PRAGUE — With the scramble to bring in names heating up in the countdown to its July 2 opening night, Karlovy Vary is lining up a slate of stars. Latest to join the parade are John Cleese, who will present the July 10 closing-night screening of “Shrek 2,” and Sherilyn Fenn, star of U.S. competition film “The Cavedweller.”
Stars already confirmed include Elijah Wood and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman for the screening of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”; Wood is filming “Everything is Illuminated” in Prague for actor-turned-director Liev Schreiber, who’s also expected in Karlovy Vary for the opening weekend.
Director John Irvin and actors Colm Meaney and Bernard Hill will accompany the opening-night showing of their “The Boys From County Clare.” “House of Sand and Fog” helmer Vadim Perelman is expected, and Harvey Keitel will turn up to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Accompanying a John Cassavetes retrospective are actors Ben Gazzara and Seymour Cassel, daughter Xan Cassavetes and producer-editor Al Ruban, who also heads up the main jury.
The 3-year-old Industry Office, which is a networking link for film professionals, particularly buyers, sellers and fest programmers, reports a 50% increase in the number of companies and representatives signed up for its services.
High on the list is Cannes market director Jerome Paillard, attending Karlovy Vary for the first time to discuss possible cooperation between the French market and the Czech fest. Miramax plans to send a rep, its first time at the fest. Also new on the list are theatrical distributors from Poland and Hungary.
Attendance from all regions is on the rise, with especially strong representation from France, Germany and the U.K.