Karlovy Vary gears up for 45th fest edition

Twelve productions to compete for the Crystal Globe

COLOGNE, Germany -- The 45th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival kicks off Friday July 2 with Scott Cooper's double Oscar-winning country music drama "Crazy Heart" and drops the curtain eight days later with French rom-com "Heartbreaker" starring Romain Duris and Vanessa Paradis.

In between, twelve productions will compete for the Crystal Globe, among them the world premieres of Fardin Saheb Zamani's debut "There Are Things You Don't Know," billed as an Iranian answer to "Taxi Driver;" "Diago" from China's Chi Zang and Frederic Sojcher's mockumentary "Hitler in Hollywood" about a Tinseltown conspiracy against European cinema.

Two Czech titles are in the running: Tomas Masin's period piece "3 Seasons in Hell" and "Kooky," an animated puppet tale from Jan Sverak, winner of the 1995 Crystal Globe for "The Ride."

Other Globe competitors include the Spanish family drama "The Mosquito Net" from director Agusti Vila and featuring Geraldine Chaplin; the Polish drama "Mother Teresa of Cats" from Pavel Sala and "Mourning For Anna" from Canadian helmer Catherine Martin, which focuses on a woman coping with her daughter's death.

Producer Ron Yerxa ("Little Miss Sunshine") heads up this year's international jury in Karlovy Vary, joined by Serbian actress Mirjana Karanovic, film critic David Stratton and directors Chang-dong Lee, Lola Mayo, Alexei Popogrebsky, and Bohdan Slama.

Karlovy Vary prides itself on being a gateway to Eastern European cinema and its East of the West sidebar includes several big titles from the former Soviet bloc including Cannes entry "Aurora" from Romanian director Cristi Puiu; Veiko Ounpuu's Estonia drama "The Temptation of St. Tony," which premiered at Sundance and "Woman With a Broken Nose" from Serbian director Srdjan Koljevic.

Jude Law will receive Karlovy Vary's lifetime honor, the President's Award, this year and the VIP attendees list includes Martin Scorcesse's Oscar-winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker ("Raging Bull," "The Departed") and Scottish producer/directors Andrew and Kevin Macdonald.