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This year’s 58th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will host actor-director Viggo Mortensen. At the festival’s opening ceremony, Mortensen will receive the Festival President’s Award and also present his film The Dead Don’t Hurt, which he wrote and directed.

The multifaceted actor began his career in
the mid-1980s, when he appeared in,
among other things, Peter Weir’s Witness
(1985), Renny Harlin’s Prison (1987), and
David Anspaugh’s Fresh Horses (1988),
as well as in the Los Angeles premiere of
Martin Sherman’s play Bent (1987), for
which he was awarded the Dramalogue
Critics Award. During that decade he also
continued to pursue a number of other
artistic interests, including poetry, music,
painting, and photography. Viggo
Mortensen is the author of several books
of poetry, and is the founder and editor of
Perceval Press, which was founded in

In 1990 Philip Ridley cast him in The Reflecting Skin, and Sean Penn in his directorial debut The Indian Runner. Through the 1990s Mortensen worked on a number of projects of other respected directors, including Brian de Palma’s Carlito’s Way (1993), Tony Scott’s submarine drama Crimson Tide (1995), Jane Campion’s period romantic drama The Portrait of a Lady (1996), Andrew Davis’s crime thriller A Perfect Murder (1998), a second time for Philip Ridley in The Passion of Darkly Noon (1998), and for Tony Goldwyn in A Walk on the Moon (1999) alongside Diane Lane.
Mortensen gained international fame and the acclaim of the general public thanks to his role as Aragorn in Peter Jackson’s epic saga The Lord of the Rings (2001–2003). The three films in this adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s saga are among the most successful projects in international cinematic history, with the third instalment, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), winning eleven Academy Awards.

In 2005, Viggo Mortensen played the lead role in David Cronenberg’s film noir drama A History of Violence. Their subsequent collaboration, Eastern Promises (2007), earned Mortensen his first nominations for the Academy Awards, the BAFTAs, and the Golden Globes, and brought him the prize for Best Actor at the British Independent Film Awards. In 2009, he starred in an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s acclaimed novel The Road. He received his second Golden Globe nomination for another Cronenberg film, the original biographical drama A Dangerous Method (2011), in which he portrayed Sigmund Freud. He also received Academy Award, BAFTA, and Golden Globe nominations for his role the father of an off-the-grid family in Matt Ross’ Captain Fantastic (2016), and as Tony in the triple Oscar-winning The Green Book (2018). Captain Fantastic won the Audience Award at the 2016 Karlovy Vary IFF. Mortensen has also collaborated with David Oelhoffen as actor and producer for Far From Men (2014), and with Argentine director Lisandro Alonso on two extraordinary projects – Jauja (2014), in which he was involved as an actor, producer, and composer, and Eureka (2023). Both were screened at the Cannes Film Festival.

Mortensen’s feature directing debut was 2020‘s Falling, which was inspired by events from his childhood. Besides writing, directing, producing, and acting in the film, he also composed the music.
The Dead Don’t Hurt, which will be screened at the opening ceremony of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, is Viggo Mortensen’s second outing as director. As with his debut, he wrote the screenplay, acted as director and producer, composed the music, and performed one of the lead roles.

“We are excited to bring a truly unique experience to the Czech audiences this year. On July 4th, we will release in theatres across the country the opening film of Karlovy Vary Film Festival – The Dead Don’t Hurt. Just few days after the festival’s opening ceremony that traditionally attracts maximum media attention. We believe that many film lovers in our territory will enjoy the proposition of watching such a great and spotlighted film on their local screens and experience piece of the festival’s best content on their own.“ said the Distribution Company Aerofilms´ CEO Ivo Andrle.


This year’s 58th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will play host to Oscarwinning director and producer Steven Soderbergh. The internationally respected filmmaker will be in town to present two of his films, Kafka and Mr. Kneff, which are being shown as part of the festival’s Kafka retrospective, The Wish to Be a Red Indian: Kafka and Cinema.

Festival audiences will have the unique chance to see both films presented in person by their creator, who is known to only rarely accept invitations to such events.

The mysterious drama Kafka (1991), which Steven Soderbergh shot in Prague with
Jeremy Irons in the title role, is a sophisticated blending of Kafka’s real life with fiction, although viewers have absolutely no way of knowing whether the events in the film are real or the fruits of the author’s imagination. Thirty years later, Soderbergh decided to re-edit Kafka to create an entirely new film. Set in Prague in 1919, Mr. Kneff is the story of a writer who uses his dead-end job as inspiration for his writing.

