Zellweger, 'Potter' set for Karlovy Vary


SOCHI, Russia -- Academy Award winner Renee Zellweger will present Chris Noonan's Beatrix Potter biopic, "Miss Potter," at the 42nd edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic, organizers said Thursday.

The actress, who has won acclaim for roles in such films as "Chicago" and "Bridget Jones's Diary," will tread the red carpet in the Bohemian spa town and take the stage to present "Potter," which earned her a Golden Globe nomination for her performance as the children's writer and illustrator.

In a separate development, Russian director Alexei Popogrebsky, whose debut as a solo director, "Simple Things" (Prostye Veshchi), is screening this week in competition at the 18th edition of the Russian national film showcase Kinotavr, confirmed Thursday that the film will unspool in the main competition at Karlovy Vary.

Popogrebsky, whose "Koktebel," co-directed with Boris Khlebnikov, won Karlovy Vary's East of the West sidebar in 2003, said another joint work, "Free Floating" (Svobonoye Plaviniye), also will screen in that category at this year's Karlovy Vary event.

"Simple Things" -- about a sick elderly man who strikes a bargain with a doctor for an assisted suicide in return for a valuable painting -- has been well received at Kinotavr, held in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.