filmopolis,” a monthly TV magazine.

E a s t   o f   t h e   W e s t   J u r y

Evrim Ersoy

Journalist, festival programmer, and filmmaker. Ersoy was born in Istanbul but has spent most of his life in London. His study of criminal psychology had a marked influence on his decision to work in film. After first earning a living as a journalist, he moved on to festival programming. He is currently the creative director of the largest festival of genre movies in the United States, Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, but is also a programmer for Beyond Fest, MotelX, the Boston Underground FF, and more. He has written and directed a number of award-winning shorts, including Abdullah, and he is currently working on his first feature.

Cosima Finkbeiner

Representative for the world sales and co-financing company Beta Cinema. Finkbeiner graduated in communication studies in England, where she also co-managed an art house cinema and volunteered for the Cambridge Film Festival. She went on to take a master’s in media culture in the Netherlands. She worked briefly for German Films, an organization focused on promoting German movies abroad. In 2012, after travelling around South America for nine months, she joined the renowned sales and co-financing company Beta Cinema, where she worked to present a number of films at KVIFF. At Beta Cinema she is in charge of festivals and non-theatrical/non-commercial screenings.

Rusudan Glurjidze

Georgian director and screenwriter. Glurjidze graduated in French language and literature, then went on to study film directing and screenwriting under Giorgi Shengelaia at Shota Rustaveli Theater and Film University. She has made commercials and music videos, worked as a producer and art director at Cinetech Film Production Company, and was first assistant director on Giorgi Shengelaia’s comedy The Train Went On and On (2005). Her feature film debut The House of Others premiered last year at KVIFF, where it won the East of the West Competition. It subsequently screened at dozens of festivals, winning a number of prizes, and represented Georgia in the contest for Best Foreign Language Film at the American Academy Awards.

Igor Soukmanov

Belarusian festival organizer and film publicist. Soukmanov graduated in film history from Belarusian State University and from Moscow’s renowned VGIK film school. In 1999-2004 he hosted weekly shows on motion pictures for a variety of radio stations and TV channels in Minsk. Since 2010 he has served as program director for the Minsk International Film Festival, where he is responsible for the main program and for curating retrospectives and special tributes. His recent publications include articles and reviews in the Russian film magazine Iskusstvo Kino.

Karla Stojáková

Czech producer. Stojáková graduated in production from Prague’s Film Academy (FAMU). In 2001 she cofounded the film production company Axman Production, and in 2013 she was a founding member of Film Kolektiv. In 2006 she was invited to join the European Film Promotion initiative Producers on the Move at the Cannes festival, and that same year she became a member of Europe’s ACE Producers network. In 2005 she founded Filmasia, Prague’s first Asian film festival. In addition to numerous documentaries, she has produced the features Restart and Normal by Julius Ševčík and Roman Kašparovský’s Lousy Bastards (Všiváci), among others. She also coproduced the drama Corn Island, which won the Crystal Globe at KVIFF 2014.

D o c u m e n t a r y   F i l m   J u r y

Roberto Cueto

Spanish festival programmer, film teacher, and journalist. Cueto is a member of the selection committee for the San Sebastián IFF. He was in charge of film programming for Cineteca theater at the Matadero Cultural Center in Madrid, with a program entirely devoted to documentary film. He is a professor of audiovisual communication at Carlos III University in Madrid. He has taught at several Spanish universities and at the Madrid Film School (ECAM). He formerly worked as a film journalist and collaborated with the Gijón and Sitges festivals. He has coordinated various publications, in addition to having contributed articles to numerous collective books.

Anne Fabini

German film editor. Fabini has worked on a number of films premiered at Sundance: Morris from America (2016, dir. Chad Hartigan), Houston (2013, dir. Bastian Günther, KVIFF 2013), and Return to Homs (dir. Talal Derki), winner of the 2014 World Documentary Grand Jury Award. Her editing of More Than Honey (2012, dir. Markus Imhoof) was highly acclaimed. The 2014 Visions du Réel festival in Nyon screened Bastian Günther’s genre-flexible California City (2014), another of her editing efforts. She also works internationally as a script consultant.

Pavla Janoušková Kubečková

Czech producer. Janoušková Kubečková studied journalism at Charles University and film production at Prague’s Film Academy (FAMU). In 2009 she cofounded nutprodukce productions. She has produced many documentaries, including Show! (Czech Critics’ Award), Great Night, Fortress (both premiered at CPH:DOX), and FC Roma (documentary competition at KVIFF 2016). She is also one of the producers of the HBO miniseries “Burning Bush,” directed by Agnieszka Holland, and “Wasteland,” whose international premiere took place at Toronto 2016. She coproduced Agnieszka Holland’s latest film Spoor, awarded a Silver Bear at the 2017 Berlinale.