The new version is twenty minutes shorter, with a rearranged narrative structure. In addition, Soderbergh colorized some of the scenes to more clearly differentiate between reality and the main protagonist’s imagination. The film also has a different soundtrack, which among other things includes an instrumental version of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” Mr. Kneff, which can be described as a film about Kafka without Kafka, is characterized by a noticeably greater dose of surrealism and sense of alienation than the original film.

Steven Soderbergh burst onto the scene with his directorial debut Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989), which won a Palme d´Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The film subsequently earned him nominations for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay. Soderbergh’s subsequent filmography is a distinctive mix of titles, ranging from audience-friendly films to extraordinary artistic experiments. In many cases, he not only wrote and directed the film but also took on the role of cinematographer or editor.

After making the romantic comedy Out of Sight (1998) starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez, Soderbergh shot the distinctive and formally unconventional thriller The Limey (1999). This was followed by the successful Erin Brockovich (2000) with Oscarwinning Julia Roberts in the title role. The film earned Soderbergh an Oscar nomination for Best Director. He soon took home an Academy Award for the crime drama Traffic (2001). His next film was the crime comedy Ocean’s Eleven (2001 Eleven), which featured a remarkable ensemble cast of Hollywood stars, including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, and numerous others. The film’s success spawned two sequels – Ocean’s Twelve (2004) and Ocean’s Thirteen (2007). Soderbergh’s complexity is reflected in his choice of themes and genres, as demonstrated by such films as his remake of Andrei Tarkovsky’s famous sci-fi Solaris (2002), the twopart biopic of the revolutionary Che Guevara (Che, 2008), the psychological crime thriller Side Effects (2013), the comedy Magic Mike (2012), the biographical drama Behind the Candelabra (2012), and the crime comedy Logan Lucky (2017). Soderbergh set the thriller Kimi (2022) during the COVID-19 pandemic, revisited the protagonists of Magic Mike in Magic Mike’s Last Dance (2023), and premiered the psychological thriller Presence (2024) at this year’s Sundance festival.
He has also successfully ventured into television production, among other things with the series The Knick (2014–2015), which was nominated for several Emmy Awards.


British actor Clive Owen, recipient of a Golden Globe, a BAFTA award, and a nomination for an Oscar, will be a special guest of this year’s festival. At the closing ceremony of the 58th KVIFF, Owen will be presented the KVIFF President’s Award.

After graduating from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, the native of Coventry started his acting career by appearing in several productions of Shakespeare for the Young Vic Theatre Company.
After making his cinematic debut in Vroom
(1988), he appeared mainly in television films and series, the most successful being the crime series Chancer (1990–1991), in which he portrayed the charismatic Stephen Crane.

Photo credit: Gerhard Kassner

In 1997, Owen appeared on stage in the world premiere of Patrick Marber’s Closer at the Royal National Theatre, where he played one the main characters, Dan. When Mike Nichols adapted the internationally successful play about the pitfalls of love for the big screen in 2004, Owen again played one of the main
roles – the other male lead, Larry – alongside Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman, and Jude Law.
His performance earned him a Golden Globe, a BAFTA award, and an Oscar nomination.

By this time, Owen already had numerous film roles under his belt, among them the ambitious Jack in Mike Hodges’s crime drama Croupier (1998); one of thirty leading roles in legendary director Robert Altman’s masterful study of morality Gosford Park (2001); roles in the action thriller The Bourne Identity (2002) and the wartime romantic drama Beyond Borders (2003); and the title role in Antoine Fuqua’s historical film King Arthur (2004). His filmography includes numerous further collaborations with outstanding directors. With Alfonso Cuarón, he made the sci-fi mystery Children of Men (2006); he appeared in Spike Lee’s thriller Inside Man (2006); and he played the male lead in Shekhar Kapur’s historical drama Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) and Tom Tykwer’s action thriller The International (2009). He and Julia Roberts reunited as rival secret agents in the romantic action film Duplicity (2009). Guillaume Canet’s Blood Ties (2013) premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Owen can recently be seen in the FX series, A Murder at the End of the World (2023).

Owen received his second Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of Ernest Hemingway in Philip Kaufman’s television film Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012), followed by a third nomination for his appearance in Steven Soderbergh’s Emmy-nominated television series The Knick (2014–2015). He later portrayed Bill Clinton in the series Impeachment: American Crime Story (2021), which revisited President Clinton’s affair with his intern Monica Lewinsky. Clive Owen can currently be seen as the private eye Sam Spade in the noir miniseries Monsieur Spade (2024), which was inspired by the novels of Dashiell Hammet.
On the occasion of Clive Owen receiving the KVIFF President’s Award, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will show the award-winning Closer, which was released twenty years ago.


