Ewan McGregor and Alicia Vikander set to dazzle at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

More details for the country's most prestigious film festival have been announced, including new guests and the opening film.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 13.06.2023 14:19:00 (updated on 13.06.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The title of the opening film and more stars for the 57th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF) have just been revealed. Swedish actress Alicia Vikander and Scottish actor Ewan McGregor will both receive awards at the festival.

They will join the previously announced stars Russell Crowe, who will get an award for his career, and Patricia Clarkson, who will be on the jury for the Crystal Globe competition. The Karlovy Vary festival runs from June 30 to July 8 in the eponymous West Bohemian city.

Vikander will attend the opening ceremony, where she will be presented with the KVIFF President’s Award, one of several honors that the festival gives to its top stars. She stars in the British historical drama Firebrand, which will be the festival’s opening film. Firebrand premiered at the 76th Cannes Film Festival, where it competed for the Palme d'Or.

Alicia Vikander, right, in Firebrand. Photo: KVIFF
Alicia Vikander, right, in Firebrand. Photo: KVIFF

The film looks back at the life of Katherine Parr, the sixth and last wife of England’s King Henry VIII, and the surrounding religious conflicts. It is based on the novel Queen's Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle; that title was used recently for an unrelated TV series. Jude Law, who attended the festival in 2010, stars as Henry VIII.

Vikander began her career in Sweden in 2010 and came to intentional attention with the costume dramas A Royal Affair and Anna Karenina. She has also appeared in thrillers like The Fifth Estate and Jason Bourne, and the action reboot Tomb Raider, among many other titles. She earned an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in the historical film The Danish Girl, about a transgender pioneer.

Ewan McGregor will appear with his daughter

Ewan McGregor will also receive a KVIFF President’s Award. He will personally present his new film You Sing Loud, I Sing Louder, in which he stars alongside his daughter Clara, who will also be a festival guest.

The road movie You Sing Loud, I Sing Louder tracks the journey of a father and daughter who make unexpected encounters while they find a way back to each other after a period of alienation. Clara McGregor is credited as a producer and scriptwriter in collaboration with scriptwriter Ruby Caster and producer/actress Vera Bulder. Ewan McGregor is the film’s executive producer.

Clara and Ewan McGregor in You Sing Loud, I Sing Louder. Photo: KVIFF
Clara and Ewan McGregor in You Sing Loud, I Sing Louder. Photo: KVIFF

McGregor is perhaps best known worldwide for his portrayal of the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in George Lucas’ sci-fi prequel Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and subsequent films. Many film fans also know him from the Scottish cult films Shallow Grave and Trainspotting, both directed by Danny Boyle.

The festival will present approximately 170 films, including many world and European premieres. There are also hits and notable films from other recent festivals, restored films, and retrospectives such as a look at Japanese filmmaker Yasuzo Masumura and a focus on Iranian cinema.

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