Karlovy Vary Festival Sets Otto Preminger Tribute

Otto Preminger - P 2011
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The 51st edition of the Czech festival will also showcase new female Mexican directors.

The 51st edition of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival will present a tribute to famed American filmmaker Otto Preminger.

Organizers Tuesday announced the retrospective, which will screen eight of the legendary Austria-born director's films, including Laura (1944), The Moon Is Blue (1953) and The Man With a Golden Arm (1955). It is among the first lineup details announced for this year's edition.

The festival, one of Europe's leading film showcases, has gained a reputation for programming Hollywood screen gems. Preminger was a "controversial visionary and the very first independent American filmmaker," the festival said.

The festival quoted actress Deborah Kerr, who had said that Preminger, who died in New York at age 80 in 1986, "could be such a bully on the set and could destroy people, and then he would be a charming, witty companion at dinner who knew the best wines and caviar."

Other festival program features announced Tuesday include a focus on new female Mexican filmmakers, with screenings of nine works that include Claudia Sainte-Luce's 2013 debut The Amazing Cat Fish; The Pleasure Is Mine (2015) by Elisa Miller, who won a Palme d'Or at Cannes for her short film Watching It Rain (2006); and Semana Santa (2015), the feature debut of documentary filmmaker Alejandra Marquez Abella.

In a new feature, the festival will present special re-screenings of winning films a day after it officially ends. The screenings of three winners, including the best feature winner, will take place at the Hotel Thermal's Grand Hall throughout the day.

The Karlovy Vary festival will also present a new digitally restored version of Czech director Ivan Passer's 1965s debut Intimate Lighting and feature its latest festival trailer, starring Czech director Zdenek Sverak, who wrote the screenplay for his son Jan's 1997 Oscar-winning film Kolja. The trailers each year feature a previous lifetime achievement award winner and have become part of the folklore of the festival, with audiences keenly awaiting each annual update. Past names have included Helen Mirren, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law and Mel Gibson.

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival's 51st edition runs July 1-9.