Czech new wave writer/director Ivan Passer heads the International Grand Jury at the 43rd Karlovy Vary film festival. Joining him are British actress Brenda Blethyn, Israeli director Ari Folman, U.S. indie producer Ted Hope, Czech composer Jan Muchow, Dutch actress Johanna ter Steege, and Hungarian cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond.
Passer, who emigrated to the U.S. after the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion, co-wrote Loves of a Blonde and The Fireman's Ball for Milos Forman, and directed Cutter's Way. Blethyn's outstanding career includes Secrets and Lies, which earned her best actress awards at Cannes and the Golden Globes as well as an Oscar nomination. Folman will present his animated documentary Waltz with Bashir at the festival. Hope's producing credits range from The Ice Storm to 21 Grams. Muchow holds two Czech Lion awards for best film scores. Ter Steege's acting roles have earned her awards at Berlin and Locarno. Zsigmond's work with leading directors garnered him an Oscar for Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
The festival also announced that two Czech films will complete in the main competition. In addition to Michaela Pavlatova's Night Owls, Petr Zelenka's The Brothers Karamazov will compete for the Crystal Globe. Zelenka previously won the festival's top prize for Year of the Devil
The Karlovy Vary IFF (www.kviff.com) runs July 4-12.