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Karlovy Vary 2012: Fest Kicks Off With Terri Hooley Biopic 'Good Vibrations'

Karlovy Vary Festival

Woody Allen's "To Rome With Love" will close the 47th edition on July 7, after Susan Sarandon and Helen Mirren receive career tributes in the Czech Republic spa resort.

The 47th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is to kick off Friday with the international premiere of Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glen Leyburn's film Good Vibrations, a biopic about Terri Hooley, a record-store owner key to developing Belfast's punk-rock scene.

Similar to last year, when Midnight in Paris closed the fest, Woody Allen's To Rome With Love will close the Czech Republic resort event this year, as well.

The festival will screen this year in all 217 films, including 34 shorts, with 22 world premieres and 744 film professionals scheduled to attend.

Besides previously announced high-profile guests like Susan Sarandon and Helen Mirren, both of whom will receive Crystal Globe lifetime achievement awards, the festival announced on June 25 it will host emerging star Kara Hayward, who plays the lead in Wes Anderson’s film Moonrise Kingdom.

In addition, Thomas Bo Larsen, an actor who regularly appears in Thomas Vinterberg films, will present one of the auteur director’s pictures, The Hunt, while Italian horror maestro Dario Argento will introduce Dario Argento’s Dracula, which will be screened in 3D as part of the festival's Midnight Screenings section.

Last year, the festival injected new programming blood by naming longtime staffer Karel Och as artistic director.

He took over from film historian Eva Zaoralova, who, along with Jiri Bartoska, a celebrated Czech actor and current festival president, is credited with building the festival's modern reputation.

The festival has turned into a Cannes for Eastern Europe, managing to balance offerings for both film industry professionals and moviegoers.

“We strike this balance by making the film professional and viewer oriented elements of the festival 'meet' one another,” said Och.

“Our aim is to 'infect' film professionals with the cinephilia virus – they often have it already, but lack time to follow it – and to expose our regular audience to interesting issues from the world of film industry in events open to public," he added.

Och is particularly proud of the programming staff's accomplishments in the festival's East of West competition this year.

“This year’s East of the West has a new look – it focuses on brand new titles by first and second-time directors, and we all are very proud of the selection,” said Och.

“We believe it is a highly representative program showcasing the work of the most talented young filmmakers from all over Central and Eastern Europe,” he added.

KVIFF was founded in 1946.

The Karlovy Vary Film Festival Foundation was founded in 1993 by the Czech ministry of culture, the city of Karlovy Vary, and the local Grand Hotel Pupp.

Film Servis Festival Karlovy Vary, a joint stock company, has organized the festival since 1998.

The overall budget for this year is 135 million CZK ($6.54 million), 70% of which comes from corporate sponsors – RWE and CEZ energy groups, Audi Uncredit Bank, and others.

The remaining 30 percent of the budget comes from state and municipal funds, including the Czech ministry of culture, the Czech state budget, and the city and region of Karlovy Vary.