Actor, director, producer, and multiple European Film Award-winner Daniel Brühl will be a guest of this year’s 58th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, where he will also receive the KVIFF President’s Award.

Brühl has regularly appeared in film and on
television since the mid-1990s, quickly
winning German national film awards – for
example, for Das weiße Rauschen (2001,
The White Sound), which received rave
reviews from German critics. An important
milestone in his career came with Wolfgang
Becker’s nostalgic tragicomedy Good Bye,
Lenin! (2003), which dominated the European Film Awards and earned Brühl two European Film Awards – one from the jury and a People’s Choice Award based on a public vote. He was also Germany’s winner of the EFP Shooting Stars Award for Top Young Actor, which is presented at the Berlinale.

His second nomination for the European Film Awards was for his performance in the crime
drama The Educators (2004), which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

This was soon followed by a role in Charles Dance’s British film Ladies in Lavender (2004), where he appeared alongside Judy Dench and Maggie Smith. The romantic drama Love in Thoughts (2004) brought him another EFA People’s Choice Award for Best Actor.
The Barcelona-born Brühl returned to his native Spain in 2006 for Salvador (Puig Antich), a biopic inspired by the story of the Catalan anarchist of the same name. Besides working on numerous European productions, Brühl also regularly receives offers from Hollywood. He starred in one instalment of the Bourne series, The Bourne Ultimatum (2007); won a Screen Actors Guild Award along with the rest of the cast of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds (2009); and appeared alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in the drama The Fifth Estate (2013).

His portrayal of Formula One race car driver Niki Lauda in Ron Howard’s Rush (2013) earned him a number of international awards, including a Golden Globe nomination and a BAFTA award. He also played the main villain in the Marvel Comics film Captain America: Civil War (2016), filmed several scenes from the war drama The Zookeeper’s Wife (2017) in Prague, played a German radical hijacker in the political thriller based on true events Entebbe (2018), and appeared in a smaller role in Matthew Vaughn’s action film The King’s Man (2021).
In 2019, he was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a miniseries or television film for his role in the period television series The Alienist (2018–2020). In 2021, he directed and starred in Next Door, a comedy about envy and revenge. He was involved as both actor and executive producer in the 2022 adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s famous novel All Quiet on the Western Front, which went on to win four Academy Awards. His most recent credits include the Disney+ biographical series Becoming Karl Lagerfeld, in which he plays the title role of the fashion icon. On the occasion of receiving the KVIFF President’s Award, Daniel Brühl will present his directorial debut Next Door.


The Oscar-nominated screenwriter and director Nicole Holofcener will attend KVIFF to introduce three films from her award-winning career, while Michel Franco, Juho Kuosmanen, Sergei Loznitsa, Rúnar Rúnarsson, Daniele Luchetti, and Ti West will present their latest films to Karlovy Vary audiences.

Nicole Holofcener, one of the most eminent voices of American independent cinema of the ´90ies and noughties has written and directed seven feature-length films, whose qualities have been appreciated by critics and audiences alike. Holofcener’s measured mix of observational comedy, understated social commentary, and female character studies are not as well-known in Central and Eastern Europe as in the United States, where they have found a home at Sundance in particular. One example is the gently scathing yet charming comedy of manners Please Give (2010), starring Oliver Platt and Holofcener’s regular collaborator Catherine Keener. The romantic comedy Enough Said (2013), a bittersweet meditation on the anxieties of middle age, brought together American comedy icon Julia-Louis Dreyfus and the incomparable James Gandolfini (sadly, in one of his final roles) under Holofcener’s empathetic direction.

The latest film by this chronicler of American middle-class life, You Hurt My Feelings (2023), proves that even the story of a long marriage unexpectedly beset by a major crisis can be told in a sensitively humorous way.
The Mexico-born world citizen Michel Franco, a director, screenwriter, editor, and producer whose films have won awards at the Cannes and Venice, will travel to Karlovy Vary to present the Czech premiere of his 2023 drama Memory. Jessica Chastain and Peter Sarsgaard, whose performance earned him the Volpi Cup at last year’s Venice Film Festival, shine in this intense romantic drama characterized by a subtle yet profound understanding of humanity in its purest form.