Nonstatutory Juries:

F I P R E S C I   J u r y 

Kaan Karsan
Peter Kremski
Karin Svensson

E c u m e n i c a l   J u r y

Ennio Terrasi Borghesan
Laura Lots
Petr Vacík

F E D E O R A   J u r y

Eva af Geijerstam
Blagoja Kunovski
Kostas Terzis

E u r o p a   C i n e m a s   L a b e l   J u r y 

Marijana Bosnjak
Kevin Coyne
Zachary Ioannides
Stein Sorensen



Trudie Styler is an actress, director and producer. She is also an active environmentalist, and with her husband Sting has raised some $40 million for the Rainforest Fund which they founded in 1989. She started out as a theatre and television actress, but in the early 1990s shifted her focus to producing feature films – for instance, Guy Ritchie’s Snatch (2000) and Duncan Jones’s Moon (2009). In 2011 she joined with Celine Rattray to found Maven Pictures, which produced Still Alice (2014, dirs. Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland) and last year’s Cannes hit American Honey (2016, dir. Andrea Arnold). Her feature debut Freak Show screened in the Generation 14plus section at the 67th Berlinale.


This year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is proud to play host to Jasmine Trinca, one of Italy’s most distinctive young actresses today, despite the fact that she studied art history, not acting.

Trinca’s acting debut met with great success: in The Son’s Room, which won the Golden Palm at Cannes, she played Nanni Moretti’s daughter – a role for which she was named talent of the year.

She subsequently appeared in the successful miniseries The Best of Youth and, reprising her collaboration with Nanni Moretti, in the biopic The Caiman about the life of Silvio Berlusconi. Karlovy Vary audiences could see her in 2013 in Valerie Golino’s Miele and Georgio Diritti’s There Will Come a Day, and two years ago in the Taviani brothers’ Wondrous Boccaccio. She also appeared alongside Sean Penn and Javier Bardem in the crime thriller The Gunman.

For her portrayal of a single mother living on the outskirts of Rome in director Sergio Castellitto’s Fortunata (Lucky), she was given the Un Certain Regard Jury Award for Best Performance at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.



Denis Côté (b. 1973, Perth-Andover, New Brunswick, Canada) is an independent director and producer living in Quebec. He studied film at Collège Ahuntsic in Montreal, after which he began shooting short films (a genre he still works in) and working as a radio film critic (1999–2005). After his successful festival hit Drifting States (2005 – Golden Leopard in Locarno), he shot several meditative documentaries (Carcasses, 2009; Bestiaire, 2012) and eight features that earned him various awards, including a Silver Leopard at Locarno for All That She Wants (2008) and the Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlinale for Vic+Flo Saw a Bear (2013 – Horizons at KVIFF 2013). Karlovy Vary audiences may also remember Joy of Man’s Desiring (2014) and Boris Without Beatrice (2016). His films are difficult to classify: He is interested in individuals in crisis and often experiments with form, for instance by mixing fiction with documentary and video.



Sergei Loznitsa (b. 1964, Baranovichi, Byelorussian SSR) studied mathematics and then moved on to film school in the 1990s. Even his very first artistically stylised documentaries placed him right up there among Europe’s elite directors. His contemplative films, screened regularly at KVIFF, subtly and precisely conjure up the tangible essence of the Russian landscape (Landscape, 2003), of stagnation (The Train Stop, 2000) and, elsewhere, of archetypal industrial operations (Factory, 2004). Loznitsa’s documentaries reflect both current events (Maidan, 2014) and key moments in Russian history (Blockade, 2006; The Event, 2015). The director made his first foray into feature film direction in 2010. His latest offering A Gentle Creature (2017), like his two previous titles My Joy (2010) and In the Fog (2012), was screened in the main competition at Cannes.



Mark Cousins (b. 1965, Belfast) is a Northern Irish filmmaker, writer, curator, film critic, and traveller living in Scotland. His feature debut The First Movie (2009) won the Prix Italia. On the world stage, Cousins is best known for The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011), which was presented at numerous festivals, including KVIFF 2012. He has written works on cinema: The Story of Film (2004), Imagining Reality: The Faber Book of Documentary (with Kevin Macdonald, 2006), and Widescreen: Watching Real People Elsewhere (2008). He and Tilda Swinton head up the 8½ Foundation, whose mission is to broaden kids’ cinematic horizons with movies from around the world. Other films by Cousins screened at KVIFF: What Is This Film Called Love? (2012), A Story of Children and Film (2013), Life May Be (co-dir. Mania Akbari, 2013), and I Am Belfast (2015), which competed in the Documentary Film Competition.



Artisans in Focus

This year, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is proud to announce a new initiative in partnership with Variety magazine, Barrandov Studio and Czech Anglo Productions. Motivated by the fact that Central Europe serves as a reliable hub for film professionals in film production who have demonstrated excellent skill sets in various below-the-line professions, the festival wishes to highlight these talented professions and how they relate to the festival’s programme and to the region it represents.

