Oscar-Winning Actor Casey Affleck Coming to Karlovy Vary Film Fest

Casey Affleck, who won the Best Actor Oscar for Manchester by the Sea just a few months back, will pick up another award this July as the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival presents the actor with their prestigious President’s Award.

The President’s Award is given ”to actors, directors, and producers who have contributed in a fundamental way to the development of film, not merely in their own countries but around the world,” according to the official festival description.

Recent recipients of the award include writer-director Charlie Kaufman last year, Czech actress Iva Janžurová in 2015, and Czech actor and screenwriter Zdeněk Svěrák in 2014.

Affleck will be on hand receive the President’s Award at this year’s festival, which runs from June 30 to July 8, but also to introduce the new film A Ghost Story to attendees.

An unconventional drama that stars Affleck under a bedsheet with eyeholes cut out for most of the movie, A Ghost Story premiered to rave reviews at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Director David Lowery and producers Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston will join Affleck to present the film in Karlovy Vary.

“We are very glad that Casey Affleck is accepting the Karlovy Vary IFF President’s Award and will present David Lowery’s new picture A Ghost Story at our 52nd edition,” KVIFF President Jiří Bartoška stated in a press release.

“In 2013, the Festival presented, to great acclaim, Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, although Mr. Affleck was unable to attend. We regard Casey Affleck as one of the most intriguing actors in contemporary American film and are honored to welcome the filmmakers during the presentation of A Ghost Story.”

While Affleck should be riding a career-high after picking up the Best Actor Oscar for Manchester by the Sea, the actor has been plagued by allegations of sexual abuse that were widely-reported during his awards-season campaign.

In 2010, two women who worked with Affleck on his film I’m Still Here filed sexual harassment suits against the actor.

Those suits were eventually settled, with Affleck denying the claims. But court documents published online have led to harsh protests against the actor in the Twitterverse and elsewhere.

Actress Brie Larson, an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, famously didn’t clap when presenting Affleck with the Oscar during February’s Academy Awards ceremony.

Karlovy Vary organizers haven’t been shy about awarding contentious mainstream figures. In 2014, they honored Mel Gibson, then in a 10-year Hollywood doghouse following numerous controversies.

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is the largest film festival in the Czech Republic and one of the oldest and most respected film festivals in the world, dating back to 1946. The city of Karlovy Vary itself, located about two hours west of Prague, is a prominent Czech spa town famed for its mineral springs.

Here’s the trailer for A Ghost Story:


Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

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