Finnish star director Juho Kuosmanen returns to Karlovy Vary with his Silent Trilogy, three short films that present a playful and humorous celebration of people on the margins of society. Kuosmanen previously demonstrated his love for the history of cinema in the festival gems The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki and Compartment No. 6.
The work of Sergei Loznitsa, who has visited the Karlovy Vary festival with his films with almost iron-clad regularity since the turn of the millennium, is an uncompromising aesthetic and political “bridge” between East and West. In his observational documentary The Invasion, he recounts the actions of the people who have resisted oppression on a daily basis since the Russian invasion began.
Iceland’s Rúnar Rúnarsson will be on hand to present When the Light Breaks, his emotionally complex study of dealing with sudden loss and pain, which opened the Un Certain Regard section at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Returning to Karlovy Vary this year is legend of Italian cinema Daniele Luchetti with his drama Trust. For this film, Luchetti once again turned to his long-time collaborator Elio Germano, to play the lead role. This extremely successful actor-director duo first met while working on My Brother is an Only Child (2006).
The work of master of unconventional independent horror Ti West has gained a cult following over the years. West will be in Karlovy Vary in person to introduce MaXXXine, the final instalment in his X trilogy, produced by A24.


European Film Promotion and the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival are delighted to offer an extended industry programme for the ten participants selected for EFP FUTURE FRAMES. This year’s mentor, award-winning Mexican filmmaker Michel Franco, will hold an exclusive master class on 2 July. Thanks to the renewed support of the multinational lottery operator Allwyn and collaboration with American talent agency UTA and Range Media Partners, the programme provides a comprehensive experience for the emerging filmmakers.

After two intensive online meeting and pitching days, the group of emerging talents will be offered an extensive on-site industry programme from 30 June to 2 July at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. This includes exclusive meetings with KVIFF’s programming team and individual meetings with four representatives from UTA and Range Media Partners, who will be on hand to provide participants with important feedback and advice. They will also subsequently select one FUTURE FRAMES director for a special scholarship and study trip to Los Angeles. In an exclusive master class, award-winning Mexican filmmaker Michel Franco will focus on one of his very successful early films, After Lucia, and discuss it with the ten emerging directors. The film competed in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where it was awarded the top prize.

The very low-budget film was also selected as the Mexican entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards. Michel Franco is an award-winning filmmaker who was born in 1979 in Mexico City. The films he has written, directed, and produced have helped put Mexican cinema in the global spotlight. His most recent feature film, Memory, which premiered in competition at the 2023 Venice Film Festival and earned Peter Sarsgaard the Volpi Cup for Best Actor, will be screened at this year’s KVIFF. His other films include Sundown (shown in competition at the 2021 Venice Film Festival), New Order (Grand Jury Prize, 2020 Venice Film Festival), April’s Daughters (Un Certain Regard Jury Prize, 2017 Cannes Film Festival), Chronic (Best Screenplay, 2015 Cannes Film Festival), and After Lucia (Prix Un Certain Regard, 2012 Cannes Film Festival). He has also produced films under his Teorema banner, including Lorenzo Vigas’s From Afar (Golden Lion, 2015 Venice Film Festival) and David Zonana’s first two features, Mano de Obra (Official Selection, 2019 Toronto International Film Festival) and Heroic (Official Selection, 2023 Sundance Film Festival).

The 2024 Future Frames Selection

Austria: Matthias Krepp | Strangers in the Night
Belgium: Marthe Peters | Baldilocks
Czech Republic: Marie-Magdalena Kochová | 3 MWh
Denmark: William Sehested Høeg | The Complaint
Germany: Hilke Rönnfeldt | A Study of Empathy
Iceland: Anna Maria Joakimsdottir-Hutri | Who Stands Up for Alvar
Italy: Emanuela Muzzupappa | Love’s Servant
Romania: Bogdan Alecsandru | If I Float
Slovakia: Katarína Gramatová | A Good Mind Grows in Thorny Places
Spain: Lucía G. Romero | Cura Sana


The main protagonist of the new trailer for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is Oscar-winning actor and producer Benicio del Toro, recipient of the KVIFF President’s Award in 2022. The short film, which will have its premiere at the festival’s opening ceremony, was written and directed by long-time creator of KVIFF trailers Ivan Zachariáš.

Benicio del Toro in the new trailer for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

“We filmed with Benicio del Toro in May in Berlin, where he took time out for us while shooting Wes Anderson’s new film. His first response was: ‘It’s a great idea, but we have to be quick.’” recalls Zachariáš. “Benicio was a pro. He immediately understood what I wanted from him, and so we got most of the shots in one go. We were prepared in advance, we marked all the camera positions and lenses before the shoot, and in the end Benicio himself was surprised at how we managed it all,” adds Zachariáš, who collaborated on the trailer with cinematographer Jan Velický and editor Filip Malásek. Zachariáš himself composed the music.

