Karlovy Vary Festival to award Dame Helen Mirren

    During the Gala Opening Ceremony of the 47th Karlovy Vary IFF, the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema will be awarded to Dame Helen Mirren. This superb British actress will be a guest at this year’s festival together with her husband, American director and producer Taylor Hackford.

    As part of the programme for the 47th Karlovy Vary IFF, Helen Mirren will be presenting the film The Door, in which she played the lead under Hungarian director István Szabó, President of the international jury at last year’s KVIFF.

    Helen Mirren is one of the big names in contemporary world film and theatre. She initially attended teaching college, however, she has devoted her professional life to acting since the age of twenty-one.

    She began her stage career at the National Youth Theatre, becoming a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1967. She has created dozens of roles for both the classical and modern stage repertoire, and has appeared in numerous theatres, from London’s West End and the National Theatre, to venues on Broadway, New York. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance as Alice in the Broadway production of Strindberg’s Dance of Death (2002), and for an Olivier Award for the London productions of Tennessee Williams’s Orpheus Descending (2001) and Eugene O’Neill’s play Mourning Becomes Electra (2004).

    Helen Mirren began her film career in the latter half of the 1960s which has not only involved assorted appearances in films of varying genres and collaborations with eminent directors such as Peter Greenaway, Peter Weir and Robert Altman, but has also led to a string of awards. After several minor roles she was a hit in the drama Cal (dir. Pat O’Connor) and also went on to win Best Actress for her performance at the Cannes IFF. Her Queen Charlotte in the 1994 historical drama The Madness of King George (dir. Nicholas Hytner) brought her an award at Cannes and her first Academy Award nomination. She was given her second Oscar nomination, a Golden Globe nomination, and a host of other awards for her part as the housekeeper in Altman’s 2001 mystery comedy drama Gosford Park. Helen Mirren played one of the heroines in the comedy based on real events Calendar Girls (dir. Nigel Cole) and earned herself another nomination for a Golden Globe and a European Film Award nomination.

    The sovereign Elizabeth II, which she took on for Stephen Frears in his film The Queen; subsequently proved to be the role of a lifetime. The part won her the Volpi Cup at the Venice IFF, a Golden Globe, an Academy Award and practically all the other Anglo-American film awards up for grabs. Her most recent Oscar nomination came in 2009 when she played Tolstoy’s wife in the biopic The Last Station (dir. Michael Hoffman).
    Helen Mirren’s television work has likewise won her a series of other awards and also huge popularity with audiences. Her roles in TV films and series (particularly the highly successful crime serial Prime Suspect) have secured her several Emmy Awards, two Golden Globes and three BAFTAs. Some of her most prominent television work has included her critically ac-claimed performance as the illustrious English monarch in the TV mini-series Elizabeth I from 2005.

    She was invested as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2003.

    Helen Mirren will be coming to the Karlovy Vary IFF with her husband, director and producer Taylor Hackford, whom she met on the set of the film White Nights. Works by this American director include the film An Officer and a Gentleman featuring Richard Gere, the drama Proof of Life with Russell Crowe and Meg Ryan, and the biopic Ray, which brought him two Academy Award nominations. Jamie Foxx won an Oscar for his lead performance in the film. Taylor Hackford won an Academy Award for the short film Teenage Father. He was appointed President of the Directors Guild of America in 2009.