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58th KVIFF Welcomes Viggo Mortensen, Steven Soderbergh, Clive Owen, And More

Every year, outside the resplendent Grandhotel Pupp, dedicated crowds gather to snap a photo of the glitzy guests gracing the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF). These stars and auteurs often arrive to premiere their film or to receive the Crystal Globe for their lifetime service to cinema. Now, with the approach of the 58th edition of the festival, a new wave of honorees and guests will arrive, sparking a wall of flashing cameras and cellphones to burst forth. 

The festival’s major headliner this year is Viggo Mortensen, who will be accepting the KVIFF President’s Award. A three-time Best Actor Academy Award nominee, Mortensen has been accumulating film credits since appearing in Peter Weir’s “Witness.” Through his career, which includes major roles in “Crimson Tide,” “G.I. Jane,” “A Walk on the Moon,” “Eastern Promises,” “Green Book,” and the iconic “The Lord of the Rings” franchise—Mortensen has risen from engrossing character actor to charming leading man through an ability to tease an unlikely darkness underneath his hushed presence. He has transferred those same traits to his directorial efforts. His latest picture, “The Dead Don’t Hurt,” a slow-burn Western co-starring Vicky Krieps will screen as part of the festival. 

British actor Clive Owen will also receive the KVIFF President’s Award. While the actor is probably best known for his roles in Alfonso Cuarón post-apocalyptic dystopian masterpiece “Children of Men,” Spike Lee’s intense caper “Inside Man,” and the bloody action flick “Shoot 'Em Up”—he will be furthered honored by the festival with a 20th anniversary screening of Mike Nichols’ “Closer.” The final recipient of the KVIFF President’s Award will be actor Daniel Brühl. From his breakout role in “Good bye Lenin!” to his chilling turn in “Inglorious Basterds," his SAG-nominated role as Niki Lauder in Ron Howard’s racing film “Rush,” and his work in “All Quiet on the Western Front,” a film he executive produced, Brühl has played urbane villains and unlikable characters with uncommon force. As part of their celebration of Brühl, the festival will screen his directorial debut “Next Door.” 

Other renowned guests coming to the festival include director Nicole Holofcener (“You Hurt My Feelings), Michel Franco (“Memory”), Juho Kuosmanen (“Compartment Number 6”), Sergei Loznitsa (“Donbass”), Rúnar Rúnarsson (“When the Light Breaks”), Daniele Luchetti (“Trust”), and Ti West (“MaXXXine”). Franco will also serve as a mentor to participants of this year’s Future Frames program. 

In addition to KVIFF’s previously announced Franz Kafka retrospective—where films inspired by the author will screen—director Steven Soderbergh will be in attendance to present two of his films (“Kafka” and “Mr. Kneff”) that are part of the retrospective. Soderbergh originally released “Kafka,” filmed in Prague in 1991. Thirty years later he took the footage from that film, re-tooled it, and re-released it as “Mr. Kneff.” Seeing the two films together, with his insight, will be an incredibly rare experience. 

The star of this year’s festival trailer, an annual tradition, wherein a former festival honoree films a short skit will be Benicio Del Toro. He received the KVIFF President’s Award in 2022. 

Other potential highlights to this year’s festival include the World Premiere of Mark Cousins’ latest film “A Sudden Glimpse to Deeper Things,” a Crystal Globe competition stacked with 15 debut features, a plethora of buzzy titles from Cannes: “All We Imagine as Light,” “Grand Tour,” “Viet and Nam”—Berlin and Sundance. 

For more information, visit the official site of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Robert Daniels

Robert Daniels is an Associate Editor at Based in Chicago, he is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA) and Critics Choice Association (CCA) and regularly contributes to the New York TimesIndieWire, and Screen Daily. He has covered film festivals ranging from Cannes to Sundance to Toronto. He has also written for the Criterion Collection, the Los Angeles Times, and Rolling Stone about Black American pop culture and issues of representation.

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