“We are glad that Benicio del Toro could join the friends of KVIFF who have supported the festival by appearing in our trailer. He thus joins the likes of Casey Affleck, Miloš Forman, Jude Law, Mel Gibson, and Helen Mirren, who have all performed in festival trailers,” says KVIFF’s Executive Director Kryštof Mucha. “It’s not always easy in terms of organization, but the result is a unique series of trailers featuring world-famous personalities that has no equal at any other international festival.”
The idea of shooting festival trailers featuring distinctive representatives of world cinema was born sixteen years ago. In the past, the creative minds behind these micro-stories showing their subjects’ connection with the festival were directors Ivan Zachariáš and Martin Krejčí.
The new trailer starring Benicio del Toro will have its premiere on 28 June 2024 at the opening ceremony of the 58th Karlovy Vary IFF. At the same time, it will also be made available online, exclusively on KVIFF.TV.


The multifaceted Viggo Mortensen not only stars in The Dead Don’t Hurt (2023) but also directed the film, wrote the screenplay, and composed the soundtrack.

Three years after making his directorial debut with the impressive drama Falling, the multitalented Viggo Mortensen is back in the director’s chair with this understated period romance set in the American West. In his latest film, he plays the Danish immigrant Holger, a sheriff in a dusty Nevada town in the mid-19th century. Mortensen’s focused and subdued direction is a well-crafted homage to classic Westerns, updated with the confidence of an auteur to include a female protagonist at the center of the action – the independent free-thinker Vivienne (Vicky Krieps), who finds in Holger both a partner and a kindred spirit striving to live a dignified life in a world of violent primitives.


On 28 June 2024, popular British band Kosheen will perform in front of the Hotel Thermal as part of the opening concert of the 58th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The concert will be free for the public.

This year Kosheen and singer Sian Evans celebrate twenty-five years on the music scene. The band, which thanks to previous concerts in the Czech Republic has a strong fan base in the country, will perform the greatest hits from its repertoire.

Photo credit: Michal Ivanega

Special guest at the concert will be singer Aiko, who represented the Czech Republic at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Kosheen’s music is characterized by a mixture of genres, including drum and bass, trip hop, electronic music, pop, and rock. The band has released five studio albums and has earned a reputation as one of the most iconic bands of the past few decades. It gained fame in the early part of the century with its albums Resist (2001) and Kokopelli (2003) and the hits “Hide U,” “Catch,” and “All in My Head.” After taking a several-year hiatus from touring, during which time Evans worked to innovate the band’s live show from a completely new perspective, the group returned in full force in 2019, headlining music festivals around the world.
The Karlovy Vary film festival began its tradition of holding opening concerts for the public at its 50th edition with a performance by Czech band Lucie. Over the following years, festivalgoers have had the opportunity to see and hear several concerts of famous film music by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, a unique concert version of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar featuring the legendary line-up from the production at the Spiral Theatre at the Prague Exhibition Grounds, and the SymfoMIG concert by the band Mig 21 in collaboration with the National Theatre Orchestra. Last year, festival audiences could see performances by Morcheeba and by Indoor Garden Party featuring Russell Crowe.
The concert by Kosheen is expected to start around 10:45pm. The final song will be accompanied by the festival’s traditional fireworks display. The festival’s concert partner is ORLEN.


This unique exhibition of photographs by Czech-Slovak photographer Tono Stano presents well-known as well as previously unseen photographs of important guests of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, taken over the course of many years. Some of the famous people captured in Stano’s photographs include Morgan Freeman, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, Jude Law, Woody Harrelson, John Malkovich, Scarlett Johansson, and Sharon Stone, among others. The exhibition will be open to the public for the duration of the film festival at the Sparkasse Gallery in Karlovy Vary (Divadelní 243/1).

About the artist:
Tono Stano (1960) is known for his blackand-white portraits and figurative work. Besides creating an important body of work in the studio, he has produced a number of large photographic series, including White Shadow; a series of images from nature (Fascination); the Inside Out series capturing contours of light and dark on the human body; and the Convex series, in which he worked with the optical effect of the deconstruction of reality. He is always looking for new approaches and synergies, and is drawn to all forms of artistic expression and creative fields in general. Stano is a long-time collaborator of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, for which he has created an extensive series of portraits of world film personalities and also designed the main prize, the Crystal Globe (2001).

Photo credit: Barbora Ban

His work can be found in the collections of the Art Institute Chicago, the Bibliothèque National and Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris; Museum Ludwig in Cologne; the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, United Kingdom; the Moravian Gallery in Brno; the Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava, and the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague.


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