Geoffrey Rush, Benicio Del Toro to Be Honored at Karlovy Vary Film Festival

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Oscar-winning actors Geoffrey Rush and Benicio Del Toro will be feted at the 56th edition of the Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival, which will run July 1-9. The actors will receive their awards at the festival’s closing ceremony. The Czech event has also revealed its juries.

“We are honored and delighted that two extraordinary actors we have been deeply admiring for many years accepted our invitation to come to Karlovy Vary,” said KVIFF’s president Jiří Bartoška.

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Rush will receive the festival’s Crystal Globe for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema, and his films “The King’s Speech,” “Quills” and “Shine” will be screened as an homage to the actor.

Rush began his career in theater with the Queensland Theater Company. An important turning point in his cinematic career came in 1996, when he excelled in the role of composer and pianist David Helfgott in Scott Hick’s “Shine,” which won him an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. Two years later, he was again nominated for an Oscar, this time for his role in the historical romance “Shakespeare in Love.” Despite his work in cinema, Rush never left stage acting behind. In 2009, he won a Tony Award for playing the lead in Ionesco’s “Exit the King.”

Rush reconfirmed his talent when he appeared as King George’s speech therapist Lionel Logue in the drama “The King’s Speech” (2010) – a role that earned him nominations for an Oscar and a Golden Globe, plus a win at the BAFTA Awards. In 2011, Rush became the founding president of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts, and in 2012 he was named Australian of the Year for his contribution to the arts in his home country.

Del Toro will receive the Festival President’s Award, which is given to actors, directors and producers who have made a fundamental contribution to the development of film and cinema. As an homage to Del Toro, the films “Traffic” and “The Usual Suspects” will be screened at the festival.

Del Toro has been one of Hollywood’s most frequently cast actors since the 1990s. An important film in his career was Bryan Singer’s “The Usual Suspects” (1995), for which he earned a Film Independent Spirit Award. The following year, he excelled in director Julian Schnabel’s “Basquiat,” which was also shown in Karlovy Vary and which brought him his second Film Independent Spirit Award.

His portrayal of a corrupt cop in Steven Soderbergh’s “Traffic” (2000) earned him an Oscar for best supporting actor, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, and a Silver Bear at the Berlinale. He shot the gangster comedy “Snatch” (2000) with Guy Ritchie, the mystery thriller “The Pledge” (2001) with Sean Penn, and “21 Grams” (2003) with Alejandro González Iñárritu, earning his second Oscar nomination and an Audience Award at the Venice Film Festival. In 2015, he starred in the Dennis Villeneuve’s thriller “Sicario” (2015), he then reprised the role of the mysterious Alejandro in director Stefano Sollima’s sequel “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” (2018).

Del Toro will next be seen starring in the crime thriller “Reptile,” starring opposite Justin Timberlake, for Netflix.

The festival’s juries have been revealed, as follows:

Crystal Globe Jury
Argentinian film producer Benjamin Domenech
German filmmaker Jan-Ole Gerster
Polish distributor and festival organizer Roman Gutek
International sales agent and producer Fiorella Moretti
Danish film editor and screenwriter Molly Malene Stensgaard

Proxima Jury
Filipino producer Bianca Balbuena
Icelandic documentarist Yrsa Roca Fannberg
Czech music journalist, filmmaker and writer Pavel Klusák
American distributor Michael Rosenberg
Ukrainian film director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy

The festival’s online television channel KVIFF.TV LIVE will provide extensive coverage of the event, including live streams of the opening ceremony, film introductions and stars’ arrivals on the red carpet, as well as interviews and slow TV streams from festival venues.

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