While legendary film stars and great auteurs of global cinema are regularly celebrated, less heralded are the geniuses behind the camera. In a historic new event this year, Artisans in Focus will spotlight the brilliant individuals who create the images and sounds that form the magic of movies. Variety magazine will feature profiles of the selected professionals and Peter Caranicas, Variety’s Managing Editor will host a special panel in Karlovy Vary where our Artisans in Focus will be present.

Our panel of internationally recognized creative professionals will illuminate crafts such as cinematography, editing, and production and costume design, and will explore how artisans work with directors, producers and actors. Moderated by Variety’s Peter Caranicas, the session will also explore the future of filmmaking as the digital revolution transforms the industry. Cinema professionals and serious fans will mark their calendars for 2:30 pm on Sunday 2 July for this major new KVIFF event on the fine art of collaboration in filmmaking.

The selected Artisans in Focus who coming to the 52nd edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festivals are:

Monika Willi

(born 29 May 1968 in Innsbruck) is an award-winning Austrian editor who is best known for her work with director Michael Haneke and documentarian Michael Glawogger. In 2010 she won the Filmstiftung NRW’s editing award for Haneke’s Oscar-nominated film The White Ribbon. In 2013 she was nominated for the Best Editing César Award for her work on Amour. In 2013 she won the Austrian Film Award for her editing work on Barbara Albert’s The Dead and the Living, and in 2017 she received the same award for her work on Barbara Eder’s Thank You for Bombing. The documentary film Untitled, released in 2017, is her first co-directing project. The film makes use of footage shot by Michael Glawogger, who died in 2014 while filming his journey through the Balkans, Italy, and north and west Africa.

Wojciech Staroń

(born 9 December 1973 in Poland) is a renowned cinematographer and documentary director who studied at the Łódź Film School’s Faculty of Cinematography. He is known for his cinematography work on Saviour Square (dir. Joanna Kos-Krauze, Krzysztof Krauze, 2006), Vodka Factory (dir. Jerzy Śladkowski, 2010), The Prize (dir. Paula Markovitch, 2011) and Refugiado (dir. Diego Lerman, 2014). For this last film, he was nominated for the Argentinean Film Critics Association’s Best Cinematography Award. He has directed the award-winning documentaries Siberian Lesson (1998), El misionero (2001), Argentinian Lesson (2011) and Brothers (2015).

Annell Brodeur

(born 6 August 1987) is costume designer and stylist who studied costume design at the University of North Texas, Denton. She worked on award-winning fiction movie Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (dir. David Lowery, 2013), the fantasy movie Pete’s Dragon (dir. David Lowery, 2016), the drama 6 Years (dir. Hannah Fidell, 2015) and A Ghost Story (dir. David Lowery, 2017), starring Casey Affleck and which will be screened at KVIFF this year.

Ondřej Nekvasil

(born 15 July 1966 in Ostrava) is a Czech production designer who studied at the Department of Stage Design at the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He is best known for his work on the Oscar-nominated film The Illusionist (dir. Neil Bruger, 2006), the award-winning sci-fi film Snowpiercer (dir. Bong Joon Ho, 2013) starring Tilda Swinton and Chris Evans, and Underworld: Blood Wars (dir. Anna Foerster, 2016). In 2001 he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Art Direction for his work on the TV miniseries Anne Frank.



Film critic and historian Leonard Maltin has been writing about film for more than fifty years. In fact, he wrote his first movie review when he was fifteen years old. Today, he is one of the world’s most widely respected film critics, and his film encyclopedia Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, which is an indispensable guide for film fans and experts alike, has been published in multiple updated editions. Maltin has written for many leading newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Esquire and Playboy, he is the author of numerous books on film and television, and he has worked on television shows and as a teacher. His significance to and special place in film journalism has been confirmed among other things by the fact that he has been portrayed in the animated series South Park and was mentioned in an episode of the cult show The Simpsons.

The world’s leading film publications are also sending a large number of representatives to this year’s festival. Reporting on the festival for Variety will be Peter Caranicas, Jessica Kiang and Guy Lodge, The Hollywood Reporter will be represented by Scott Feinberg and Boyd van Hoeij, Ben Croll will be writing for The Wrap, Laurence Boyce will be writing festival reviews for Screen International, from Playlist we welcome Greg Ellwood and from IndieWire Andrew Lapin.

In fact, this year the films for the section Six Close Encounters, in which leading personalities select the films that have had a significant influence on them, will be chosen by leading film critics: Edna and Dan Fainaru, Boyd van Hoeij, Carmen Gray, Scott Feinberg, Barbara Hollender and Guy Lodge.


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